for we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 corinthians 5:7]
there are seven hundred million illustrations i could start with for the concept of walking by faith not by sight. and you’ve probably heard them all. anyone that has participated in a trust fall understands taking action based on faith, not what you’re seeing. every time you turn on a light switch you have faith in electricity, lightbulbs, and the laws of physics. the classic example of the competition where you blindfold two people and giving them verbal instructions on which way to race through obstacles – they have faith you aren’t going to walk them straight into a wall.
all of these and more are great examples of walking by faith. walking by faith does not mean we act with no reason to trust. i’ll fall backwards into my teammates arms because i trust they don’t want me to get hurt. i have trust flipping the light switch will illuminate the room because i have years of experience with light switches (even understanding lightbulbs and wiring sometimes don’t work). and, unless my friend is trying to be funny, i trust they aren’t going to walk me blindfolded into a wall because i know they want to win the race.
my actions are built on faith which is built on knowledge of the people involved, experience, and understanding of the goals.
yet when scripture calls us to walk by faith we often feel like we’ve been called to jump out of a plane with no parachute and hope we survive. forgive my persecutors? that seems risky. give sacrificially? seems irresponsible. share the gospel with a coworker? i could get fired, or lose a friend – doesn’t seem worth it. leave my corporate job to move to a closed country to be a missionary? doesn’t seem safe. and we could go on and on.
if i trust my teammates to catch me in the trust fall because i know there character – perhaps i don’t trust God to provide for me because i don’t know his character. if i have faith the lightbulb will come on when i flip the switch because i’ve seen in happen hundreds of time – perhaps i don’t have faith God will sustain me because i’ve never put myself in a situation where i needed to be sustained by him. it’s challenging to forgive because i’ve never asked God for forgiveness myself. and we could go on and on.
so today, instead of focusing on the difficulty of the calling we have in scripture, let’s focus on the character and track record of the one who calls us to it. spend time in the presence of God today, asking him to increase your faith based on who he is. confess areas where you lack faith and bring them to the Lord, asking him to teach you to trust him.
and Jesus said to him, “‘if you can’! all things are possible for one who believes.” immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “i believe; help my unbelief!” [mark 9:23–24]
~ keith kozlowski