When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me (1 Corinthians 13:11).

This verse came to me in sort of a new and unusual way - while I was contemplating my current "faith journey."

I have taken a number of "spiritual gift" tests over the years and one gift that has always scored high for me was one of "faith."  I have believed in God, His omniscience, His love for me, His desire for wanting the best for me, etc.  As I face struggles, I look and pray for His direction and know He will provide wisdom, knowledge, and provisions as He sees fit and in His time.

As a "baby" believer, I looked at faith as more of a passive, internal conviction.  I trusted God in my head and my heart, but not as much through my actions.

However, as I have matured in age, both physically and spiritually, what I thought "faith" was may have been more of a belief in a concept, not true faith.  Recently, I have been stretched, as many of us have, by the downturn in the economy, the tightening of purse-strings, job insecurity and an unknown relational future.  As a result, I have had to make some decisions and take some steps that have not come easy, nor gone as expected.

What I have learned through all of this is faith, real faith, takes action. 

Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17).

Faith does not mean sitting and waiting every day for an answer.  It doesn't just mean believing God will provide or God will show you the way.  It means taking an actual "step of faith" in the direction you believe God is leading you.

It reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indiana is faced with a deep chasm he must cross in order to retrieve the Holy Grail, which was used by Jesus at the Last Supper.  He believed his dying father would be healed if he were to drink from it.

All Indiana sees is an insurmountable gap separating him from the challis with no logical way to get across.  The "historical guidebook," which he references, says crossing over will be "a leap of faith" and his father said in his dying breath, "You must believe, boy, you must believe."

As Indiana takes a step of faith into the abyss, each foot lands solidly on a previously unseen narrow rock bridge.  With each step, we see his demeanor change as his faith seems to grow as he moves firmly into the unknown and unforeseen.

Granted, this is "only" a movie, but it provides us with a visual image of how our faith in what we believe must be backed up by action.

So where in your life can you see God stretching your faith?  Where are you venturing out into the unknown?

Have you been patiently waiting for a mate or a relationship?  Contemplating a new job or new career?  Deciding upon a move to a new area?  Waiting on God for something?

Whatever the case, how have you been actively and deliberately taking a step of faith in your situation?

Are you making yourself available by getting out and being more social?  Are you changing up your routine in order to meet and network with new people?  Have you been letting others know of your situation, inquiring of new opportunities, or trying something totally new?  Have you been taking steps out of your comfort zone, out of your immediate community, and into the unfamiliar?  Have you broadened your thoughts to include options you have never considered before?

If your answer is "no" to many of these questions, what are you waiting for?

Jesus said:  "Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mark 9:23).