Let’s read James 1:25: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (NKJV). If we were to read verses 21-27, we would see that James is emphasizing that men are to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (verse 22). He exhorts the true believer in Christ to “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Though the believer has been “saved from hell” by Christ’s death on the cross (see 1st Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16), they must allow the Word of God to take up residence in their heart in order to be “saved from the power of sin” in their lives. The Psalmist put it this way: “Your word have I hid in my heart. That I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). We must come to the Word with a humble and reverent attitude in order for this to happen. “But to this one I will look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).

If one lacks this humility and reverence for God’s Word, they will not get the benefit of it. James describes such a man in verses 22-23, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, DECEIVING YOURSELVES. For if anyone is a HEARER OF THE WORD AND NOT A DOER, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” If we read (or hear) the Word without allowing it to have its desired effect on us, we will be DECEIVED into thinking we are pleasing God and that He will bless us for it. But the fact is God is NOT pleased nor will He bless us. He wants to CHANGE US “into the image of His Son” (see Romans 8:28-29 and 2nd Corinthians 3:18) and this transformation cannot take place unless we OBEY THE WORD that we hear. In other words, there is not virtue or blessing in simply reading the Bible; we must read the Bible with a heart that desires TO BE CHANGED! James uses a very simple example to illustrate this truth. To come to God’s Word (which shows us what we need to do in order to be changed into Christ’s image), and not obey it, is like looking in a mirror (which shows us what we need to do to change our appearance…comb our hair, shave, wash our face, etc.) and then walking away without doing what the reflection in the mirror tells us to do.

By contrast, we see in verse 25 one who reads the Bible (“looks into the perfect law of liberty”) and obeys it (“continues in it” by being a “doer of the work”) and this one is promised that he/she “will be blessed in what he does.” What does it mean when it speaks of being “BLESSED in what he does?” Does it mean, as your question says, that “God will give me everything I want.” No, it means, as we noted earlier, that God will “change us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ” and that we will be “saved from the power of sin in our lives.” We will experience TRUE FREEDOM from sin as we read and obey the “perfect law of LIBERTY!”

As we HEAR and DO God’s Word, we will experience TRUE RELIGION which James shows us by contrasting “useless religion” and “pure and undefiled religion” in verses 26-27. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” The word “religion” means “to practice what we believe.” So, if one does “not obey the Word of God” (by speaking evil words) they are not “practicing what they say they believe” and thus their “religion is useless.” But if one “obeys the Word” (by showing love to orphans and widows and walking in separation from the sinful world around them) they are “practicing what they believe from God’s Word” and their “religion is pure and undefiled.”  (488.3)  (DO)