by Ken Cooper
Last week we talked about our walk with Christ. We looked at walking in newness of life after we become a Christian. That led us to 2 Corinthians 5:7 which says, “…we walk by faith, not by sight.” (ASV) So today, let’s see how we walk by faith. When it comes to understanding the truth and nature of God, mankind is nearly blind. We are so caught up in the physical world that we begin to think that there is nothing else. On a conscious level faith is discounted and sight is valued.
“Seeing is believing,” has become the watchword of our secular society. We have a technical name for it–empiricism. We also have a common name for it– reality. But in truth it is nothing more than skepticism or even disbelief. This philosophy teaches self-sufficiency– don’t depend on anyone or anything else, just on yourself. It is a philosophy that emphasizes the selfish over the loving. Even love is redefined in selfish terms. It is the philosophy of the “do your own thing” generation and the “Me” generation. It’s the philosophy of the workaholic, the party animal, and many of the average people on the streets. It’s a philosophy that can kill us. It leads straight to Hell. It’s a philosophy out of which the Christian has been reborn. We no longer try to depend only on what we see. We have a higher perspective, the perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven. We “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” Matthew 6:33. But the Kingdom of God is not something that we can see physically. Therefore, we walk by faith. Faith is believing and trusting God. It results in a commitment to Him on our part.
The philosophy of the world often holds us back. A circus elephant was tied to an eighteen-inch stake. He could easily have pulled it out of the ground and have gone free. But he had tried when he was a baby and as unsuccessful. The elephant had been conditioned to believe that he wasn’t able to pull it out of the ground. So there he stood– a massive creature capable of lifting whole trees yet held captive by a puny stake. Remember what Jesus taught us in Matthew 17:20? “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” NIV
What stake is holding you back could you uproot if you exercised a little faith? What tiny thing is keeping you from walking free? Is it doubt, selfishness, love of money, lust, envy? They may seem huge to you, but to God, they’re very small and easily moved by faith. These belong to your previous life. These are the things we are to put away. We are new people, we have a new life. Someone has said that faith is like the light on a miner’s cap. It is vital to the miner’s survival. But it shines only a little way ahead. If the miner doesn’t trust the light he has to walk that distance he will never see what lies beyond. God doesn’t let us see the end of the road in our walk by faith but he does allow us to see the next few steps. If we can’t exercise enough faith to take those steps, we will never see what lies beyond what little light we have. That’s what the Bible calls “walking by faith”.
There are two verses of scripture that really are significant yet they are often overlooked by Christians. The first is Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (NIV) The other one is the last part of Romans 14:23, “…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (NIV) We can’t trust our own wisdom and ignore God’s Word and expect to have the promise of eternal life. These verses demonstrate how important and how serious walking by faith is for the believer.
So, how are you walking…by sight or by faith?