~Is your Faith Alive?~
The book of James speaks about two kinds of Faith, a living Faith, and a dead Faith. Obviously a living Faith is to be preferred over a dead Faith because dead things produce no fruit. The problem is, many people truly believe that they are operating in a living faith but they see no fruit, and get discouraged because their faith is dead. Here is why:
James 2:26 For as the body without t he spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
In this passage we see that faith is likened to the body, and works is likened to the spirit. It is making the point that spirit is what gives life to the body. The word “Works” simply means corresponding action that indicates that you actually believe. So the question is: How do I apply “works” or “spirit” to my faith to insure that my faith is a alive and capable of producing fruit? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 4:13.
2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
The “Spirit of Faith” is the primary way we apply “works” to bring life to our faith. It is simply speaking the answer, the end result, the desired outcome. Declaring that you have (present tense) what you are believing for is an indication that you believe you have the answer. For instance; if you are believing for healing in your body, you should be declaring “I AM HEALED!” You should be declaring the Word of God that states “By the stripes of Jesus, I AM HEALED!” ( 1 Peter 2:24)
This makes folks extremely uncomfortable because they feel like they are lying. It seems like foolishness to them. They don’t understand the creative power of the spoken word. There is a basic principle of faith that God has established from the beginning that calls things into existence. It took God over two decades to teach Abraham this principle. God even changed his name from Abram to Abraham so that every time he said or heard his name, he was speaking or hearing that he was a father of many nations. Abraham means, “father of nations.” God called him this before he ever had a the promise child, Isaac. God had to get Abraham into agreement with Him before the child could be born.
We must set ourselves in agreement with God’s word if we want to see it come to pass in our lives. Here is the principle in the New Testament:
Romans 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
You see, God established this method of believing and speaking and He expects us to follow His example if we are to have a living faith. If we do not follow his example and be “DOERS” of THIS word … we deceive ourselves.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Notice that the devil does not get credit for this deception, YOU DO!
It is not enough just to know God’s word, we must be doers of the word. This is the works of our faith. Corresponding action that indicates we actually believe it.
We must take control of our tongue and force it to do its due diligence.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
There, we see that “self deception” again. Understand that bridling and taming are two different things. Your tongue IS untamed, and the implication in scripture is that it CAN’T be tamed.
James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
We bridle untamed horses and force them to do our bidding. We must treat our tongue in the same manner. WHY? Because the power of life and death rests in one of your members that is untamed!
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
We have our hands full keeping our faith alive because we have our hands full controlling our tongue. The good news is that the number one way that you apply WORKS (spirit) to your faith is speaking the word. In many, and I would venture to say MOST instances, it is the ONLY action required for you to get results with your faith. As we declare the promises of God they become established and manifest in the physical realm.
Job 22:28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
In the process of growing in your ability to bridle the tongue I will leave you with three rules that I try to apply to my life. It will help you stay in faith if you apply them to yours.
1) Give your heart time to tell your mouth what to say.
Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.
Be slow to speak, put a bridle on your tongue and don’t allow yourself to speak words of unbelief
2) When you speak, make sure it is an improvement on silence.
If you can’t speak words that agree with your fait…keep silent.
3) Make sure your mountain is hearing your voice. Mark 11:23
Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus speaking to things like wind, waves, trees, fevers, demons, dead people, etc. They all obeyed Him. He is our example. Make sure you are speaking faith to your problems and circumstances.
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