James 2:20b – Faith without works is dead
What does it mean to add works (action) to your faith?
Too many people think that works means proving to God that you have faith by doing something to prove it to God and others. An example would be that you get in a prayer line to receive healing from eye problems that cause you to have to wear glasses.
Right after prayer (even though you still need your glasses) you decide to prove to God you believe He healed you so you take off your gasses. You even drive home not wearing them. You go about your daily business not wearing your glasses. You believe you are proving to God that you have faith – EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T SEE WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES.
What you don’t realize is that you are not in faith when you drive your car and can barely see the road. Or when you put passengers at risk because you can’t see the stop sign.
You are not in faith; you are either in foolishness or presumption.
James 2:20 says in the New Testament in Modern Speech says, “Faith without corresponding actions is dead.”
There is a corresponding action you add to faith. It’s not trying to prove anything to God.
Believing the Bible – acting on it – is your corresponding action. Go read the story in Mark Chapter 2 about a man who was bedridden (some translations say he was paralyzed). There is a point in Verse 5 (GWV), “When Jesus SAW their faith…”
Their faith was obvious (visible) because they would not give up on getting their friend to Jesus no matter how hard it was. The man didn’t give up because he allowed them to lower him through a roof to get to Jesus even though he could have been hurt.
Can you see faith with your physical eyes? Nope, faith is of the spirit. You can’t see spiritual things with the physical eye.
Take this to the natural realm – can you see the wind? Nope, but you can see the results of the wind. So what did Jesus see when He saw their faith? He saw their actions.
Let’s bring it to the modern world. I’ll leave you with a story about my mom when she was about 60 years of age. She used to work out of town about 1.5 hours away from her home. Before she got her small garage apartment for the week days, she stayed in a motel 3 days a week. She’d be home with dad on the weekends.
One morning she woke up in the motel and got ready to get up and go about her day. She sat up in bed and then fell back on the bed with so much chest pain, she couldn’t move. She knew her dad had died of a heart attack at the age of 60. She knew the symptoms and she knew she was in trouble; she began to pray.
It felt worse and worse. She said it was like an elephant sitting on her chest. She lay in the bed and kept confessing her healing. She quoted scriptures. She actually told God that if she died and ended up in heaven she was going to get in His face and ask why she didn’t get healed since she totally believed in healing.
Finally she heard Him speak to her in that still small voice (not an audible one), “Eddie? (her name) What do you think you’re doing?”
She replied, “I’m confessing my healing. I’m believing for my healing. I’m saying I am healed.”
He asked, “What are you doing lying in the bed then? If you believe you’re healed, what would you normally be doing?”
She said, “Well, if I’m healed then I would get up, pack, load the car, walk across the road and get a coffee from McDonalds. Then I’d go to work.”
“When are you planning on doing that?” He asked. “If you stay in that bed, you’re going to die.”
She drug herself out of bed, in pain with a numb right arm, packed and loaded the car, walked across a busy road to McDonalds, got her coffee, got back to her car, and went to work. While at work she called my dad and told him what was going on. He offered to drive to the town where she worked and take her to the hospital; she declined, saying that she was either healed or she wasn’t and she decided to choose healing.
I didn’t find out until several years later that her right arm that had gone numb stayed numb for two weeks. She said that she never told anyone (except my dad) but she was beginning to question God in her mind.
She never stopped speaking, “I am healed. I have been healed from heart attack and that includes all the side-effects” even though her arm was basically useless. That was another corresponding action: she never stopped saying what God had to say about it (she was healed).
Then one Sunday during church service, she was listening to the message but also semi-questioning God about this remaining symptom. He asked her, “Eddie, do you believe what you’ve been saying?” and she replied, “Yes I do.” She didn’t hear anything else from Him but also quit questioning Him.
On the way home (a 45 minute drive), all the pain and numbness suddenly went away. She never had another heart-attack symptom for the rest of her life until she moved to heaven at 82.
Faith without works – corresponding action – is lifeless and worthless. Stand and continue to stand, doing what needs to be done. Don’t go by what you see or feel. Go by what the Bible says (but on that note, if you feel you need to go to a doctor, do so without guilt. This is my mother’s story and she had years of believing God for health and healing under her belt).
Never give up and never surrender to the lies of the enemy.