Get the DOG off the Leash.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard about faith. I’ve been taught about the power of faith, how faith works, and what the purpose of faith is. Yet learning about faith has not always increased my faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. But the fact is that the hearing ain’t just hearing! The scripture actually means, “Faith cometh by Rhema, and Rhema by the Logos”! Basically it means this; faith cometh by hearing God say something about you, to you, and in your life, and being able to hear the Rhema depends on how much you have already fed on the previously written Word of God. Not just the Bible, but the logos – the things you know God has said about you.
Here’s the thing. Did you know that faith is a response? Many people think that faith is something that you just have or you don’t have. But James said that you show me your faith without works, I’ll show you my faith with corresponding action, and we’ll see which one is more pure. The fact is, it’s impossible to have faith and not have some kind of corresponding action that goes with it. So I think it would be safe to say that FAITH IS CORRESPONDING ACTION.
Let’s look at it in the natural world. Imagine I have a Rottweiler tied up on a chain in the corner of the room you are in right now. Because you have faith in the chain and in the actions of the dog, you would keep an appropriate distance from the chain. Your faith in what you have “heard” about them would cause you to have a corresponding action. And your Faith is the evidence of your things “hoped” for. So your faith/action is the evidence of what you hope/believe about the chain and the dog. In the same way, Faith in God hinges on one thing: hope. In Corinthians, FAITH HOPE AND LOVE are lumped together, and the greatest of these is LOVE!
Jesus looked at his disciples and said, “if you love me you will keep my commandments.” Many people interpret that as meaning, “If you really love Jesus, then don’t do bad things.” The hidden meaning there is that doing the right thing is what causes you to love Him. But check this out. Faith is the first step; it’s the substance, not the last piece. Jesus was saying, “If you love me, YOU WILL keep my commandments.” In other words, if you really have faith in what you say you do and you really believe what you say you believe, and if you really do love me, there is NO WAY YOU CAN’T KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS! It becomes totally impossible in a place of faith! Faith becomes that action of obeying and following the commandments that are rooted in REAL LOVE for Jesus! That’s why it says “FAITH WORKETH BY LOVE!!!”