We walk by faith, not by sight . . . while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. (2 Corinthians 5:7; 4:18)
The Christian life is a walk. It is comprised of day by day steps from where we are to where the Lord wants us to go (both spiritually and geographically). This walk is undertaken by faith, not by sight. “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
Walking by sight is the natural manner by which human beings walk. This is true both for literal walking, as well as for taking the proverbial journey through life. When engaged in physical walking, people rely upon visual data (along with input from other human senses: like sound, smell, and touch). Likewise, as the unredeemed are engaged in their trek through life, they set their course and proceed by that which their natural abilities provide.
We who know the Lord Jesus Christ cannot walk in this manner in His kingdom. We must walk by faith, by depending upon our Lord, His word, and the work of grace by His Holy Spirit. Spiritual progress is made “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.”
So often, things are not as they appear to be in the natural. Consider Joseph being sold to slave traders by his jealous and deceitful brothers. It did not look like Joseph was being groomed to be Prime Minister in Egypt. Think of Pharoah and his army closing in on Israel, as they were trapped beside the Red Sea. It did not look like Israel would be delivered, while the Egyptian army would be destroyed. Remember young David standing before gigantic Goliath. It did not look like the giant would be defeated, while David would enjoy a thorough victory. Only eyes of faith could really appreciate what was actually happening.
The cross of our Lord Jesus is undoubtedly the greatest example of things not always being what they appear to be. As Jesus hung upon the cross, it appeared that godless men had defeated the most godly man that ever lived. “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst . . . Him . . . you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:22-23). Yet, in fact, God was at work, preparing a resurrection victory over sin and death for all who would believe. “Whom God raised up,
having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:24).
The Source of Faith
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
In order to grow in grace, we must live by faith. “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace” (Romans 4:16). We cannot progress spiritually by the use of our natural, Adamic faculties. We must walk by faith in the Lord and His word. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet, where do
we get faith? What is the source of faith?
Jesus is the source of our faith: “Jesus, the author . . . of our faith.” If we have saving faith in Christ, it was brought into being by Him. Our faith was authored by Jesus in a revelatory and relational manner. He revealed to us the truth we needed to know (through sermons, personal witnesses, tracts, audio tapes, books, Bible reading, or whatever). Then, He invited us into a relationship with Himself.
First, He told us the truth about our need. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23 and 6:23a). Then, He told us the truth about His loving work on our behalf. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ
died for us” (Romans 5:8). All the while, His Spirit was convicting us of the reality of these matters. “And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Ultimately, Jesus invited us to trust in Him for the gift of salvation. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Matthew 11:28 and Romans 6:23b). Basically, Jesus revealed Himself to us as one who could be trusted to save our souls, so we placed our hope in Him. Thereby, He authored faith in us.
Now, where are we to go for more faith (for the developing of our faith)? Jesus is the source for this need as well: “Jesus . . . the . .. finisher of our faith.” The one who brought faith into being in us now wants to perfect our faith (to bring it on into mature development) in the same manner that He began it. Initially, we had to have Jesus revealed to us to have faith authored in us. Now, we must have a continuing revelation of Him through His word, if our faith is to be increasingly built up.
Heavenly Father, I want to walk with You by faith. I desire to respond to the circumstances of life by what You have said in Your word and by what You are able to do. Too many times, I have set my course by sight, relying upon the appearance of things. I praise You for authoring faith in me. Thank You for convincing me of my need of forgiveness of sins. Thank You for revealing to me Your great work on the cross. Thank You for inviting me to enter into a relationship with You. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me that my faith might grow and mature, Teach me to trust in You more and more, in Jesus name, Amen.
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