Last Friday I wrote about the fact that having faith means patiently waiting. As I continued to focus on that this week, a text I read some time ago came to mind: James 2: 14 – 16 (NKJV). The highlights of this section of scripture, for me, are:
“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?…17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
You can’t say you have faith, but then not show it. It does not work that way. The New International Version puts it this way: 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
To me, waiting patiently and showing action seemed a little oxymoronic – how do you actively wait? Then I remembered something my dad once told me. He said that when you can’t hear God’s voice, you just keep doing the last thing He told you to do, or head in the last direction He pointed you in, until you hear Him again telling you otherwise.
Now I get actively waiting – Faith is a verb!! You have no idea how happy this makes me!!!! See, I find it very hard to just sit and wait and do nothing….but actively waiting, now that’s something I can do.
While “God helps those who help themselves” isn’t actually a bible text, the concept of actively waiting is biblical. This doesn’t mean that I try to fix my own problems. What it does mean, however, is that while I wait on God to fix whatever issue I’m facing, I continue to do good deeds or whatever other work He already asked me to do. So for example, if I am waiting for God to give me a job in the career I believe He led me to (as I have been for some time), I don’t just sit and wait and not send out resumes because, by faith, I expect God to drop one in my lap. Nor does it mean that you (students reading this) no longer go to classes or do your homework because you know God called you to be a (insert profession here) and got you enrolled in college to pursue that career. Nope. I need to job hunt and send out applications, and you need to go to class, do your homework, and graduate.
So, this week’s redefinition of faith is that faith is a verb, which means that we need to be actively waiting. God does not micro-manage us. He gives us direction, then backs off to allow us to put His plan into action. So while we wait for God to do what ever it is we need Him to do in our lives, “let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” Galations 6:9-10 (Message).
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