The story of Charles Blondin, one of the greatest tightrope walkers of all time. Walked across the Niagara Falls several times then asked the audience if they believe he could walk across pushing a wheelbarrow; the audience shouted yes we believe; then he asked the audience “do you believe I can walk across, pushing this wheelbarrow with someone sitting in it? Yes shouted the audience, then Blondin pointed to one of those shouting, “you get in the wheelbarrow.” The man made a quick exit. This illustrates the difference between the belief, the faith we say we have and the action that should accompany our faith.
For us Christian, there should be a connection between our beliefs and the way we live. I believe this is one of those things wrong with Christianity today. We don’t truly live out what we believe. What we believe should affect every area of our lives. If I believe it’s important to eat vegetable, then you should see me eating vegetable with my meals. If I believe it’s important to eat healthy and work out on a regular basis, then everyone should see me doing just those things. I may say it’s important, I may say I value certain things but if you don’t see me acting or living out those things I value then, it’s not true. What you say you believe should be reflected (seen) in the way you live.
James wrote to Christians who were struggling with the same issue of active faith, and James challenged them to give evidence that their faith is truly active(useless)
Faith or believing is demonstrated by your actions. Actions speak louder than words.
-James gives the example of a brother just saying the right things to another, but doing nothing to help his situation. This is useless, just like faith without action is useless.
What we do, how we live or behave is truly a reflection of our belief system in our mind.
Most people claim to believe in God; but the way they live is not reflecting their faith in God; or their fear of God. If I believe what the Bible tells us about God, then we should act upon it. I should be reading it, if I truly believe it contains answers for my every day issues. It’s nice to hear about God, about love, faith, hope, but people must see those beliefs lived out in the things we do, in our actions. In other words, don’t just tell me you believe, show it to me, let me see it. Don’t just preach it, walk by it, live it out.
Evidence that faith without works or deeds action is useless:
- Abraham: justified by what he did, not just by faith. His believing was made complete or perfected by his action. He was considered righteous for what he did. What he did was put in practice what he believed; he trusted God even when it seemed unreasonable, even when it didn’t make sense.
- Rahab: she believed the spies and did as they told her to do; because of her action her family was saved.
- The body and the spirit: What the spirit is to the body is action to faith. A body without the spirit is just a corpse, so faith without action is also dead.
Faith is demonstrated in your actions, action is the proof of genuine faith. Is your faith dead or alive? Your action will tell!
The story of the town with the drought. Tony Evans tells the story of a preacher who called a prayer meeting in town and encouraged people to bring their religious symbols to ask God to send rain. People brought their bibles, their crosses, crucifixes, but nothing happened, the next day in the same town square, a little boy came and prayed, and things began to happen, the sky got dark, and the rain came. What was it about the little boy? He said the same prayer that the town people prayed the day before. However, when the little boy came to pray, his symbol that he bought was an umbrella. He is the only one who trusted God to send the rain. If you ask God for rain, the evidence that you believe is the umbrella.
God is expecting you to trust him and it would be your action that will prove your faith in him.
So is your faith dead or alive? Your actions will answer this question.