"Faith without work is dead," but this story from the life of Saul teaches that, "Works without faith is deader!"
1 Samuel 13:6-9
"When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were hard-pressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits. Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, 'Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings." And he offered the burnt offering.'"
=== John Darby's Synopsis of the Bible ===
…whatever might be the result, he should wait for Him;
…it was useless to do anything without Him,
…he ran no risk in waiting for Him.
A faithful God could not fail him…
But he looks at circumstances: the people are scattered,
and Saul seeks to bring God in by an act of devotion without faith.
Saul acts in fear and offers a sacrifice as an act of devotion to God not because he trusted God, but because he distrusted God. Faith would have looked to God in obedience to His word and waited for God to act. God's word to Saul had been very plain, "Wait." In difficult straits it is expected that the people will hide and defect. They did it in Israel, and they do it today in the assembly. The leaders however are not to hide or defect. More is expected of them by God.
When all went away from the Lord Jesus in John 6, He did not ask His disciples, "What can we do to retain the multitudes?" He waited in faith and asked, "Will you also go away?" He presented an open door to them. If they stayed with Christ it would not be out of compulsion, but choice, faith and love.
Don't substitute feverish religious activity (acts of devotion) for obedience and faith. You may force the appearance of fruit, but not eternal fruit.
For me to live is Christ.