The first century church was powerful because they faithfully demonstrated their passion to God by being obedient to His Word. Whenever there is obedience, there is power. Lack of obedience demonstrates a lack of trust on the part of the believer, in the amazing and awesome capabilities of our God.
The Bible is filled with individuals who exercised an active faith in God. By faith, God used Moses to send the plagues upon Egypt. By faith God used Joshua to cause the sun to stand still. By Hezekiah’s faith, God dispatched an angel and killed in one night 185,000 men in Sennacherib’s army. By faith Elijah prayed and it did not rain for 3 ½ years. And by faith, he prayed again and the rain fell. By faith the Hebrew boys were victorious in the fiery furnace. By faith Daniel made pillows out of submissive lions.
Active faith demonstrates obedience. If we want to see the real power, mountain moving power, soul changing power, life changing power, we must demonstrate our obedience to God in living lives that are pleasing unto Him. An active faith can open doors that no man can shut, and shut doors that no man can open.
Jesus uses a common illustration to explain a profound point concerning faith. The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. Listen, why would God increase what you have, if you are not using what He has already given to you? Luke chapter 16 talks about the unjust steward who wasted his master’s goods, and Jesus made the point of teaching that if you are unfaithful with a little, who will give you a lot? If you are not using the faith you have now, why should God give you more?
Jesus taught that mustard seed faith can make a powerful effect, if it is used. The mustard seed was a small seed that produced great trees. Mustard seed faith is better than no faith at all. The teaching point in Jesus’ lecture was that an active faith moves the unmovable, and makes the impossible possible!
Faith must be a possession of our souls. Faith is more than belief. It’s the way we live on a daily basis. The reason that some Christians are more powerful than others is because they have devoted themselves to God. Active faith does not lie dormant, but can be seen in the life of the believer. In actuality, dormant faith is good for nothing! It does not matter how much shouting, singing, and praising that goes on, on Sunday morning, if there is no active faith, we have only had religious entertainment, which will leave us hungry, hurting, and helpless.
“For the just shall live by faith.” This means that we are to strive to live in accordance with the statues (scriptures) of almighty God. Failure to live by faith is sin. Romans 14:23 says “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” What is sin? Sin is “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.”
Active faith is demonstrated and displayed in the good times as well as the bad. It is not to be used as a good luck charm, in the times of distress and disaster. If we live by our faith, it will make itself visible in the midst of calamities (distress, catastrophes, mishaps, or tragedies). Daniel 3:16-18 says “16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Active faith says that I am going to totally trust God, even if it means that I might have to die. Job 13:15 says “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
However, many fail to be the benefactors of this gracious gift from God. If active faith is to be effective, it must first be activated. It has to be put into action. Active faith honors and pleases God.
* Active faith will stand, when everything else beings to crumble.
* Active faith will hang on, when everybody else want to let go.
* Active faith will trust, when those around you begin to doubt.
* Active faith will be calm when everyone else is chaotic.
* Active faith will give you strength in weakness.
* Active faith can bring stability to unstable situations.
* Active faith can make unmanageable things manageable.
* Active faith believes all things are possible through Christ Jesus.
* Active faith believes what God has promised, He is able to perform.
* Active faith believes that God is able to keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
* Active faith believes God can and will supply our every need.
* Active faith believes that God can calm the raging seas in our lives.