James 1:21,22 “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

     Often when I walk along the side of a busy highway I can see  cars approaching quickly and hear the high pitched roar of their engines.  As the car passes by the roar of the engine drops its pitch and sounds lower as it recedes in the distance.  This is called the Doppler Effect.

     There is a kind of spiritual Doppler effect as well.  When we read the Word of God, often we will come under its conviction if we are going against it.  We feel a sense of urgency – a desire to change or put something right in our relationships with others.  This feeling of urgency is like the high pitched roar of the approaching car as we walk along the road of life.  Should we respond to the call of  God’s Word to change we would repent and turn aside from our path to follow His direction in our lives.

     The Bible tells us to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in our lives; “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24,25)  Do we do this perfectly?  No, life is a struggle.  We still experience the spiritual Doppler Effect and sense the urgency to change.

     Scripture describes life as a race that we run and if we respond to the urging of our coach we will finish well; “. . . let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1,2)

     Sadly, some let the Word of God pass them by with no urgency, no conviction and no change.  They hear the Word but do not respond to it.  In so doing the Word loses is sense of urgency just as the pitch of the receding car lowers as it disappears down the road.  Jesus describes the plight of such people; “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)

     For those who ignore the spiritual Doppler Effect –  they hear it but it means nothing to them, there is no urgency. They turn back to rush blindly along their own way; “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

     The greatest deception in life is self-satisfaction and the self-righteousness that it brings.  The greatest freedom in life is to follow His Word and keep in step with His Sprit;  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. “(John 6:63)

     Praise the Lord!