WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT (Part 4)
The final part of the four art series, in which the author examines what it means to walk by faith and not by sight.
Besides, all people are influenced by things, which they have not seen. They hope for objects that are in the future. They aspire to happiness, which they have not yet beheld. They strive for honor and wealth which are unseen, and which is in the distant future. They live, and act – influenced by strong faith and hope – as if these things were attainable; and they apply themselves, and labuor, to obtain those things, which they have not seen, and which to them are in the distant future. We strive for these things, which we have not yet beheld, and without any certainty or assurance of obtaining them. Furthermore we may be bitterly disappointed to find that object of our efforts may turn out not to give us the happiness or satisfaction or pleasure we envisaged.
And why should not the person focused on the eternal not strive with all his ability to gain the unseen crown which is incorruptible, knowing that in making this effort he has the promise that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God and that when he gains the crown of glory his joy will be full for eternity.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
2 Corinthians 4:18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Timothy 6:17 trust …. in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
So as one walk’s by faith and not by sight, he or she no longer has to worry about how well they are doing, or if they have worked hard enough, or if they have taken care of everyone and everything as they should. One can trust that God, in whom we live and move and have our being, will accomplish his work. Left to our own abilities, we can do nothing. Being united to God we like St Paul can do all things through Christ who strengthens each and every one of us. He will lead, encourage, correct, and give each one of us his wisdom and guide us in the way we should walk.
Those who “walk by sight” deal with suffering and with despair.
2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “We do not lose heart,” and 5:6 says, “We are of good courage.” Not losing heart and being of good courage are opposite to fear.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The reason Paul did not despair is because he did not lose heart . . . for momentary, light affliction was producing an eternal weight of glory . . . while he did not look to the things which are seen, he focused on those things which are not seen.” Paul was hopeful in the face of suffering because his sights were set on heaven, not on this world.
As Jesus said: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Mark 8:34-36
Are you trying to save your life – You are on the road to losing it
Are you out to gain all the world has to offer – That is a game plan for forfeiting it.
God offers us true life – in Jesus Christ. He will satisfy all your deepest desires – for God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:19)
Yes, riches that do not come with sorrow. He will give you true joy, true satisfaction, true security, true accomplishment, and true honor if you seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, by walking by faith and not by sight.
“Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equivalent of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” — (Ephesians 6:14).
4. The final destination of this walk
Every decision one makes – big or small – is a step based on faith or a step based on sight. All the decisions you make work together to determine who you are. All your decisions reflect your view of life, your view of God, your view of yourself.
Will you live a life of faith, walking by that faith, trusting God through Jesus Christ? Or will you live a life dependent on your own resources, figuring out how to work all things to your own advantage?
To our eyes, a life of faith seems a lot riskier. To walk by sight seems to make more sense. We see risks, and want to avoid them. We see pleasures, and want to pursue them.
But all of God’s Word tells us the opposite. When we walk by faith, aided by studying God’s Word, praying for guidance and listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit, inclining us to take certain actions and responding in obedience by doing as the Spirit of God has directed, we will ultimately fulfill all our desires. When we walk by sight, we eventually lose all we hoped to gain, all we worked for.
There are indeed dangers in the life of faith. There will be pain. To walk by faith is not saying, “Walk by faith and your life will be easy.” Its import is that walking by Faith, walking by Wisdom, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness will ensure that eternally you will have your desires met.
If we are walking by faith, we will often take steps that make no sense from a practical point of view, but this does not mean we should take reckless risks and throw away our lives or waste the resources God entrusts to us. On the contrary, we should plan ahead, we should consider the risks that face us, and we should take steps to mitigate risks to our lives in all its ramifications. Remember – Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. But focusing on eternity rather than on temporal gains or losses, we become willing to step out and take risks, for our confidence is in God. For when we walk by faith, we live by faith in God’s future grace and mercy. We are confident that He is in control, and He will exert His grace tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and always for our good and His glory – for all things work together for good to them that love God. – (Romans 8:28). We know that we cannot lose when following God.
Be emboldened by the Scriptures’ exhortation that we walk by faith, not by sight or mental calculations— faith in God and faith in His Word. God is merciful and is even faithful when we are not.
(1 Timothy 2:13). Let that be your confidence, and especially know that what God has promised, He is able to do.
“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” – Romans 4:21
Refresh by Charles O. Anyiam-Osigwe.