2 Corinthians 5:7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

In both the Old and New Testaments, there is a common theme – we are justified by faith, and we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s an easy principle to understand, but difficult to live by. We naturally want to see where we are going and know what we are stepping into.

In Psalm 119, the Bible says that God’s word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path. It is not a spotlight that shows where the path is leading or where we are going. Sometimes God draws our hearts to follow a vision He has intentionally left dim for us. We are only called to step into faith, and then to continue taking each step by faith.

When God led His people into the Promised Land, He did so during the flood season. They had to cross the Jordan river during its flood stage. God’s call was simple. “Step into the river, and I will make the way.” Nothing happened until they stepped into the river. Then God caused the water to be blocked up stream, and it remained in place until the people crossed. But nothing happened until they obeyed the call to step into the raging river by faith.

When God called Abraham to leave his home, God gave him the promise to lead him and make him into a great nation, but it was a vague vision with no clear path to get there. Look at Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Sometimes God gives a clear direction, but often He does not. The goal is for us to learn to trust God, knowing His purposes are for our good, and that He has the power to do what He says He will do. The goal is to learn to walk by faith. Whether we have a clear direction or not, one instruction is always the same. Do not look at the circumstances. Do not look at the obstacles or challenges. Do not look at the odds of success. We are called to look at Him alone. Consider the words of Deuteronomy 20:1 and 3-4

1 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

3 And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them;
4 for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

The words spoken to Israel during their quest echoes down to us today. We are also in a journey of faith. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have troubles, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” Then we are told that we are more than conquerors through Him. Not merely survivors. Not barely conquerors. More than conquerors. Victory is a guarantee – but only to the one who stands in faith.

Our focus is always on Christ. My efforts don’t defeat the enemies of life. He has already established my path, and if I am allowing myself to be led by God, I cannot miss His purpose – which always includes the promise of His blessing over me.

God does not promise that it will be easy. Quite the opposite. Anyone can walk by faith when things are going well. We have the privilege of seeing faith’s work when things are humanly impossible. Just as God sent His people into a land with enemies who stood as giants over them, held weapons and armament that far exceeded their own, and had fortified cities that appeared impenetrable, we also are called into a Christian life that isn’t just difficult, but impossible. It’s impossible to live out this Christian life because it is not for us to do for God, but to walk by faith, knowing the battle is always His.

Jesus said that the way is narrow and the path is difficult that leads to life, and few will find it. This doesn’t only apply to salvation, but the path of life God has called us to follow Him through. It is supposed to be difficult because without faith, it is impossible to navigate through it. Few can pass down this path of life because the vast majority of Christians turn back when problems appear too great, or we can’t see how God will come through. We want to see first. When circumstances seem too hard, we want to either be in control, or be able to see evidence God is in control before we follow Him. But that is not how the life of faith works.

When the giants of life stand against us, we have the same command as Israel had. The instructions given to the Old Testament people is now the word picture that becomes our example. Those who looked at the giants and saw them as too great to overcome turned back. An entire generation of faithless people passed away, never experiencing the victory that was rightfully theirs, but could only be received through faith. God said, “Do not let your heart faint. Do not be afraid. Do not let them terrify you.” Why? Because He promises to be with us, go before us, and fight the battle.

When our hearts become weary, we can’t allow it to become our focus. We must learn to take our focus off the circumstances, and put them on the promise. When the enemies of life try to terrify us, we take our eyes off the problem and place them onto the Lord. Our abilities are limited, and the way of the Christian life is impossible. However, when we enter into faith, God’s power makes it impossible for our problems or enemies to stand. They have no power over Him, and when we stand in Him by faith, they lose power over us.

The hard part is not looking at life through the eyes of our flesh. There WILL be times when God moves too late to keep circumstances from seemingly overcoming us. To our human eyes, God failed and we are defeated. To eyes of faith, we don’t know if God will take us through the hardship, around the storm, or if He will crush our problems. We can’t put God’s ways into the box of our human reasoning.

However, we do know that God creates a door where there is no door, turns defeats into victories, and raises us into a greater life from the ashes of our dead expectations. We may find that our expectation has to die in order for us to receive something greater than what we once thought was our best option.  Sometimes we spend so much time weeping over the ashes that we never look up to see the greatness of what God has for us. Consider our example – Christ. It appeared that He was defeated on the cross, but God raised Him from the dead, and the cross became the emblem of His victory.

Those who walk by sight and human reasoning will become angry with God and turn back, never discovering the greatness of what should have been theirs. In the book of Genesis, Joseph lost everything. His freedom, family, reputation, everything. But he never lost sight of the Lord. When the time came, God exalted him and his life was so blessed that he gave his first son a name that meant, “God has made me forget all my troubles.” You see this truth repeated in the lives of those who trusted God throughout the Bible and by the testimonies of those faithful in this era.

How many people did God try to lead in the era of the Bible, but were forgotten by history because they couldn’t trust God when His leading didn’t make sense? Church history is filled with silent failures from the masses that never experienced the life of faith. I’ve seen many people turn back when the road got too hard. Yet there are a few amazing stories sprinkled throughout church history of those who trusted God no matter what. They accomplished amazing things because they never allowed their problems to persuade them to stop trusting in God. Then He worked through them, and we look at these testimonies with amazement, often wondering why God doesn’t do this in our lives.

Those who appear to be strong in their faith have a secret. It may look like personal strength, but this is the power of standing on faith in the Lord. Ephesians 6:10 explains:

Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might.

Your strength will fail when circumstances wear you down. Those who rest in the Lord stand upon the power of His limitless strength! Trust in His word, not allowing circumstances to rob you of the greatness of what He has for you. The victorious Christian life is already yours. Rest your hope in the promise of His word, and don’t allow the trials of life to persuade you to turn your focus from Him. When God commanded, “Don’t be afraid, or terrified of them. Don’t be afraid when the enemies are greater in number than you,” He also gave the key to living this out. The key is to not look at the enemy or problems, but to Him.

When the enemy came after the prophet Elisha in the Old Testament, he awoke to find that a massive army had surrounded him. Elisha was unconcerned, but his companion was in a panic. “What shall we do,” he asked with great anxiety. Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, open his eyes that he may see.”

God had Elisha’s enemies surrounded. My prayer is that you and I may have our eyes opened to see. God is in complete control of everything. Your purpose was established by God at the creation of the world. The path and your success has already been mapped out on the narrow road of faith. God may or may not open your eyes to see how His plan has been laid out. However, you can always have eyes to see Him. Then you need only to focus on Him and be led. At the end of every difficulty, we will stand amazed at how God worked all things for our good. But that can only be ours when we ignore the call of fear or doubt, and focus on His leading hand through every circumstance.

For we walk by faith, and not by human sight.

Eddie Snipes
May 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *