Faith Talks And Faith Walk
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18
The question is this. Are faith and works incompatible? Is it a matter of either this or that? Or is it both this and that? The letter of James “…to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” makes the argument for us that it is indeed both and. You really don’t have one without the other. Yes, you can have works apart from faith in God, but you cannot have works apart from faith in something, because the very works are done with both an inspiration and an expectation based on something. And that something is the impetus for faith.
The Spirit of the Lord declared to the apostle it this way. The just shall live by faith, and that was a reiteration of what God had first spoken through the prophets to Israel.
“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
Then that passage is referred to in Romans.
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
And it is restated yet again in Hebrews.
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38
Living implies at its most fundamental meaning action, activity, doing as well as being. So then to live is to be engaged in pursuits and functions that are essential to sustain life. All that the human creature is capable of doing is encompassed in the act of living. So then the just living by faith is already saying that doing is part and parcel with faith.
James goes on to say,
“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James2:26
It is easy to talk, or argue and philosophize about faith. It requires very little effort, just talk. But doing faith is another matter all together. Doing faith is walking the talk.
Now some have made the decision to suppress their God given gift to both speak and do their faith, especially where the faith is in the speaking. To speak a word of exhortation, or to prophecy, for example are often not heard in most churches even though the Spirit of God maybe prompting someone to speak for the edification of the body, but for fear of being embarrassed, or being criticized for stepping out in faith and doing it, or fear of it not being a word from the Lord or fear that what they speak may be wrong, they say nothing at all and fear wins, but the church is not edified.
Moreover many hesitate or are silent even when speaking one on one where edification is concerned. They sense a leading to speak a word of wisdom or word of knowledge to someone, but for a lack of teaching or encouragement or both they stop short of stepping out in faith and saying what they are hearing in their hearts from the Lord.
We need to speak more about this and over the next few days we will, God wiling, and I believe He is.
In another sense our faith where a particular action is concerned can also be halting if we don’t have the courage or will or sense of urgency to get on with it. When we do not act everybody loses. When we do act by faith everybody is blessed and the blessing gets multiplied again and again.
Ever notice in a large crowd of “church folk” when people are invited to stand either as their name is called or for whatever the reason might be, no body wants to be the first to stand. Most people wait for the other guy to go first. Why? Is this the life God intended for us to live by faith, waiting for the other guy to respond first?
No! Heaven help us NO!
God has not given us a spirit of timidity to be fearful, hesitating and halting in our faith.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
I think one of the saddest things we can feel is the regret after the fact, when we have not been prompt to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit, especially where ministry to someone or giving aid, at the moment we think of it, to a needy person when we could have saved them from a great loss, but failed to do so. Then afterward when we think about how Jesus gave His all to save us and He did not hesitate or fail to act when the Father prompted Him to do it, we feel that awful emptiness and regret because we chose rather to judge or withhold good when we could have blessed instead. Freely we have received, therefore we should, must freely give.
Living by faith is more than a nice idea. It is a vital, fundamental, and essential part of the Kingdom of God coming on the earth. If we all in the church, the body of Christ, every believer lived not only to bethe sons of God, but to act passionately and promptly in all matters of Holy Spirit leading, like we arethe sons of God, the enemy of God would be powerless against us.
We can do this. God has ordained it so.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13