Many of us have different personalities and temperaments. We express ourselves in many ways. While this may be true, it doesn’t negate the fact that all of us who claim to have faith are expected to share it; to live it out. There is nothing inactive about faith. Faith is not motionless. Faith is not a secret or at least it shouldn’t be. Faith may be a personal choice but the expression of faith is meant to be very public. It has a public expression and influence.
When we look at the scriptures that make reference to how we are to live in faith, they are all active. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” James 2:17 puts it another way and says “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” And Romans 10:17 states “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith is always moving. Faith happens in movement.
We walk to get from one place to another. We walk to reach a certain destination. We walk to grow in strength and bring health. Walking is active. Faith is not about what we see, it is about what we do! An expression of our faith is in the steps of obedience, the steps of risk, the steps that take us to something or out of something. Faith is always moving. Faith happens in movement. Our faith has to be continually producing in order to have health and bring strength.
When I think about working, I think about doing something. We go to work. This, is a verb. When we are working on something, there is evidence of activity. There is something being done that will have something to show for it. There is no way for faith to not leave evidence behind. In order to be alive, work, is what is breath to faith. Without work there is no life to our faith. We must do something! Praying takes work. Serving takes work. Obedience takes work. Speaking and sharing takes work. Believing takes work. Others know what you believe by what you do and say.
It takes work to listen well. In school we teach children to practise active listening. It is reflected in where they focus their eyes, how their body is positioned, what they can say back about what they heard to show they understood and what activity follows. It is the same with our faith. We need to turn our eyes upon Jesus and look fully into his face. We need to bow in reverence, or need or anticipation and in humility. Listening and hearing is a verb. We are responsible to purposefully position ourselves to listen and then put into action what we hear. When we listen to God, we can be in communication with him about what He says to us while still following through with doing and saying what will increase the evidence of God at work in our lives. That is faith.
Matthew 5:15-16 tells us to “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” What you do with your faith is how you bring light into this dark world. We are to let the world see what we do for the Lord. Our good deeds are an act of faith that is meant to point others to Jesus. Faith- works. We cannot- we must not- leave faith alone. The Lord has given us a call to action. Our action shows faith and builds faith. Put your faith to work. If you don’t, it will die. If you don’t, others may die too. Faith takes work, but it is worth it! This is work that yields a great return.