Once there was a very strong bridge builder who told all the people of his town to be at the mighty gorge promptly at 5pm, because he was going to show them something they would not want to miss! They all were excited because they thought they would be seeing the new bridge almost completed, which they needed for emergencies since they had only one other way in and out of town. When everyone arrived however, they saw only the first line that he stretches across when beginning to build a new bridge.
The man asked everyone if they believed he could walk it to the otherside of the gorge and back safely? Everyone cheered, "Yes, we have confidence in you and in the strength of that line, so of course we do!" So, he walked across and back safely. Then he asked, "Now, do you think I can carry this very heavy log with me as I do the very same thing once more?" Then again, everyone cheered...but with even more gusto!!! So, he picked up the large log and did it. Then as he stepped off the end he asked, "Now, do you also have faith that I can carry a person over and back with me like I did the log?" Everyone cheered loudly!!!! Then, he asked, "Any volunteers??"
James 2:18 Another person might say, "You have faith, but I do good things." Show me your faith apart from the good things you do. I will show you my faith by the good things I do.
Every 'faith'...true faith....has an action that follows. It might not be something you or I can see...but God can.When Jesus told certain people to do certain things in order to gain eternal life, it was not the 'doing' that saved them. It was not the selling of the rich man's possessions that would have saved him. It would have been the attempt and the doing that would have made it evident the condition of his heart towards God...as he would have been willing to remove the one thing that was the most important thing in his life that he believed sustained and fulfilled him, and therefore his willingness to believe would have been very evident, and significant!
Matthew 19:16And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what
good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17And He
said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One
who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And
Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU
SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE
WITNESS; 19HONOR YOUR FATHER AND
MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS
young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?”
21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete,
go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will
have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22But
when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one
who owned much property
So, if God asked you to give-up something, then your reaction to God uncovers and hi-lights the spot in your heart that has been taken-up by that thing you've been holding on to, and perhaps that thing that is hindering your very salvation. However, it may show your spiritual maturity and willingness to believe God when you will take the steps to allow God to take that thing and then replace it with something that is truly of God's Spirit.
Heb. 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who
initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured
the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside
Romans 10:17 Therefore faith is from the hearing
ear, and the hearing ear is from the word of God.
As we closely abide in God and His written word we get to know Him and subsequently His voice because we have come to know what He would say and what He wouldn't, and what He would do and what He wouldn't...so when He calls we can recognize it. Then each time God speaks to us concerning something He wants us to do, our response shows confident faith in God (or the lack of it).
Why do you trust the people that you trust? Doesn't it all have to do with the kind of relationship you have with them? I'm not talking about the label...mother, father, brother, friend, teacher or....
I am talking about the kind of closeness you have that has allowed you to get to know them so well that you know how much you can trust them. This is the kind of relationship God wants you to have with Him. This is what creates and grows faith. The faith that says to God, "I volunteer!"