Three Characteristics of Faith
(Mark 11:22/James 1:3/James 2:20)
1. It Has To Be Targeted/Properly Affixed.
Mark 11:22, So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God”.
We have to train our faith and aim our faith. Jesus said, “have faith in God”. If our faith is aimed and targeted, it’s going to have the maximum effect possible. If our faith is aimed at God and God alone, we’ll always hit the target. There are a lot of things that will say, “have faith in me” (your job, your relationships, your education, and your connections). I’m not suggesting that you place your faith in people or how hard you worked to get your degree, but the proper place—the only maximum effective place for our faith is God. If you place your faith in your education or job—it’s going to surely let you down.
2. It Has To Be Properly Tested.
James 1:3, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Faith has to be tested if it’s going to prove to be faith. An untested faith is not faith at all. Every level of our lives; every time we move on to something new, it’s a new test about faith. Maybe you just need to know God is a provider. If God speaks to you about somebody—no matter what they present—keep probing them until they break, keep asking how they are until they tell you.
God is not only a provider—He’s a keeper. Instead of always praying—’God move this mountain’. Sometimes the mountain is not always to be moved. There’s no test coming that is not for you to pass. If God is asking you some hard stuff, you are grown enough for it. If you don’t pass the test, then you cannot handle what’s coming—a harder test.
“An ‘academic-test’ tests what you know. A ‘faith-test’ tests who you know.” –Min. Tony Fields
“Taking somebody else’s test is cheating.”—Min. Tony Fields
3. It Has To Be A True Faith, Proven By Action.
James 2:14-20, 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead?
Any true faith is proven by action. If you don’t stand on your own faith, you are standing on somebody else’s faith, which is cheating. If you say you have faith for a spouse, prove it by not fornicating. If you say that you have faith for healing, prove it by expanding your vision of God’s miracles. If you say you have faith to be debt-free, prove it by getting a budget. You say you want to be debt-free, but you are still spending—prove it by cutting up the credit card.
You cannot live in open defiance to God. The enemy will keep feeding you but won’t tell you that the bill is coming, and you can’t pay the bill—that’s not God. God said, “I have already paid.” God will not kill you if you surrender, He will kill your desires.