Central Truth: The actions of a doer of the Word coincide with his confession.
One of the greatest mistakes many believers make is to confess their faith in the Word of God and at the same time contradict their confession by wrong actions. We say that we are trusting God to provide for our financial needs, but at the same time we are worrying about how we’re going to pay our bills. There is no corresponding action there. One minute we confess that the Word of God is true, and the very next moment we repudiate everything we say by wrong actions. Our actions have to correspond with our believing if we are to receive from God.
Faith Made Perfect
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is but one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect.
Weymouth’s translation of verses 14 and 22 reads, “What good is it my brethren, if a man professes to have faith and yet his actions do not correspond? … You notice that his faith was cooperating with his actions, and by his actions his faith was perfected.”
Some have thought that the Book of James is written about salvation. However, James was not writing to the unsaved, but to believers. He said, “What doth it profit, my brethren …” He was writing to his brothers and sisters in Christ, pointing out that faith without corresponding actions won’t work for them, even though they are believers.
James also said, (James 1:22). Another translation reads, “… deluding your own selves.” There are many self-deluded people who blame their problems on the devil or on some individual when really they have deluded themselves. This is because they are not doers of the Word. The actions of a doer of the Word coincide with his confession.
The Storms of Life
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
When the storms of life come, we see some people going down. Their problem is that they are not doers of the Word. They are not practicing the teaching of the Word. The same wind and storm came upon both of these houses. The reason one was destroyed and the other wasn’t was that the wise man was a doer of the Word and the foolish one wasn’t. It isn’t the storms of life that defeat us. If the storm defeated us, it would defeat all of us. Some people face a storm and are not defeated. Yet others who face the same storm are destroyed. Those who are not defeated act upon God’s Word. The defeated ones may be truly saved, yet their actions do not correspond with their faith.
When the test of sickness comes, some are laid low while others stand their ground and refuse to accept it. The storms of life come upon all of us. They may be sickness, financial difficulty, family problems, or some other test. The winds blow and the floods come, but he who is a doer of the Word will hold fast to his confession of faith, for he knows that God cannot fail.
Many who profess Christ and who declare that they believe the Bible from Genesis to Revelation are not doers of the Word. They are talkers about the Word. There is a difference between talkers about the Word and doers of the Word. They have mentally assented that the Word of God is true, but it doesn’t do them any good because they are not making it their own. They are not claiming its promises.
To Trust in the Lord is To Trust in His Word
The way to make God’s Word your own is to act upon it. Do what it says. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). The only way to trust in the Lord is to trust His Word. You cannot trust in the Lord without trusting His Word. God and His Word are one just as you and your word are one. If your word is not good, then you are not good. If God’s Word isn’t any good, then He isn’t any good. But His Word is good and He watches over His Word.
“Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12). Another version reads, “I watch over my word to perform it.” If you don’t take the Word to be yours, He doesn’t have anything to make good in your life. He wants to make it good in your life. He wants you to have what His Word promises. But if you don’t act upon His Word, then He doesn’t have anything to make good in your life.
When I trust in the Word with all of my heart and stop leaning upon human reasoning and stop looking to people for deliverance, then I have actions that correspond with my faith. My actions are in perfect fellowship with my confession of faith. It has taken some of us a long time to learn this; and it will take others longer because they have been walking in the wrong pathway. Their minds are so cluttered with human reasoning that it will take awhile to renew their minds with the Word of God so they will have actions that correspond with their confession of faith.
Until there are corresponding actions, there will be continual failure in life. I can confess and say that God is the strength of my life. But if at the same time I continue to talk about my weaknesses and lack of faith, I will be defeated because there is no corresponding action. I am resorting to human methods instead of trusting the Lord, and this brings confusion to my spirit. It brings weakness and failure to my life. There is just one thing for us to do and that is to turn to God’s Word and act upon His Word.
Our worst enemy is the flesh. The flesh and natural human reasoning would limit us to our own ability. We look to the circumstances, the problems, the tests, and storms and say that we can’t. The language of doubt, the flesh, and the senses is “I can’t. I haven’t the ability, the opportunity, or the strength. I’ve been limited.” But the language of faith says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
Paul didn’t say that he could do all things because he was an apostle and had special power or grace. He said, “I can do all things through Christ …” and we have this same access to Christ. Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). You are a new creature in Christ too. Christ doesn’t belong to Paul any more than He belongs to you.
The language of faith says, “I can do all things through Christ. Our Father strengthens us. I cannot be conquered and I cannot be defeated.”
If natural forces come against you, they cannot whip you because there aren’t enough natural forces in all the world to conquer Him who dwells within you. “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). You are fortified from within.
I have learned how to put the Greater One to work for me. Not only am I born of God, a partaker of His love, but I have dwelling in me the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead. I have God’s wisdom, strength, and ability in me. I am learning how to let that wisdom govern my intellect. I am letting him govern my mind and speak through my lips. I am daring to think God’s thoughts after Him. I am daring to say in the presence of all my old enemies, “God is my ability.” “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” (Psalm 23:5). “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). God has made me greater than mine enemies. God has made me put my heel on the neck of weakness, fear, and inability.
The strength of God is mine. I am not trusting in my own strength because the Bible doesn’t say a word about my being strong. It says that God is my strength. So many people are struggling and trying to do something themselves. They get up to testify and tell everyone to pray for them that they will hold out to the end. But God doesn’t want you to hold out like that. He wants you to let Him do it. Wrap yourself in the promises of God.
In 1937 a dirigible that the government had made was being moored in Akron, Ohio. Two hundred men were holding it, to moor it to a steel mast. Suddenly it shot into the air. Some men hung on and went up with it. Some of them fell and broke legs and arms, others were killed. But one man kept hanging on. People watching him on the ground were screaming, knowing that at any minute he would fall to earth and every bone in his body would be broken.
After nearly two hours had passed the dirigible was brought down, was moored to the mast, and the man was rescued. An ambulance was waiting to take him to the hospital, but he said he was all right. When asked how he had held on, he said that he had found about four feet of rope, and while he held to the dirigible with one hand, he tied the rope securely around his waist and it held him. He had been swinging free, enjoying the scenery, while people on the ground had been worrying about him. Isn’t this the way many of us are? Trying to hold on and hold out until we give out. We fall, when all we need to do is wrap ourselves in the promises of God and swing free, enjoying the scenery.
I once heard the story of a man walking down the railroad track with a pack on his back. When he came to a section gang repairing the railroad, he thought the foreman was going to tell him to get off the track, so he showed him a ticket which he had. The foreman told him that this didn’t give him the right to walk down the track. Many people are like this in that they are on the right track, but they ought to be riding instead of walking. Also, they should check their baggage because they don’t have to carry it. The Bible says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (I Peter 5:7). The strength of God is ours. The ability of God is ours. Claim it. Act it. Act upon God’s Word. If you do, He will go to work for you.
Memory Text: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22)
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22)
Previous Lesson – Kenneth Hagin – The God Kind of Faith
Next Lesson – Kenneth Hagin – How to Write Your Own Ticket With God