2004-02-11 - Practical Faith
James 2:14 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions?
Mom lives on the second floor of a new skilled nursing facility. They have all these fancy security systems and a keypad security lock on the door to the stairs. Recently the elevator malfunctioned, and I asked Debra (a nurse) how to open the door to the stairs. Without blinking, she said, "I don't know the code, but I will get you someone that does." So another nurse came down the hall to show me the code and asked Debra, "How would you get out if there was a fire?" Debra replied loudly, "Jesus would let me out! Yes, all I need is Jesus to take me out!" I love her faith, but I could not help but ask, "What if Jesus asks you for the code?" Total silence.
There is a delicate line between blind faith and practical faith. I agree with Debra that Jesus could certainly get us out of a building, but in studying the miracles of Jesus, a common thread runs through miracles: God does only what God can do, but He asks us to do what we can do ourselves.
In the Bible, we see God asking us to do our part, while He does his part. Abraham, go and take your son. Fill the jugs with water. Lame man, pick up your mat and walk. Blind man, rub this mud in your eyes, and so forth. Today I hear people say, "God will do this and God will do that. God will stop my drinking, God will make this or that happen." My question is: What is God asking you to do? What is your part?
Faith, for me, is an action word, not a passive word. Faith is a free gift from God to be used, not bundled up and stored away in a hidden place. Faith is not like the chair in the living room that your mom told you not to sit in because it was your great-great-grandmother Viola's! Faith is to be put to use. Is God saying to you, "Your move, I am waiting?" Put some action behind your faith today.
Father, help us to be more faithful and practical, in Christs name. Amen.
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