Faith is a word often talked about but rarely lived out. We listen to endless sermons, attend occasional conferences, and read countless books on this necessary element of living the Christ life, but are these things creating and building faith in God’s people? Has faith taken root in your life and are those roots growing deeper?
Faith is believing that God is who he says he is, that he will do what he says he will do, and then acting on those beliefs by stepping out and pursuing them with abandon. Faith is not some sort of ethereal, mystical concept we ponder deep within our minds. Faith is an active move of our collective spirit, soul, and body on the promise(s) of God. Faith acts!
Many of us claim to believe a host of things. We say we have faith in ______ (you fill in the blank). But we act on what we truly believe. Without an action, a dream does not become a deed, and a belief never turns into reality. James, the half-brother of Jesus, reminds us that faith without works—without action—is dead. If something is dead it no longer exists. It is gone—extinct—not there! We act on what we believe and all the rest is cheap talk.
Faith is not the result of perseverance or tenacity. None of us can work up faith—not even one iota. No, faith is a gift from God and has its genesis—its beginning—through a simple act of listening. The apostle Paul says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NASB). We listen to the word of God—the power and the faithfulness of God’s activity in the past and the power of his promises for our past, present, and future, and we step out in faith believing God will fulfill his promises. Faith is not the result of just hearing the word, faith is produced when we become doers of the word we heard.
Lack of faith is far more than wondering if God will come through in a specific situation. Ultimately it is a disbelief or unbelief in who God says he is. We don’t act in faith because we really don’t believe God is who he claims to be or that he can do everything he claims he can do. If we did—getting started would not be an issue. The problem would be holding us back!