EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) — Truth and action are the two components to walking by faith. Truth is made impotent by fear, but it springs to life through the hands and feet of the faithful who act. Truth not acted upon by faith produces the same result as error acted upon by faith.
At the heart of Christianity is faith. Most believers understand that the Christian life is conceived by grace through faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). But what too many fail to understand is that the Christian life is continued and completed by faith as well. It’s all by faith!
In fact, if we are not walking by faith on a moment-by-moment basis, the life we are living is not the Christian life at all — it’s only a going-through-the-motions effort to live like we think Christians are supposed to live. But that is not pleasing to God, as Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him….”
The saddest part of seeing Christians walk by sight instead of by faith is knowing they haven’t experienced the miracle-working power of God. Vance Havner, the eminent Southern Baptist evangelist, used to say about those in the Bible who walked by faith, “They saw the invisible, they chose the imperishable, and they did the impossible!”
How often do you and I witness God doing something impossible in our lives? It ought to be as often as we have needs we cannot meet, goals we cannot achieve, relationships we cannot mend, or dreams we cannot fill in our own strength.
The heart of walking by faith
The key verse in the New Testament on walking by faith is 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
The verse’s meaning and import is revealed by noting its context. In the previous chapter, the apostle Paul talked about being an “earthen vessel” in which God had deposited His glorious Gospel. He described the numerous sufferings and hardships his apostolic band had experienced from those who do not believe. In spite of his travails, he lived by faith: “We also believe and therefore speak … [meaning] 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” (verses 13,18).
In that context, Paul then said in chapter 5 that, while he would prefer to be in heaven with Christ (who could blame him?), he was able to continue his walk on earth in spite of hardships because “we walk by faith, not by sight” (5:7).
The Hall of Fame of faith
If ever there was a biblical account to be studied on how to walk by faith, it is the record in Hebrews 11 of those in the Old Testament who lived and died by faith.
There was Abel, who made a presentation to God by faith, and Enoch who demonstrated the possibilities of walking by faith. Noah’s walk was the performance of faith, and Abraham’s long walk with God revealed the progress of faith. Sarah waited on a child and demonstrated the patience of faith, and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph clung to the promise of faith in the future. Moses is our model of the persuasion of faith, and Joshua and Rahab the perils of faith. Many others too numerous to name are said to have paid the ultimate price for faith.
These saints were risk-takers, mold-breakers and system-shakers but, most of all, they were faith-walkers — and we need to be just like them.
If you find yourself frozen with fear, stuck in the valley of despair, immobilized by indecision, just sitting in the boat doing nothing, “cast all your anxiety on Him [God] because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) and step out! Don’t look at what your eyes see (or don’t see), look at what your heart knows to be true about God.
It only takes two seconds to make that choice to be a faith-walker, but you’ll live with the benefits for a lifetime.