It never fails, when you are in the biggest hurry, something is going to go wrong at the checkout. I had planned every minute of my day; I had a tight schedule, but with careful planning, I knew I could ace my day. I made sure I went to Walmart before 9am so I could get in and out quickly. Everything was going as expected until I tried to pay for my items. Card declined! What was going on?
The card belonged to an I organization I was making a purchase for. I knew the pin, I knew there were sufficient funds, more importantly I knew I didn’t have time for this. After many attempts and many notices that the card was declined, I called the bank. “Mam, you have to activate the card for it to work.”
Boy, did I feel like a fool. Of course, if I wanted to make use of the debit card it must be activated. It’s a small step, but a crucial one that gives me access to what the card promises…a way to what rightfully is waiting for me. Many times, in the Christian faith, we skip the activation step. Our faith is passive, meaning that it doesn’t fully accomplish what it is designed for.
That debit card had been sitting in my wallet for six months not doing what it was intended to do. It just sat there, unused. The only way that card had power is if it is used for its intended purpose. Sure, it could be used to scrape ice off of my windshield, but it doesn’t need to be activated to accomplish that.
For Christians to begin to function in the capacity they were designed for, faith needs to be active. To gain access to all the riches of Christ just waiting to be enjoyed, our faith must be activated. Faith moves, faith talks, faith walks, faith plans and faith helps others; faith doesn’t sit idle. I have started a little project since I have begun rereading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I started journaling how many times God audibly tells individuals to “get up!” God says it a lot! He usually says these words when someone is having a pity party or needs to relocate. No matter the reason, I believe it is a powerful directive that tells us to be active in our faith. If our spiritual beliefs are not evident in our physical lives, then what is the point, really?
There is a reason we call it our “walk with God”. There are things to be accomplished under heaven: souls to reach, people to feed and clothe, visit and encourage. We are not to be idle, but active. Like the un-activated debit card, we can know the pin (the scripture) and we can have knowledge of the riches that wait for us, but without putting his Word into action, we don’t get to experience the fullness of our design.
“What good is it my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If you say to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing for their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17.