Active Faith Is Based on a Reason to Believe
The city of Chicago recently hosted a death defying event by Nik Wallenda. I couldn’t watch as he walked blindfolded on a wire 600 feet in the air between skyscrapers. Nik was able to do it because he had faith. I don’t know anything about his relationship with God, so I’m not suggesting it was faith in God. He had faith in his ability. He believed the chance of falling was slim, because of how he prepared.
What Nik did was an illustration of active faith. It’s also an example of what active faith is not.
What Active Faith is and is Not
Active faith isn’t “blind faith”. One dictionary defines blind faith as “belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination”. It’s when someone believes something without an objective basis. That wasn’t Nik. He studied the situation and spent hours in preparation. There are stories of people doing things like quitting their jobs because they felt God told them to start a ministry. They presumptuously believed God would just give them money to live. You know the rest of that story. That isn’t biblical faith. The word blind doesn’t belong in the same sentence as faith.
Active faith is when we believe something based upon factual evidence. Here are three elements of biblical, active faith.
3 Elements of Active Faith
- It’s focused. Biblical faith has a basis it rests on. Active faith rests on the word of God. Paul says
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
- It’s influential. It’s something we agree with, rely upon and prompts us to act.
- It’s active. It leads us to do something. Biblical faith is always active faith. Here is how James describes active faith.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? . . . So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17
An Example of Active Faith
Let’s say you are struggling with some people at work. You’ve had a relationship with them for years but something changed. Nothing you do seems to help. You’re frustrated, discouraged and angry. How do you use active faith?
- Start with what you know. God loves you Psalm 103:11. Romans 8:28 tells that everything will work out for good at some point.
- Claim these truths and choose to rely upon them. Mentally think through every aspect of your situation and agree to rely on God’s love, compassion and sovereign plan.
- Have active faith. This is where it gets hard. When discouragement comes mentally turn from it and rest in the Spirit’s joy. As anger flares up say “No” to it and “Yes” to the self-control the Spirit wants to give you.
There are so many reasons why things could have gone bad in your relationship. It’s impossible to give a simple answer to how to fix it.
[Tweet “Faith doesn’t fix things. It fixes US so God can work.”]
Active faith enables us to stay close to God. It gives hope that enables us to get through our trials. What has God been teaching you about faith? Please leave a comment or question below.
Perfect timing Ward. I am going to share this with the class I am leading this evening. This week’s lesson is on Luke, chap. 7. It is a Precept Upon Precept class by Kay Arthur. She titled this lesson, “Where is your Faith?” She subdivides the chapter in the lesson, so I looked at each subdivision and came up with subtitles for each section: verses 1-10 Faith in the spoken Word; 11-17 Faith demonstrated and spreads; 18-23 Faith gives strength; 24-30 Faith rewards obedience; 31-35 Faith unrecognized; 36-40 Faith denied; 41-50 Faith saves.
That is wonderful, Marcia. There is so much about faith we could spend a lifetime talking about it! I pray that God speaks through you and encourages others through your leadership tonight.
[…] few days ago we talked about Nik Wallenda and his amazing high wire walk between skyscrapers in Chicago. I not only wouldn’t […]