It’s a verse we’ve heard a million times. It’s a Jeremy Camp song we’re singing at this very moment. It’s a cliche we’ve heart from every Christian we’ve ever known in any number of situations. But how do we make it our own?
2 Corinthians 5:7 states,
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Think about your day. Think about how it starts. Faith is what allows you to shower without the fear that your roof is going to collapse. Faith is what allows you to get in the car and drive to work on the assumption you won’t get into an accident. Faith is what allows you to gas up your car because little 1’s and 0’s say you have “money” in the bank. Faith is what keeps you sane, what grounds you, what gives you the freedom to live this life free of the crippling kinds of fear that could prevent you from getting out of bed every morning.
In truth, we are all people of faith. We believe in things because we have to. Faith is what gives our lives meaning and stabilizes our thoughts and actions. It is what centers our worldview and permits us to function in community with other human beings.
This doesn’t mean we are all of the same faith, or even that our faith system is correct. It just means that, at the end of the day, we couldn’t function in this life if we didn’t have faith.
So what does it mean for a Christian to live by faith and not by sight?
The most practical implication, of course, is that we serve a Master Who cannot be seen. Who God is, how He works, what He is…these things cannot be verified by practical observation.
But doesn’t this verse mean so much more than that?
I think the key here is the idea of walking. This is the basic mode of human mobility. Once we learn how to walk as infants, we build up muscle memory, and, before long, it ceases to be something we have to choose to do movement by movement. Although we make conscious decisions about the direction in which we are going to walk, the actual act of walking no longer requires slow, calculated dedication on our part.
Faith is like walking in this way. How you walk in the Faith is determined not so much by the big, concentrated efforts you make to faithfully serve God when stretching trials come, but by the way you handle your heart and mind in the days, weeks, months, and years leading up to those moments – your “faith memory” you might say.
Have you ever wondered why it seems like you are never able to pass the tests God gives you? Have you ever gotten to a point where you think you’d be better off not living a life of faith because it’s just too hard or too much or too demanding? Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever get to a point where you don’t fight God’s will so that you can learn things the easy way (instead of the hard way) for once?
Speaking from experience I can confidently say that those are the questions asked by people who haven’t been diligent in building up a solid “faith memory.” When trials come, you haven’t sufficiently strengthened your “faithing legs” so all that they can do is buckle. You fall, not because the trial is too difficult or God isn’t gracious enough. You fail because your faith is not strong enough.
A strong faith, one that is able to withstand the weight of even the heaviest trial, is a faith that is practiced, strengthened, and memorized daily, hourly, minutely even.
What kind of faith are you building up? It’s an easy question to answer because all you have to do is ask what you are putting into your heart and mind.
Do you spend most of your time in front of the TV or in the Word. Do pray a lot or do you just think about praying and call it a day? The songs you hum mindlessly, what are their lyrics focused on, the things of God or the things of the world? Do you practice loving others in your heart and mind before interacting with them, or do you just hope you’ll be up to the task of dealing with relational conflcits if and when they arise?
The point is, walking by faith isn’t just choosing to believe in something or someone you can’t see. It’s about living a life that is dedicated to mediation on God and His Word on a daily basis so that whatever He asks of you, you are willing and able to do obediently, immediately, and joyfully.
How are you walking today?
Until Next Time My Friends,
The Taylor of All Trades