Activating Faith

Last summer our family joined our town’s community swimming pool. Since we don’t have a pool, I wanted to get the boys more exposed to water. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go much at all because both boys didn’t know how to swim and it became very challenging for me alone to keep a close eye on them.

My youngest son, Bryce, my little daredevil, has absolutely no fear. He is so bold and will walk right into the deep end if I don’t stop him! …Which is not comforting for me at all. My older son, Connor, is very cautious and hesitant which is good but when it came to getting him in the water, it was no easy task. I stood there in the pool about waist deep and told him to jump and I would catch him. He looked at me like I was crazy!

He stood at the very edge of the pool with his toes barely hanging off with a look of absolute fear and terror. I continued to encourage him to jump reassuring him each time that I would catch him. He even said, “Mommy I know you will catch me but the water is so deep!” And then finally, after what felt like hours, he jumped into my arms! Certainly a thank you Jesus moment!

You see, Connor said he trusted me but he was afraid to demonstrate his trust by jumping in the water. Until he actually jumped in, his faith was not demonstrated and was only just a thought in his mind. It was empty faith with nothing to back it up! There is a difference between believing and agreeing in your mind something to be true (called intellectual assent) and having genuine true faith proven by action.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not prove itself with actions, is dead. James 2:17NIV

You see his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. James 2:22 NLT

Many times we hope, believe and pray for things to happen in our lives…we say that we have faith and trust God, but we hold ourselves back from taking the first step because of fear, insecurities, pride, maybe even laziness. So we wait and say that we will move forward when we overcome what’s holding us back…Or we wait and believe God is going to make the first move.

It is not merely enough to say or think that you have faith or trust God. That faith must have action behind it. It must be activated!

What are you hoping and believing God for in your life? What are you doing to activate your faith?

There are many incredible instances in the bible of activating faith. In Exodus 14:15-22, we find the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. God had promised to deliver the Israelites from Egypt and now the Israelites felt they were trapped. With the Egyptian army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them, they began to lose faith in God. Their response was one of fear, grumbling, complaining, and despair.

The Lord said to Moses in Exodus 14:15-16, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry land.”

And later, verse 21 says, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.”

Check this out! God told Moses what he had to do. He just needed to do it! It wasn’t enough for Moses to know that God could deliver them or that He could part the sea. God did not perform this miracle until Moses stepped forward and put his faith into action…activating faith! When Moses raised his staff and reached his hand out over the water, then God parted the sea!

Sometimes we know in our minds what we need to do, but we pray for more guidance and direction. As a result, we postpone doing it. If we know what we should do, then it is time to get moving or “move on” like God told the Israelites! Many times we know God can do this and God can do that but we must activate our faith and step out.

In Joshua 3:13, we see another amazing example of activating faith when Joshua crossed the Jordan River. Joshua has now taken over as the leader of the Israelites. Joshua and the Israelites were carrying the Ark of the Covenant when they came up to the Jordan River. At this time, the Jordan River was in its flood stages so the water was very high. God told Joshua to tell the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant that when they reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, they are to go and stand in the river.

Joshua 3:15 “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away…”

I absolutely love this! So interesting that God chose the springtime when the Jordan River was at its’ highest water levels to demonstrate his power… and when the priests needed to activate their faith!

Sound familiar? Do you feel like what you are believing for is like those insurmountable high water levels? This is the perfect circumstance for you to activate your faith and for God to show his great power!

What if these priests were afraid to step into the river? They had to step into the water in order for God to perform this miracle.

You don’t know the miracle God has for you until you activate your faith and step out!

In these examples, Moses and Joshua and even Connor demonstrated activating faith by putting their faith into action.  They may have felt afraid, discouraged, or insecure but they exemplified genuine true faith…doing it afraid, doing it with discouragement, and doing it with insecurities. They are no different than you and me and if they can activate their faith, so can you!

Reflection Points:

1)    What Red Sea or Jordan River are you wanting to cross? What are you praying and trusting God for in your life? Have you activated your faith?

2)    If not, what staff do you need to raise? What river do you need to step into?

3)    What is holding you back from putting your faith into action?

Action Points:

1)    Determine what you need to do to activate your faith.

2)    Determine what is holding you back from taking that first step.

3)    Pray for the Lord’s courage and strength to help you overcome what is holding you back and activate your faith today!

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