One of the great misunderstandings concerning Faith is that it is primarily or completely a matter of belief between “me and God.” Faith, of course, is more than simple belief, and as Scripture makes clear, it is certainly as much or more about how we relate to others than it is about how we relate to God!
Look at Hebrews Chapter 11. Example after example of great demonstrations of faith are listed—and all of them describe what people did on earth to and with the people around them. Did all these people, like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Israel have deep belief and trust in God? Yes. But faith MANIFESTED only as they DID something based on that belief and trust….!
It was by FAITH that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. (Hebrews 11:30)
Until they got off their tails and marched, they weren’t people of faith—they were simply people of belief.
“I have faith in God” sounds spiritual but means nothing unless and until we are willing to act—and look as stupid as a bunch of people circling a walled city for seven days…
On the other hand, had the people Israel brought in dynamite and bulldozers to demolish the wall “in the name of God,” they would have been performing—at very best—some good works that don’t constitute faith because they are not based upon deep belief in what God has said NOR on His provision of supernatural power to accomplish the impossible. Most churchy programs and outreaches are very strong on good works, and often devoid of any real FAITH…
Our Church Mission Statement is “Loving God and Neighbor in Worship Word, and Life Groups.” As long as that love is directed only toward God, we have not become people of FAITH. As long as that love is directed only toward “helping” neighbors, we have not become people of FAITH. When our Love for God propels us to do things HE outlines—things that are impossible unless HE works a miracle, THEN we are moving by FAITH…!
In this year of FAITH, God is calling us to believe in His leading like never before, and to act by His leading until walls collapse and the Glory and Power of God transform an entire region. We may look stupid in the process, but God is calling us to be people of great FAITH, not simply good works; to be people of great FAITH, not simply deep and heartfelt beliefs…!