Not only are we saved by faith but we’re also instructed to walk by faith. What does this mean? Well, when Scripture tells us “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:6-7), it’s a metaphorical reference to how we are to conduct our lives. Mind you, it’s not telling us to make irrational decisions or blind leaps of faith but rather to focus on the unseen realities and live in light of eternal consequences. A person who walks by faith is going against his natural instincts, responding to what God has revealed to him through His Word and through the Holy Spirit, even though he hasn’t yet seen it with his eyes.
Rarely does God show us the entire road ahead all at once. He tends to guide us one step at a time because this is what builds trust and produces growth in us. God wired us to learn that way.
Each time the Holy Spirit prompts us to move in one direction or the other, we have the choice to either obey or disobey what He is showing us. Any time we respond to the light, we find more freedom. Any time we reject the light, we experience more bondage. For the obedient child of God, life is a journey of increasing spiritual insight. As Proverbs 4:18 tells us: “…the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”
Just take the first step that God is showing you. In due time He will show you the next. Then, as you obey Him again, He’ll show you the next…
If we‘re having a hard time discerning God’s voice, it could be that we’re simply not spending enough time in His presence. It could also be that we’re holding on to some sin. Scripture tells us that,”If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 ). We can’t expect the Holy Spirit to lead us and show us His will if we aren’t obeying what He has already revealed to us!
Consider the words of Oswald Chambers: “The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience. If things are dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do. Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey.”
God’s purpose by having us walk by faith is to help us know, trust, and love Him more. This, not only to benefit us in our own Christian walk, but so that we can also use our experiences to help others. Walking by faith is a way of life. It’s how we are to live each day, every day, until Christ returns or calls us home. Because, as Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
When God called Abraham out on his pilgrimage, Abraham had no idea where he was going, other than to a foreign land inhabited by enemies. Yet his response was one of immediate obedience. And Noah…think about it… It wasn’t raining during the 100+ years he spent building the ark – in fact, he probably hadn’t seen rain his entire life as most scholars believe there was no rain prior to the flood. Yet, when God called him to embark on what must have seemed like a completely irrational and totally bizarre mission, he did not object, complain, or question God.
This is the kind of faith God wants us to have – an implicit, childlike, unwavering faith. And yet, isn’t it true that having faith in God’s promises is one of the things we, as Christians, struggle with the most? We want to be in control, we want to know what the future holds, we want answers and explanations. But more often than not, God chooses not to give them to us. Instead He says, “Just trust me, and you’ll see how I’ll come through for you.”
How about you, do you live each day by faith, or is everything in your life carefully planned out? Are you always trying to have everything under control, and does it make you frustrated, anxious, or stressed whenever you feel like you’re not on top of things? Are you always conservative in your choices? Or do you regularly take risks for the Kingdom of God?
If we had it our way, we’d always know what was around the corner and we’d be fully prepared for every challenge. But that’s not God’s way for His children. His way is one of surrender, trust and dependency. As the song goes, “Trust and obey, there’s no other way.”
Just take the first step.