Published on October 24th, 2017 | by Kayla Marie Matlock
Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?
Faith without works is worthless.
This is the kind of faith many find themselves trapped in. It’s a trap that seems safe and comfortable on the outside, but ends up robbing us of real joy in Christ.
In fact, about a year ago, I had my own experience that taught me what faith really is.
I had been taking driver’s training classes and found that I was one of the very few Christians there.
However, there was one young man who stood out to me. Why? Because he was a Christian too.
James didn’t talk about all the drama that seemed to fill everyone else’s heads. He smiled a lot and brought his Bible to read during breaks.
Inwardly, I was encouraged by his influence. He wasn’t afraid to show people that He was living for Christ and I admired that.
There were numerous occasions when the Holy Spirit would prompt me to talk to him.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for me to come back with an excuse. I can’t, God. He’s in the middle of a conversation. I’ll talk to him after class.
Eventually, the end of class would come and the prompting would make another appearance. Okay, Kayla, class is over. Go talk to him.
I knew there was nothing to worry about, but I still resented the calling. I can’t. Maybe next time.
This went on for the remainder of driver’s training and I never once spoke to James to tell him that he had been an inspiration to me.
Sadly, this is only one of the many examples I have rejected Christ’s calling because it was too hard, too scary, or too unpredictable.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-1)
As much as I hate to say it, my faith isn’t always alive and thriving. I’ve often had good intentions and great ideas, but because of fear, I didn’t act out on them.
This isn’t uncommon. If you just take a good look around, you will see that the faith of many Christians is simply based on comfort.
Is there any hope for a person whose faith is dying? The good news is yes!
1. Give Every Concern to God
The number one reason we, as Christians, reject God’s promptings is because we’re afraid.
We’re afraid of what people might think. We’re afraid that God will let us down and leave us to handle things on our own. We’re afraid to let go of our plans and let the Lord take control.
“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)
In order to step out on faith, we must first learn to bring our concerns before Christ and trust that He will keep His promises.
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s only when we choose to trust God that we will see the miracles He is working in our lives.
2. Dig Deep in Scripture
The Word of God is one of the ways that God communicates with us. What’s so great about it is that, even though it was written long ago, it’s never outdated.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Before we make decisions, we should always see what God says about it.
Something that I’ve found to work is being sure to ask “does this line up with scripture”? This shifts your focus to God’s Word and helps you dig deep to see what He wants you to do.
Whatever the circumstance, God knows what you need and wants to share His wisdom and guidance with you through the Bible.
3. Start Saying “Yes”
I’m currently reading the book What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa and Hope Terkeurst.
It talks a lot about the extraordinary story that God is writing for each one of us, but we can’t live it out unless we’re willing to say “yes” to what He is calling us to do.
Back when I was in driver’s training, I knew that God wanted me to conquer my fear and talk to James.
I rejected that calling when I should have willingly said “yes” and trusted that God would help me know what to say.
We can’t simply say, “I trust God and believe that He knows what’s best” and then just sit around waiting for an opportunity within our comfort zone to come around.
Real faith requires action and action comes from sincerely trusting the Lord.
The first part of this challenge is to think of all the things holding you back from trusting God. Take those fears and pray that God will replace them with confidence in Him today.
The second part of this challenge is to say “yes” anytime the Holy Spirit is leading you to do something this week.
It might be scary and it might seem hard, but your extraordinary story can only be lived out when you choose to say “yes” to God.
Your faith doesn’t have to die. Instead, it can become more alive than ever before.