Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Different Slant on Faith

Sometimes we just have to trust in God and go about our business.  Other times we have to show our faith by our actions.  The Bible says that 'Faith without works is dead' James 2:17.  What kind of works are we talking about?  There are two kinds or maybe three, let's see what the Bible says.

There is a kind of faith that prepares the way for God to answer and there are several instances in the Bible to show this kind of faith.  I believe that preparing the way is a type of work or maybe it is just an action.  Let's find out.

No Water until the ditches were dug.  2 Kings 3:16,17  "And he said, Thus saith the Lord, make this valley full of ditches, For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain, yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts."

No Oil until the vessels were gathered.  2 Kings 4:3,4  " Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all they neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.  And when thou art come, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons; and shalt pour out into all those vessels; and thou shalt set aside that which is full."  Her husband had died and had left debts and she had no way to pay him and the man she owed was going to take her sons next, he had taken everything else,  the prophet asked her what she had, she had a little oil in her vessel and she started pouring and when all the vessels were full, he told her to go sell what she had and pay her debt and live on the rest.

No Healing until the leper dipped seven times in the river Jordan.  2 Kings 5:10.  And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and  thous shalt be clean.

No Crossing the Red Sea until Moses stretched out his rod over the waters.  Exodus 14:15,16  "And the Lord said to Moses, why do you cry unto Me?  Tell the children of Israel  to go forward.  But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.  And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea."

No Crossing the Jordan until the Priests stepped into the water.  Joshua 3:13  "And it shall come to pass as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap."  Israel crossed Jordan on dry ground.

Sometimes I believe God asks us to step out in faith and then He comes through with the answer, other times He just asks us to be patient and wait for His answer, because He knows the best timing for the answer.

The other two kinds of works are:  First, there is the works that we do for merit to enter the Kingdom of God, when Jesus has already paved the way for us with His gift of life on Calvary.  Second, there is the works that we do because we have met Him face to face and have fallen in love with Him and want to work for others so they will have the same experience.

Are there three kinds of works?  Maybe, if you want to call the stepping into the water, works and the other things people did by faith to open the way for God to answer.  So what do you think?  I personally like the idea that God wants us to show our faith by our actions, I think actions is a better word than works, so let's stick with just two kinds of works. Our works of trying to earn heaven by what we do and then the works of sharing with others because we have met Jesus and want others to meet Him too.
Hope you enjoyed our little study on acting on our faith.  It really should increase our faith and hopefully my faith is increased by this study.  Grandma Joan

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