Faith is belief plus action. Faith is a living, restless thing. Faith is something that moves; it simply cannot be inoperative. We have to use our faith.
In fact, faith is not unlike a muscle. The way to build up a muscle is through use. You effectively break it down and build it up. And if you do not use your muscles, they will atrophy.
In the same way, if you don't use your faith, it can turn to apathy. Faith must be used for it to continue to be active in your life. Where does faith come from? It comes from the Word of God. It comes from studying and believing the Word of God. We are told in Romans 10:17 that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." So as we hear the Word of God, our faith will grow.
At the same time, if we don't use our faith, then we'll find that it will get weaker. When you get down to it, faith can make the difference between something happening and not happening. God is the one who does the work, but He works through
people. He is looking for people to take steps of faith.
When the Israelites were crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God could have parted the waters for them to walk through, just as He did at the Red Sea. But instead, "as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water . . . the waters which came down from upstream stood still" (Joshua 3:15–16). God wanted them to get their feet wet first. He wanted them to put their faith into action.