2 Corinthians 5:7 reads:
for we walk by faith and not by sight.
In my visit with Nathan last night I was sharing about how I feel as though the Lord has been bringing me to a new level of understanding what is meant by this statement – what it means to me on a personal level but also what I think it means for the Christian life in general. I know others may know all about this or have an understanding of it but I can tend to be a bit behind sometimes – but I think too, the Lord will bring us to understand things experientially and not just intellectually. I feel we’re being pushed to learn, at a new level, what it means to live by faith and not by sight. Basically, it is to live not by what we can see but by what can’t always be seen – or to live by faith is to live on the promises of God for us and the vision he has given us and not based on the circumstances going on around us that might seem to, or which actually contradict, what we know by faith.
If you ask me, it is more freeing to live by faith and not by sight – too often living by sight can be just too hard. If we use finances as an example often times it can seem like the numbers just don’t add up but somehow it is working out – that would be living by faith and not letting circumstances hold us back or deter us from following the Lord. Now I am not saying to be stupid or to intentionally turn a blind eye to circumstances because sometimes living by faith is paying attention to those kinds of things – many have attempted to live by faith and openly ignored the circumstances and been burned, bad – don’t do that. At the same time, however, living by faith (you know, being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see), can mean to not letting circumstances, like numbers not adding up, hinder you from pressing on in faith to live as God has called you to live.
In getting ready for us to come to Springfield, MO we were not sure we could come, we just did not have the money – so we waited on the Lord and trusted him the best we could – if nothing came through we would not go. Well, the day before we were planning to leave I went to check the mail and to our astonishment we received a check for $1000, and that from a missionary couple! (we all know that for missionaries $1000 can be hard to come by – so the gift blew us out of the water). We knew we could make the trip – on the way we participated in a church service with some pastor friends of ours in Oklahoma and ended up leaving with $500. You must know this does not happen every day and is not always normal but yet completely normal. I was reflecting on all this and realized, this is what it is to live by faith and not by sight. Had we been living by sight, which we have and had been doing, we would never had been planning the trip as the numbers didn’t add up, but we chose not to let that deter us.
While I said it is freeing to live by faith – it is not always easy, and, in fact, it is very challenging and even costly – being willing to live by faith and not by sight comes with a price and often a high one – friends and or family aren’t going to approve; others will challenge you and contest your understandings of what living by faith means (and Nathan pointed out that this can be challenging living in the US which is pretty affluent), circumstances might really rise up and put up a challenge (something the Apostle Paul would probably chalk up to the powers at work) – all sorts of opposition will rise up and come against those who choose to walk by faith and not by sight. So, if you think this is something the Lord is pressing you to do in a way you have not before done, be ready. Know that when God is for you who can be against you?
If you have another view on this feel free to share it! 🙂