What action have you taken
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7
In Hebrews 11 there is an extensive list of names and the steps of obedience that each person took as a result of their faith. It seems that faith requires action. James 2:20 tells us that faith without the works of obedience is dead, or there is no substance in it. This idea is obvious in the list of examples given here. Let’s take a look at just a few of them listed in today’s reading.
- Abel offered an excellent sacrifice
- Noah prepared an ark
- Abraham left his homeland
- Abraham offered up Isaac
- Moses kept the Passover
- Joshua led them to Jericho
- Rahab hid the spies
Each one of these individuals put action behind their faith by obeying what God said to them. They didn’t just hope and pray that something would happen, they looked to God for the answer and then obeyed when He gave them the next step.
This concept of faith is still alive and working today. We look to God with our struggles to get our part of the solution. Then by faith we take that step of obedience and talk to God again for the next step. Maybe there will be something else or maybe the next thing is to wait on God. The point is that there is no faith (dead faith) without accompanying action. Taking your problems to God without being willing to change and line up with His direction is just wishing that He will make everything better again. I know God is extremely gracious and sometimes this does work, but God wants to do greater things in your life and He wants to do them with you, not just for you. Your heavenly Father wants to share that joy with you that comes when you believe what He says enough to act on it.
Think about how much joy each of the people above experienced after their obedience. First, they were given some off the wall instructions the required faith to carry out. Not because it was so difficult, although some of it was, but because it didn’t make sense in the natural. Like, God told Noah to build an ark when Noah didn’t even know what rain was, nor had he ever experienced it. Abraham was told to move and had no idea where he was going. That doesn’t make any sense and who would do that? Moses gave the instructions for Passover that God had given him, but how was a lamb’s blood going to save them? Joshua got this absurd plan from the commander of God’s army to walk around the city walls for seven days and then the walls would just fall down. What?? However, after they obeyed, the answer came with great joy because they knew they did their part and God made them a hero.
Now we understand why faith was required. Their acts of obedience to the Word/instruction of God proved that they believed that if they did their part, God would show up and do His part. Now that is real faith.
Today I want to encourage you to obey what you believe your Heavenly Father is asking you to do. When you go to Him in prayer with your lists of concerns and cares, go with the attitude that you are going for the instructions for your part in the solution. Quickly do your part, then go back to God for any additional steps you may need to take. In this way you are working together with God to accomplish His desire and yours. It brings God great joy to walk through life with you in faith!
Today’s scripture reading: Hebrews 11:8-29