Faith without works is dead.
These days, I can google, ehow, wikipedia and youtube everything there is to know about surfing. I can watch hours of lessons, listen to numerous podcasts and learn everything there is to know about it. I can even read reviews and get the best gear and clothing. I can get the haircut, wear the t-shirts and jewelry–look just like I am part of the culture.
But the fact is, I have never stood on a surfboard. I am not a surfer. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge I have on the subject, my body has never experienced how to keep my balance on a board, how to counteract the waves or how to even catch a wave.
I mention this only because if we aren’t careful, that is what church can become. We can become addicted to the knowledge of it and not the doing of it. We can counterfeit the actual Gospel and Great Commission with the fulfillment of learning what it is.
James said it like this:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. –James 2:14-17
This song is my prayer: that God would first call me deeper and second that I will have the faith to step out on on those waters.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
– Hillsong United
I took this photo the other day at my brother’s house. This is the lake where I learned to swim as a child. It seemed fitting for this song.