Faith & Actions
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.
Satan is so masterful; he can take a right thought and communicate a wrong principle thru it if we're not careful. I feel so much compassion for people like the Buddhist monks or Hindus who devote their lives to piety trying to contact God but not realizing that He's just so simple to find. He sent His Son and said if you receive My Son you'll get My Spirit too if you want it. But like Paul said about the Jews, they want a different plan than the one God established. Some want to do it thru mere religious Law - Go to church. Do this. Do that. And all these things are important, but there is an extreme on both sides.
On the flipside there are people who say going to church is "under the Law". That is totally a deceptive teaching. Don't ever buy that. Because the Jews would try to be righteous by the Law and God said, "No, that's not how you're righteous" then some of the New Testament Christians want to say all that is not important; we're saved by grace so things like church attendance, Bible reading, and giving are all optional... this is also false. Satan will be happy to take you to either extreme.
There is a thing called OBEDIENCE. For example, if you wanted to hear Jesus preach you had to go where He was preaching, which was the synagogue (like in Nazereth). What happened the day Jesus taught in that "church"? You learned something. What happened to those who stayed home? They died in there ignorance. The same is true today. Church is important because it helps build you in the Spirit...and what He ever expected, He's still expecting.
Hebrews 11:1 is an awesome description of faith. Don't confuse the terms here in this verse; it says faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Some people misread that and think it says "faith is what you're hoping for". That's not what it said. Pay attention to the beginning of the verse. It says, "Faith is the assurance." Assurance means you know you got it. And the last half of the verse says you are convinced of what you don't yet see. Until you're there, you are not in faith.
Now, faith and actions go together. You cannot sit on your blessed assurance and say, "God, bless me" because as James tells us, faith without corresponding action is dead. God cannot bless you if all you do is believe Him and never put legs to your faith. You'll find places in the Bible where God told the people "I have given it to you, now get going." Most humans fail because they don't want the struggle, they don't want to have to put forth effort. Effort. Sometimes you have to make what God is giving you happen by applying right actions... or it will not happen.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit there and pray...but sometimes you need to get up and do something in the natural and you're sitting there in your room praying and God is waiting on you and you're waiting on God and God is waiting on you and you're waiting on God and God is waiting on you and you're waiting on God.
There will be times when you have to get up and do something as God directs...other times you need to spend that time in prayer which will cause the manifestation of what you're praying for. Some people don't spend sufficient time with God and His Word and that keeps the manifestation from coming. Others have spent proper time with God and now need to get up and do some things in the natural....in other words, act on your faith.