We Walk by Faith
"For we walk by faith, not by sight:"
II Corinthians 5:7
What does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? Are we to put physical blinders over our eyes and trust that we won't bump into anything if we exercise "faith"? No, that would be foolish. God has given us physical eyes for a physical purpose. The principle that God is teaching us in this verse is a spiritual one that is foundational to the Christian life.
The first step that every person must take in order to become a Christian is a step of faith:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
When we take that first step of faith we receive "spiritual eyes" so that we can see those things which are invisible. Moses had this faith:
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Moses' faith led to an action based upon that faith. He took one of many steps of faith that were to follow: "he forsook Egypt" (which is symbolic of the young Christian leaving worldly things). He also continued in faith: "he endured" (symbolic of a mature Christian life). Moses walked by faith.
The word "faith" has to do with being persuaded. We tend to be persuaded based upon evidence. There is plenty of evidence that God exists, that Jesus is God, and that God's word is true.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The apostle Paul was persuaded:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Webster, in his 1828 dictionary, relates faith to something that binds or secures. "A rope or cable is that which makes fast."
When I was young (and somewhat foolish) I was a rock climber. When I climbed a sheer rock face I was tied to a rope that was held by the lead climber above. Although I was sometimes scared, I had faith that if I began to fall, the lead climber would tighten the rope and I would be caught. Often, I could not see him, but I knew that he was there because I could hear his instructions and see the movement of the rope. The rope was like my faith that connected me to the one who could keep me from falling. Knowing that he was there, seeing the rope, and heeding his words, I could do things that I would not have dared to do otherwise.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
I could not climb without faith in a trustworthy friend, and I cannot walk the Christian life without faith in a trustworthy God. Although I sometimes fear, by placing my faith in God and heeding his words...
I, like Moses, was able to forsake those worldly things that "war against the soul" in my early Christian life, and to endure in later life.
I, like Paul, have been persuaded that nothing will separate me from God's love.
I, like Jude, am confident that God is able to keep me from falling.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.