You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. James 2:24
“It’s freezing outside, you better put your jacket on,” I said. My nine-year-old son glanced at me with a very skeptical yet familiar look on his face.
The warm Spring sun was pouring through the living room window completely belying the actual outdoor temperature. I could see that my son was quickly trying to reconcile what he saw with what I had just said.
“I’m not kidding, Kyle, it’s absolutely freezing out there,” I asserted.
“I know, I heard you,” was his reply.
“You heard me but you don’t believe me, do you?”
“No, I mean yes. I believe you, Mom,” came the reply.
Now I’ve gone through this same scenario a few times with him before, and I’m sorry if I’m a little cynical but I could tell he didn’t believe me. Sure he said he did, but I could tell by his mannerisms that his statement of belief was more to placate me than anything else.
Therefore, I was not completely surprised to walk back into the living room a few minutes later just in time to find him coming back into the house to find his winter jacket.
I wondered how often I do the same to God? One minute I’m saying, “I trust you Lord for our provision” and the next I’m worrying about our finances. All too often I say that I believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and yet turn around and act as though I can’t trust what God tells me in His Word?
I believe that this insubordination to God’s Word is exactly what James is confronting in Chapter 2 Verses 14-26, for we know that faith expresses itself in obedience. We are justified or righteous in the eyes of God when we not only say we believe in Him but prove that faith through acts of obedience. If my son had truly believed me when I told him it was cold out, regardless of what he saw and without question, he would have put his jacket on prior to going outside.
If we truly have faith in and rely on God, then our actions should prove this faith. Many misunderstand these verses to mean without good deeds we can not get into heaven, but if you look closely, James didn’t say “good” deeds he said deeds. No less than five times he refers to deeds in direct correlation to faith. I can not work my way to heaven by doing wonderful things for the people around me. In fact, being a “good” person in the eyes of the world is really not what is important. Being faithful to the Word of God, and proving our faith by obedience is what God desires of me.
True faith, saving faith dies on a cross to save those who would believe even before anyone does, it builds an Ark when there is no rain falling, it places the answer to prayer on the alter of sacrifice knowing God is in control and will keep His promise. Faith that saves does just what the Holy Spirit prompts us to, minute by minute, day by day, no matter what it looks like outside.
Lord Jesus please, help me overcome my unbelief!