You may listen to the 10 minute audio right here on the website by clicking on the Pod Player for the episode title below. You may listen as you read also. If you prefer to simply read the message, just keep scrolling past the past the podcast player to find your traditionally written blog post.
What is “Active Faith” Anyway? Should I Worry If I Think I Don’t Have It?
What is active faith? Take just a second and think about how you would answer that question.
Many of us have ideas about this related to different types of works or service related to faith.
Active faith, however, at its basis, is very simple.
If you study the words and actions of Jesus in the entire books of Matthew and Mark, you will learn that active faith is the faith that enables you to discern where God is working in your life and in the lives of those around you. You will also see that, over and over again, people were praised by Jesus for their faith when they did nothing more than this: they made an effort to come to Jesus for help.
We’ve been complicating the idea of “active faith” or “faith vs. works” for way too long, and it’s time to truly understand what it is and how powerful it is.
Over and over again, Jesus praised individuals for their great faith based on just one choice that person made. And that choice was the decision and the action to come to Jesus for help.
In every instance, the action these persons were praised for was this: they believed enough to actually come to Jesus, to make an effort to get to Him, and to ask Him for help. They believed that Jesus could intervene and do what they asked of him. And Jesus called that FAITH.
How does this apply today?
Even the well known verse in Hebrews 11:1 gives us a direct definition of true faith. It says that faith is defined in part as “the evidence of things not seen.”
Friends, our answered prayers are the evidence of the unseen actions and activity that God takes when we pray.
Authentic, heartfelt prayer by a person who is following Jesus and allowing themselves to be changed by Him and his teachings - this is what leads to the evidence, the outcomes, that gives us strong faith. However, we have to be attuned to it. We have to remember what we have prayed and wait and record the answer, because the answer is the evidence.
In the early first century, for three years the people who lived near where Jesus was had the privilege of being able to go to him in person and get an immediate response to their request. Today, we go to Jesus in spirit – through prayer. The quality of our prayer life is probably the number one indicator of our level of active faith. We are told over and over again by Christ, and then later by his disciples, that we should bring all of our concerns to God. Not just the big concerns. All of them. (1 Peter 5:7) If we are doing that, if we are truly bringing all of our concerns, the big ones and small ones, to God, and doing so with belief and trust that He can and may intervene if it is within His will for us – then we are demonstrating great, active, faith.
So in closing, up until now, what has the term active faith meant to you? And now, after you have considered how Jesus himself defined and identified those with great faith, How would you define “active faith” now? Are we all capable of demonstratingthis type of active faith in such a manner on a daily basis? How do we think our lives might transform if we do?
Let’s truly consider these questions. Do we take all our concerns to God daily? Or do we fret and stress for hours or even days first? Do we wear ourselves out before we finally realize we need to talk to God? I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of concerns over the course of the week or over a month. There is no way I can take all those concerns to God and then look for the evidence of a response without somehow keeping track of my prayers.
Here is a tip to help, if you need it. If you haven't started a prayer journal yet -- start one. It is a simple record of your prayers in which you track and then you date when you first prayed the prayer, and then later you review your list of requests and mark down when and how each request is answered. Don’t wait until you have the perfect journal to start your prayer journal. Grab a basic notebook, a sheet of paper, the back of an envelope, whatever you have available at this moment and write down your prayer concerns and take them to God. I don’t even use a notebook anymore. Now I just use my laptop. I have a word document on my laptop and I just type my prayer concerns in that document and take them to God. I can even put a private password on the word document so it cannot be opened by anyone else, so that all those concerns are between only me and God, and perhaps some of the angels.
Just the act of having a prayer journal and reviewing it supports the growth of continuing in great faith! How can you deny what God has done for you if you have kept, and are keeping, an ongoing record of prayer results in your life? There is nothing I can think of that you can do to track the work of God in your life other than keeping a prayer journal. You often times will even start to see how God is working even when prayers seem unanswered or seem to be a “no.” If there is one thing I want to encourage my readers and listeners to do, it is to keep a prayer journal and review it and update it regularly. I cannot stress enough how much this will empower both your prayer life, and your faith life!
Finally, if you need help with the practical aspects of prayer, such as a simple prayer method or as simple process for “tracking your prayers,” I will be covering those topics soon in these podcasts and on this blog this season. If you do not want to wait and think you need some help right now, I have written a short, but powerful book which can be found on Amazon. It is called Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today. I have received good feedback from many who have read it, and they have told me it has helped them to renew and get re-motivated again in their daily relationship with God. It’s just a resource I want my readers and listeners to know is readily available if anyone is trying to think of some renewed strategies to help us with our spiritual motivation and to be more present with God in our day to day lives. Again it is titled, Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today and it is published under the author name, Sherry Elaine Evans.
If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today
|Book on Amazon|
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos
The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks
Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans
Epiosodes and more also found on our YouTube channel: