"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)
It is essential that you understand that the purpose of preaching is not so that you as a listener would be pleased but that you would be profited, edified, and inspired to live an upright and godly life. It is crucial that you realize that every time you listen to a message preached, it is a message to be obeyed.
In this particular verse of Scripture, the Apostle James addressed the dreadful danger that there is in being a hearer only of the Word of God. Hearing is not the problem. "Hearing only" is.
He called all believers to be - "doers of the word." What he meant by that is that you would be ruled by it...submit to its authority...and regulate your temper and life by its precepts. You are to place yourself honestly in its light...allow it to bring out the secrets of your heart...and let it judge your most besetting sins.
If you hear a message on repentance, then you are required to repent of some sin. If you hear a teaching on faith, God is most certainly calling you to believe Him for answered prayer or a Miracle. And then again, if you hear a sermon on unforgiveness, He is revealing to you that there is someone you need to forgive.
A Preacher by the name of Brian Bell once said - "Truth is given not to be contemplative, but to be done!" Steven Cole, another preacher, said - "To hear the word and not do it leads to deception. To hear the word and do it leads to blessing." He also added - "Obedience should always be the bottom line of Bible study or biblical preaching."
The next time you hear a message preached or read a teaching (like this one), be sure that you apply the Word to the problems in your life that it is uncovering at the time.