Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” NIV
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” NIV
Faith is a trust in God, an assurance and belief of something that we cannot see or feel in the physical sense. A step of faith is taking the next step not knowing what is coming or what you’re walking into. It’s establishing a firm foundation of trust in your relationship with God. God often tests us, using faith in our walk with Him. More often than not we fail those tests, because they are “too hard” or “impossible” to overcome. We let our own reality and vision of things take over to cloud our mind, rather than His unknown reality that we have yet to discover in the moment, because we didn’t have enough faith. This will make us vulnerable to the enemy, thus crushing the faith that we once had, forcing us to start from the beginning of building a trusted relationship with our Creator. Do we want this? Of course not.
What are works? What are good works, verses bad works? “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV Having and displaying good works is putting your faith into action by keeping the commandments of God, believing and acting on His promises, and being a light to those around you. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV God has commandments for us to follow. We don’t have to understand how they work or why they are there, but they are there to exercise our faith, and keep our relationship with Him strong, healthy, and profitable. If we can do these good works that He has so graciously allowed us to walk out, we will begin to reap the harvest that will be bountiful in fruit. What are bad works? Well, it’s pretty obvious. Bad works are works of the flesh; works of the enemy. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galations 5:19-21
Can we just live life trusting God and having faith that it will all be okay, or must we really apply our good works into the mix? Can God just accept my faith how it is? Why do I have to apply works to my faith? “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14 Later in verse 20 we read, “You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” NIV Whoa, what an example! God tested Abraham’s faith to see if He would obey. Abraham had such a trusted relationship with His Father, that He entrusted His firstborn son to be sacrificed, if it was God’s will. That’s an exercise of faith alright! Abraham put his faith into action, by trusting that God knew what He was doing, and obeying His command. I can imagine the kind of emotion, feeling and hurt that Abraham must have gone through for a moment, being in complete shock of what he was about to do. The result of his work (the sacrifice, obedience) was that his faith was completed. He passed the test. He was in the will of God. What parent could sacrifice their own son for the sake of pleasing and being in the will of their God? This, my friends, is the kind of faith that I not only want, but need.
Here’s the bottom line. Faith is a beautiful tool to unlock God’s will. In addition, walking out His good works is an amazing way to create a stronger relationship with God and be in accordance with Him. But it is not possible to have one without the other! “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26 NIV Let’s strive to add more works to our faith. We cannot rely on Him to do all of the work. He gave us the formula, if you will, the step-by-step guide on how we should walk out our faith. When those tests come, act upon that faith! Be humble, submit, and sacrifice if you need to, in order to have a strong, healthy, firm foundation of trust with your heavenly Father. All of your steps are ordained. You have a calling. Walk it out, exercise that faith, starting with trust. Just like you would build a friendship upon trust, build that relationship with God out of bricks of faith and trust, so that when the enemy tries to knock down those walls, you will be ready knock him down because you were strong and able enough to use not only your faith in God, but the works as well. When those two come together, there is no room for the enemy to persuade you the other way.