For we walk by faith, not by sight.
-- 2 Corinthians 5:7
Or, at least, we're supposed to. But, sometimes it seems like that's easier said than done. I know the Bible says that Jesus died to redeem me from the curse. (the curse being three-fold 1) spiritual death, 2) sickness & disease, and 3) poverty. But, when I'm in the midst of those last two, sometimes it's easy to forget that I've been redeemed and to believe instead what my sight or senses tell me rather than to rely on God's Word. After all, seeing is believing, right?
How do I walk by faith when the world and my circumstances are screaming the exact opposite of what God's Word says?
We seem to have a lot of trouble with that concept, faith. Like the distraught father in Mark 9:24, I find myself crying out: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” or like the Disciples, I ask God to increase my faith. But, do I really lack faith?
The truth is, we display an amazing amount faith on a daily basis in the most mundane and trivial things...
...We get behind the wheel of 4,000 pounds of steel and drive down the road at frightening speeds believing that those other drivers will keep their 4,000 pounds of steel on their side of the yellow line.
...We deposit our check into the bank on payday and walk away believing that when we need to access that money, it will be there.
...We get out of bed in the morning believing beyond a shadow of doubt that our feet will hit the floor rather than float up to the ceiling.
Yet, when it comes to believing the promises made to us by the Creator of heaven and earth and all that in them is, we become doubting Thomas and ask to see the proof!
I sometimes wonder just what God thinks of us, his children. He created us to love and worship him. He wants nothing more than to meet our every need and desire with lavish abundance. And what do we do? We doubt him. We either think that he can't do what he has promised or worse, we think that he won't.
What a slap in the face that must be to God!
Are you a parent? Imagine that your child, whom you love, is in trouble and needs your help. Are you going to evaluate whether or not she has followed all of your rules and completed all of her chores before you reach out to save her?
Yet, this is exactly our view of God. Instead of seeing him as a loving father, we see him as our judge and jury, just waiting for any opportunity to slap us down and say, "sorry, you haven't been good enough!"
Jesus told us, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)
In fact, we live by faith every day of our lives, whether we know it or not. Faith is actually the only way we can live. The question is, where are you placing your faith? Faith in God's word is truth faith. But, just as powerful is it's opposite. Fear is nothing more than misplaced faith. It's faith in circumstances, faith in the words of the enemy, rather than faith in God. It is a perverse and twisted faith, but it is still faith.
Jesus was approached by a leper who said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." There was no hesitation on Jesus' part. He immediately reached out, touched him and said, "I will". (Matthew 8:2&3)
Most of us believe that God is able to do anything. But our faith seems to fall short when it comes to believing that he will.