Faith without works is dead. We as Christians/Believers would say we have faith in spades. I mean we claim the Holy Bible as our authoritative source. We confess Christ with our mouths and believe that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). However, I’ve come to realize that having faith in God is always easy to say, but oftentimes difficult to display. It can roll off the tongue effortlessly like “I love you” said by someone who’s false or has ulterior motives. Yes, it sounds good but are we applying it in practice through our actions/works? Would you prefer someone always saying “I love you” with no action or showing they love you by their actions?
Many Christians would say they love and have faith/belief in God but downplay or ignore the requirement for works/actions. 1 John 3:18 says not to love in word: but through deeds/actions/works. For example, Christians believe that Christ abolished the law so they can live lawlessly. They view the law as sin when it’s the law that illuminates their sins. Sin is the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). I guess if Christ abolished the law, where there’s no law, there’s no sin so they’re free to establish their own righteousness. They say, they are not under the law but are under grace. However, Apostle Paul asked, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid” (Romans 6:15). Keeping God’s laws/commandments is how you show your love, respect, and yes, faith.
“For sin shall not have dominion over us, for we are not under the law but are under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
“This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)
What is Faith?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
What is “Faith”? What does it look like? How do believers apply it? We should have faith, but faith in whom? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is having confidence in God for what you hope for, even when you cannot see the evidence. It’s bypassing the temporal pleasures of sin now because you hope and believe there is a greater reward later. It is not just speaking about it, but about living and being about it, letting your actions speak for you. Having faith requires us to act, and our actions will speak to our faith. Matthew 17:20-21 says that if we have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, we will say unto a mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move. We need only have a small amount of faith.
“Yes, a man may say, you have faith, and I have works shew me your faith without your works, and I will shew you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God: you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:18-19)
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)
“And he said unto them, why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
Faith in Action
Abraham acted on his faith when he was obedient to God’s call to leave his home for a place he didn’t know. As a result, he would later receive it as an inheritance (Hebrews 11:8). By faith, Abraham, when tried, offered his only begotten son, Isaac, per God’s request (Hebrews 11:17). Even Isaac was on board with it “And when they were going along Isaac said to his father, behold, I see here the fire and wood, and where then is the lamb that is to be the burnt offering before the Lord? Abraham answered his son, saying, the Lord has made the choice of you my son, to be a perfect burnt offering instead of the lamb. And Isaac said unto his father, I will do all that the Lord spoke to you with joy and cheerfulness of heart” (Jasher 23:50-53).
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
“Jesus said unto him, if you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23)
“You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24)
Would You Have Done the Same?
How many of us would have done the same in Abraham’s shoes? Being faithful isn’t always easy because our flesh wars against our spirits daily. We must go through much tribulation to enter God’s Kingdom. However, the moment we’re faced with a crisis/challenge, we often run, hide and cower/fear. Where is our faith? The problem is we don’t run to or hide under the arms of our Creator to find refuge/shelter from the storms. We don’t even bother to consult Him for guidance/direction. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths”. We forget Psalm 91, where he is our fortress, shield, and buckler in whom we place our trust. Instead, we run straight to the Enemy, placing our trust/faith in his agents who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“And Jesus looking upon them said, with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)
New-Age Practice of Manifestation Isn’t About Faith in God but About Self
How many times has a lack of faith been detrimental to your well-being? Let me be clear when I speak about faith, I am not talking about the new-age practice of Manifestation. Wikipedia defines “Manifestation (or manifesting) as various pseudoscientific self-help strategies that can purportedly make an individual’s wishes come true by mentally visualizing them“. Focusing on a goal, positive thinking/affirmations, mindfulness, visualization, and meditation in order to bring that thing to fruition. Essentially, we are the captains of our ship and have the power to bring into reality our dreams/desires. In essence, you don’t need the Most High, his commandments or principles, all you need do is think, speak and meditate your goals into existence. We truly live in a godless society, where everyone wants to be their own god. The Almighty’s people have forgotten him and have knowingly or unknowingly replaced him with Satan and his ideals.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8)
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily, nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
In Whom is Your Faith?
It isn’t enough to say you have faith, but in whom is your faith? Are you believing in God for all His promises, or are you believing in man, self or science? I am hearing more and more Christians talk about them manifesting this or that, but where does God fit in that equation? As the definition above indicates, manifestation involves us making our dreams/desires come true by mentally visualizing them. With all the positive thinking/affirmations, mindfulness, visualization, and meditation, there is no mention of the Creator. No obedience to His Law, prayer/supplication, or repentance or forgiveness. If we could visualize our dreams/desires into reality without God, why did Believers petition Christ or the disciples for healing? Why did Christ say your faith has made you whole or has healed you? You have faith, but faith in whom? Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith”. (Luke 17:5)
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30)
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17)
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience”. (James 1:3)
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8)