A very important key to the advancement of our faith is to take action. The Apostle James tells us, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But
he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and
is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be
blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25) In other words, believers
are to obey and act upon the Word of God, not to merely listen to it. It
is implied here, that by merely hearing the Word of God but not acting
upon it or not doing it, the believer is deceived. That is, their soul
(mind, will and emotions) will reason, excuse them, from being obedient
to God's Word. They reason, "it is enough to merely give attention to
the Word" because that is all that is demanded of them. For those who
hear and act upon God's Word, they shall be blessed because God's Word
has the power to exert life over the believers entire being, spirit,
soul and body.
If our faith is not kept active, that is, continuously releasing the promises and power of God, believers will not advance in the faith, and therefore Christianity does not differ from any other religion. Again, it is possible to become stuck in a certain 1evel of faith, and there are clear signs that show when faith has become stagnate and inactive. For example, when evidence of spiritual life is lacking in a congregation, when miracles, signs, wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit are either not experienced or have altogether ceased, when God's presence is not to be found especially during worship, when believers do not share their faith or when God's Word and prayer are more or less a non-essential, people's faith will stop growing. James goes on a little further when he says, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?...Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:14, 17-18)
These are very serious words and unfortunately, many believers equate good works, such as, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, etc., though good things, as being a doer of the Word. They believe that good works in an of themselves is acting on the Word of God through faith. The Apostle Paul tells us, "knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. " (Galatians 2:16) The works of the law represents works of the flesh, that is, the ability of the person doing things that seem right in their own eyes or the eyes of men. This has absolutely nothing to do with faith in Jesus Christ, His ability working in us to do His will. (Philippians 2:13) Again, that which is works, without faith is dead.
Truth is present, and faith is now. Faith has an expiration date. If yesterday's faith were sufficient, the Bible would not command that believers are to go "from faith to faith." Yesterday's revelation may not be relevant when we try to activate it today. Think of it from this perspective. God provided fresh bread (manna) in the wilderness for Israel each day. However, if they would try to store today's manna to be used the next day, it would stink and be filled with worms, that is, unfit for nourishment. (Exodus 16) Revelation from the Holy Spirit is much the same. When Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn a stone into bread, His response was, "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) This is how believers walk by faith, by living on every Word of God. Always remember, what used to work yesterday, may no longer work today.
If you feel that your faith is inactive, this is the time to exercise it so that you may enter into a new level of faith in God because faith is now. If your faith is active and you are serving God, you can advance to the next level of faith. As you advance into a new level of faith, you will find that true Christianity is always fresh and exciting. You will begin to experience miracles, signs and wonders in your own life as well as stretching forth your faith to others and see the same manifest in their lives. No matter what stage of spiritual maturity you have progressed to, if you desire to grow spiritually, I would like to encourage you to pray this prayer with me..."Father, please give me new revelation that will take me to another level of faith. Connect me with men and women who can help me release my faith, so I can bless others by praying for the sick, and minister to those who need a touch of Your supernatural power. I thank you and ask this in Jesus name." Amen.
Finally, some things that will help us keep perspective as to the things of true Bible faith, the faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and that makes the impossible possible (Mark 9:23) let us keep in mind that faith is not presumption, hope, or optimism. It is our response to the Word of God, which is revealed to believers by the Holy Spirit so that we might operate in, and exercise dominion over, the dimension of time, space, and matter. When the Bible refers to the flesh, it is the combination of both the body and soul (Genesis 6:3; Romans 7). The Apostle Paul tells us that the flesh and spirit are contrary to one another (Galatians 5:16-18). Therefore, remember, there is a conflict between human reason and faith because each belongs to a different realm; reason is temporal, while faith is eternal. Faith is the past and the future united in the present. The following are some principles for walking in and by faith...
Faith is in the now; Faith belongs to God and comes from God; Faith perceives the things of the unseen, spiritual realm; All believers have been given a measure of faith; Faith feeds on and grows through trials, tribulations and or impossible circumstances; Faith releases the power of God; miracles, signs and wonders; Faith does not operate by reason but through continuous revelation of and from God; Continuous revelation of and from God will take us to higher dimensions of faith; Believers are to be doers of the Word through faith in Jesus Christ; If our faith is not kept active and advancing "from faith to faith," nothing will happen; If faith does not advance, Christianity is nothing more than any other religion; As faith advances, Christianity is always fresh and exciting...