Hebrews 11:30 (NIV): By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
Faith is action based upon God’s promise. Today many people confound faith with mere belief. But if one’s belief does not prompt action based on what God has said, it is not true faith, but merely belief in a principle.
If the Israelites believed with all of their hearts that God could cause the walls of Jericho to fall, but would not march around it for seven days in accordance with His word, their mere belief would not have brought the walls down, no matter how strongly they “believed” that it was possible. It was only when their beliefs inspired obedient action (faith) that the desired and promised actions occurred, “and the walls came a-tumbling down.”
If Noah had believed with all of his heart that God was going to bring a world-ending flood on the earth, and that He was going to save him and his whole family out of it, but would not build the ark, his mere belief in God’s desire and ability to save him would have had no effect, no matter how strongly he “believed” it. The flood waters would have washed him and his family away with all the rest. It was only when his belief inspired the obedient action (faith) of building the ark that God was able to save those eight from the disaster.
If Abraham had believed with all of his heart that God was going to enable Sarah to conceive a son, but was unwilling to go in to her as God instructed him, his mere belief in God’s ability to enable conception would not have resulted in the promised pregnancy, no matter how strongly he “believed” that it was possible. It was only when his belief inspired obedient action (faith) that God enabled the pregnancy that both of them longed for.
God can do anything, and He will fulfill every promise that He has made to His people, IF we will meet the prerequisites of the promise. Mere believe that God CAN do something, or that He has promised to do something will not result in His making it so. It is only when our belief inspires obedient action (faith) that we will see what God has promised become real.
Father, I can see so clearly how we often miss the step of obedient action that moves our belief into the arena of faith, and why we seem to experience so few of Your promised blessings these days. Help us to connect the dots, to cross the line into true faith, so that we can live in constant fulfillment of Your promises today. Amen.