“You believe that there is one God – Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder ” James 2:19.
When our children were young one of my biggest fears was that they would get burned on the oven door as I was removing the food. They had repeatedly been told that it was hot, but what they lacked was a healthy fear. They believed it was hot intellectually but lacked the respect of just how hot it was until they experienced it. And one by one they got burned. After the burn they took action by staying away from the heat. Their new found respect was prompted into active behavior...Passive moved to active.
Sometimes our faith is just an intellectual truth without the reverence and respect for God required for our faith to be made complete. I love how James baits his audience into a compliment of their intellectual faith in God. What follows is an assignment of the demons’ ‘spiritual leg up’ on us, insinuating that they have a greater grasp on the omnipotence and omnipresence of the extraordinary God. My commentary states, “The demons have complete and thorough conviction that there is one God, but they are terrified by that truth. They believe in God only to hate and resist him in every way they can. Their ‘faith’ even moves them to a negative reaction. The demons tremble in terror and demonstrate that their ‘faith’ is real, though misdirected.” Life Application – New Testament Commentary, p. 1080.
Now that is just disturbing! That Satan’s church could have more demonstrative faith than God’s people. We must sit up and be called into action which is prompted by our faith. Satan and his legion have completely bought in to God’s power and abilities. Their faith in His greatness and power prompts them to action in tearing down His church. They are like my children who have touched the hot oven and respect the power of the burn. Our belief in God is not what produces fruit…our humility and reverence to God is what activates us into action on His behalf. Our faith was conceived through grace and our works should be prompted through our faith.