The reality is we activate our faith by doing something that requires God to intervene on our behalf. If we don’t do anything that puts us at risk of losing face or looking stupid, we won’t move in faith. Saying to someone that Jesus can heal him or her when you pray for him or her is risky business. How will you feel if nothing appears to happen?
Let me explain our situation by using a natural experience that mirrors the reality of activating your faith. If you apply for a credit card or a new one is sent to you to replace your expiring one, you have to activate that card. There is usually a label across the front of the card saying call this 0800 number to activate the card. Now if you don’t call, the card won’t be active. You can carry it in your pocket, billfold or wallet everywhere you go. You may have an unlimited credit line. But if you don’t activate it by calling that number, you can’t use it. You have to call that number.
Well, how do we activate our faith? We activate by calling God’s number through prayer. Hebrews 11:6 states: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God does not respond to need. If He did, we would all have the answers and provision we have been looking for. The world is full of needy people. If there are 60 million people in the UK, there are 60 million needs. But God does not respond to that. He most clearly says in Hebrews 11 that only faith pleases God. That kind of faith is two fold in nature: 1) it believes God exists and 2) He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. There are a huge number of people who believe God exists. They are everywhere but that doesn’t mean they are moving in faith. Many of them have a viewpoint that God isn’t really in the business of answering prayer. The second part of effective faith is the belief that God rewards me if I earnestly seek Him. That is not a half-hearted attempt or laissez-faire attitude. Earnest means intensely, or even excessively, serious and sincere in manner or attitude. To be earnest in pursuit of God in faith is to be like a little child whose parent has promised them chocolate. They will harass and harangue their mother or father until they get that gift. They have no concept of time and waiting. They waited a bit then ‘now give it to me’. ‘You promised, remember?’ They are earnest. We need to not only believe that He exists but to understand that He only moves in response to faith that pursues Him avidly.
We can go to God with the same attitude as our preschoolers. You promised, remember? For His word says that all of His promises are “yes and amen” through Christ.
What kind of work do we need to do? We need to call out to Him, expecting Him to respond and answer. The more we do, the more we will see our faith release the things we hope for.
 Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.