What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14
Your faith must be employed.
Fish must have water. Birds must have air. Faith must have works. If faith doesn’t have works, it is dead.
What do you REALLY believe? You can tell what you really believe by the way you act, by what you do. The way you act tells the way you really believe deep down. If you say you love your wife, we should be able to see it by your actions. If you never show her affection, or take her out, or buy her flowers, how can you really love her? That’s a dead love. It’s not a love at all.
Someone might say, “I want to believe, but I don’t feel it. In my mind I want to believe, but in my heart I doubt.”
We doubt things we are unfamiliar with. If you would meet a man on the street who you have never seen in your life, and he told you that this time tomorrow he would meet you again on this street corner and give you a hundred dollars, you would most likely doubt it. If there was no risk to it, you may show up just to find out, but if your best friend told you that he heard of a scam that sounded a lot like your situation, you would believe your friend over a stranger.
In the same way, God is a stranger to most people. He makes every effort show Himself to those who will listen, but even those of us who have expereience Him in great ways still go about our lives as if He were a stranger. Rarely do we talk to Him throughout the day, and rarely do we allow Him to talk to us, either through His word or by His spirit. But we know that no relationship can be built on such small talk. Imagine it! Could I believe you if you said you knew a person that you only speak to for 30 seconds every night at the dinner table and 2 minutes before bed, and never give them the chance to speak back? You don’t know that person. You know OF them, but you don’t know them.
No wonder we don’t believe God and our faith is small. We don’t know God. He is a stranger to us. Our faith is a dead faith. It’s our fault we don’t know Him. He sent His Son into the world to save us, now we must take a step towards Him.
What do you REALLY believe?
Do you believe that God is real?
Do you believe that there is a heaven and a hell?
Do you believe that this life is small and insignificant compared to the life that is to come?
You say that you do, but your actions speak otherwise. If you believed that God is real, why would you use His name as a cuss word? If you believed God is real, why would you lie to your parents or cheat on your test? If you believed that this world is but a passing shadow, why would you waste so much time on things that have no value in the scope of eternity?
Your actions show that your faith is dead. If your faith is so dead that it cannot produce enough action to prove that you are a christian, then certianly it will not produce enough power to save you from the fires of hell. Your dead faith will be just as useful to you in hell as it has been to you on earth.
Can your faith be ressurected? Yes it can.
Faith is a firm persuation. It is a trust. You will not be able to trust a God that you refuse to get to know. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God. If we do not cause ourselves to hear, then we will not have living faith.
Why do we wonder at our lack of faith? We are so lazy that most of us will not move to prayer unless we FEEL the Holy Spirit. We do not consider that if we feel at all it is only because someone else prayed BEFORE they felt. We should not feel then pray, but pray, and then we will feel. And if we feel before we pray, we should thank God that someone else prayed before they felt.
The bottom line is that many don’t know God, that’s why they have dead faith. They’ve allowed the spark of faith that they once had to die. Instead of pursuing God so that He might turn that spark into fire, they pursued the things of this world. But thank God, for some this isn’t true! I hear of some teenagers giving up everything to persue after God. I have heard of teenagers giving up video games, those time wasters, to go after God. God will turn their spark in to a raging flame!
What we focus our attention on is what we will feel most strongly about. Are you focused on a girl or a boy, you will feel stronger and stronger about them the more that you think on them. Are you focused only on sports? Sports will become your idol. Are you focused on a video game? The whole world will disappear from your mind and be replaced by a fantasy world. It will consume your entire thought life if you let it.
When I was a teenager I played a card game that consumed my thought life. I found myself thinking about the strategy of this game throughout the entire day. I would look for every chance to play with whoever would play with me. This game was my idol. God convicted me and I, quite literally, burned that idol in the fire.
How can we have a living faith? We must burn every idol in the fire. We must turn to Christ and obey His commandments. We must set our minds on things above and abide in the vine continually (see Col 2 and John 15). We must act on what we believe.
Faith can grow; the more we focus on it and nurture it, the more it will grow.
I pray that we be a people of strong faith – faith that is employed – faith that works.