James 2:17,22 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 22You see that [Abraham’s] faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
What if your car didn’t have a transmission? How far would it take you? Thinking about this scripture this morning made me think of a car that doesn’t go. Faith would be like the ignition. It is what gets fired up. The engine get revved up and makes lots of noise. Surely this car is going to tear up the road. But the driver can’t figure out how to put it in gear. What a useless act of non-driving! I don’t know anyone who would use a car for the sole purpose of starting it and sitting in neutral. Cars are supposed to go somewhere. Cars need gears.
Apparently faith needs gears, too. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good just sitting there. There is some doing that needs to be done. The example that James uses here in chapter 2 is that of Abraham. Now Abraham had faith in God; he believed the promises of God to be true. But his faith also had action to it. He…don’t try this at home… took his son up a mountain to sacrifice him if that was what God wanted him to do. That may sound tempting to some of you this morning, but I am pretty certain that’s not your faith step for the day. I digress.
Abraham had faith and Abraham had action. Believing in God is a good thing, but we are called to be “doers” of the Word. So then, faith needs to be activated with action. It needs to be shifted into gear. Maybe it is first gear for you today, maybe it is second and maybe it is even fifth. But faith has to go somewhere. If it doesn’t, James is telling us that it is as good as dead. So no faith funerals today, please. Lord God, make my faith come alive in you!