The book of James chapter 14 speaks about faith and works. And while we have read this scripture over and over most of us still do not understand that we can believe God’s word and it still will not work for us if we do nothing. Let’s say I get to a traffic light and it signals safe for me to cross. Although I believe the signal if I keep standing where I am and make no attempt to walk over to the other side my faith is of no use because I did not accomplish what faith was believing for. It makes sense to say I needed faith which in this case is the traffic laws promised, that when the light is on red It would be safe for me to cross the street.
- That promise gives me the confidence to cross.
- Help me to see what I am hoping for which is the opposite side of the street.
- Motivates me to walk over boldly to the other side.
- And because I had faith and believed I worked, and the result was I have received what I was hoping for.
James is addressing this very issue with Jewish Christian scattered worldwide. And while James addressed this thousand years ago we still have teachings that exclude the work that should be attached to faith. Most of us believe faith alone is important, while some of us only believe in works. But we see how they work together to get us what we need from the illustration above.
Abraham offered His son Isaac on the altar. Gen 22:6 That was his works. He never stopped believing God’s promise, that was his faith. Genesis 17:19. His response to Isaac tells us that He still believed God promise, He knew God had a plan to save his son, Gen 22:8
I love verse 22 that says Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and BY WORKS FAITH WAS MADE PERFECT? This tells us that when we believe our faith alone is like a glass half full. What makes this glass completely filled? WORKS. work brings the glass up to the rim filling it. Works complete faith. It makes it full or perfect.
Hebrew 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God. We must take a journey throughout the scriptures to understanding faithfully because if we do nothing then God is not pleased. Doing nothing is an indication that we really do not believe. Different scriptures give us different ingredients for understanding faith, so we must search for them as we ask the Lord to give us understanding through His Spirit. Each like a breadcrumb too small to serve until we put all the crumb together to make a perfect slice.
Having faith alone is not enough, and exercising that faith by doing something is necessary for us to please God. As we continue exercising our faith it will grow and mature, causing us to believe God for bigger and better things. God wants us to have what He has prepared for us. It is His will. But we must understand how to get it from the spiritual to the earthly realm that we live in.