Active Faith vs Passive Faith
Faith has become such a common word that it has almost lost its significance. Most Christians are quick to say, ‘Yes, I believe the Word. I have faith.’ But if honest will admit that there are times when they struggle when things don’t go exactly as they think they should. The Lord began to deal with me and show me that there is an ACTIVE faith and a PASSIVE faith.
Passive faith does not deny the truth. It is quick to say – ‘Yes, I believe the Word’, but passive faith too often believes that God can, but not necessarily that He will. Passive faith is a bigger enemy of victory in our lives than doubt itself. At least with doubt, the problem is obvious, and we know what to work on. But passive faith can sound so right that we deceive ourselves into thinking we are walking in active faith.
I can’t really describe adequately in words what makes the difference between active faith and passive faith, but you will know on the inside when you are operating in active faith. Something will begin to rise up inside of you where you know that you know! It will feel active rather than passive. In passive faith, you feel disconnected on the inside while thinking, ‘Oh yes, I believe the Word.’ But nothing changes. We must constantly work to develop an expectancy that will bring excitement on the inside.
God will sometimes tell you something to do in the physical realm, but it won’t be anything you have to reason up. Reasoning brings a person into passive faith because it takes one’s eyes off God and into self. Ask God, and He will often tell you something to do. He told Naaman to dip in the Jordan River. God may instruct you to fast to break the bonds of wickedness or write a covenant.
Every time I’ve been about to encounter a real trial of my faith, God has given me a point of contact, a visual picture, or a Rhema Word of Knowledge. Often, God has had me take the Lord’s supper as a point of contact to get my faith active. When God gives you a specific thing to do, just in the act of doing it, active faith will begin to emerge.
Passive faith is a state of complacency. I believe Psalm 91 is one of the most important passages to keep your faith active if you let the message explode in you fresh and new every morning, as though you were seeing it for the very first time.
Fear is not passive faith. Fear is active faith in the negative. But, at least, fear is easy to recognize. Sadly, we often don’t recognize passive faith. Take family curses for instance. We have seen curses in the family line so long we’re used to them. For example: ‘Oh yes, that low blood sugar runs in our family’, and we don’t do anything about it. That’s operating in passive faith.
Active faith faces something head-on, uses the Word of God, and takes authority because “Active Faith” initiates action. According to Webster’s, an action is: 1) to put something into motion; 2) a military encounter to stop hostile forces; 3) to cause change. These are definitions we can use for active faith.
We get into fear because we think faith is so hard. We don’t have to prove it, feel it, or perform the miracle. We simply choose to believe God’s Word.
God has a promise in His Word to cover everything you will ever face. Confess God’s promises out loud until you believe them in your heart. That is the faith formula in Romans 9-10, an exchange system where you exchange what you see in the natural for God’s promise. 2 Cor 5:7: my children go by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor 4:18: The things you see are temporal (subject to change).
Negative thoughts send messages to which the body responds. A thought of sickness will eventually send a message that the body receives. Our mind has to be renewed to think what the Word says.
Active faith uses the Word of God and changes things in the spiritual realm. Just giving mental assent to the truth of God’s Word is not enough. It’s like taking a flu shot or a polio vaccine back in the old days. That shot gave you enough of the flu virus or the polio virus to keep the disease away. That’s what passive faith does. It allows just enough knowledge of God’s Word to make you think you know the truth but not enough to build the needed faith. Passive faith is just like that inoculation. It’s just enough truth to think you’re OK and become complacent, but not enough to put the Word to work.
Faith is a military encounter between hostile forces. When our country calls a young man or woman into the army for a tour of duty, what is it called? ACTIVE DUTY! You will never hear of a soldier being sent into passive duty. Even the world knows there has to be action if a war is to be won. We’re in God’s end-time army in the enemy war zone; therefore, we are each called into active duty.
If you leave the doors open in your home, you are not inviting anything in, but an animal will eventually come in. Heat in the summer and cold in the winter will come in. Mosquitos will find their way in. Passivity and complacency leave our spiritual door open. But active faith will keep the door shut to the wiles of the devil.
1 John 5:19: The whole world lies in the power of the evil one, but (vs 4) the victory that overcomes the world is our active faith. We believe victory is possible, but just believing it’s possible is passive faith. It has lost its power because it has lost its expectation. Romans 4:17: God called those things that were not, as though they were. He knew it would work. Any time we lose our expectancy, our faith has become passive. It is a choice to move back into active faith quickly.
I had someone share something with me that demonstrated active faith. He he had a fungus under a toenail for 14 years, a mole that had gotten red and irritated, and a wart. It wasn’t anything life-threatening, but it was irritating, so he felt like God told him to get active in his faith. He began to curse those things by the power of God and expected them to leave.
When something is chronic, it is easy to think—I know those things are not part of my inheritance, but eventually slip into complacency and give it permission to stay without even realizing it. He said that each day God would nudge him not to get complacent and consistently hit it hard with the Word. The first thing that left him was the fungus – leaving just a dent in the toenail. The next thing, the wart fell off. And finally, he began to see the mole get smaller. At first, he thought it was his imagination. But eventually, the mole disappeared altogether. That does not happen in the natural. God’s Word works!!! But, we have to use active faith.
When Rahab hid the spies in Joshua 2, she was told she and her relatives would be spared when Jericho was taken. The real test came when the two spies left her home. How easy it would have been to start thinking, “How will they get the Word to a million Israelis to spare my home? How will they notice one tiny little scarlet thread in a window?”
Satan puts so many logical fears and doubts in our minds, but Rahab did not waver. They utterly destroyed everything in the city, yet God kept the promise, and her household was spared. Rahab operated in active faith. She believed the promise and was obedient.
Don’t leave your family out of the Blood Covenant protection by neglect. An active faith saved Rahab’s family, and we have an even better covenant. Jesus bought back on the cross everything Adam lost in the fall, and now we have been given the same power and authority in His name.
-Peggy Joyce Ruth
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