Walking by faith is not only a difficult thing, it’s a very unnatural thing,
at least to us fallen souls.
From an early age we are raised toward independence, self-sufficiency and self-reliance. But our true need is to be less of a maverick and more of an obedient child.
But that realization is only the beginning of a faith-walk. Being human beings with physical bodies and senses, we judge and live 95% of the time according to what I would call “sight.” That doesn’t mean that we only do what we can see with our eyes. It means that we live according to what WE see as important or true or needful or urgent, whether the facts actually line up with it or not. Emotion, presumption, past wrongs, personal wounds – these and hundreds of other things become “sight” for us. They are the things that lodge in us as “real” and dictate the way we think and act.
To walk by faith not by sight is to make a shift of monumental proportions.
It’s not a decision we make one day and forevermore carry out in our lives. It’s a belabored, painfully slow practice of learning to recognize and undo the false things upon which we base our perceptions and decisions, and to move forward in a new way… a way more connected to God that is better attuned to His leadership.
It takes years, a lifetime of growing and careful dependence on THE LORD.
It takes a lifetime of diligent consideration and analyzation of personal motives and the source of them.
It takes a tenacious determination to root out falsehood, replace it with truth, and live more fully and freely as a result of obediently stepping out in faith through reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide us in those truths.
It is hard, tiresome, painfully slow, violent work at times. But it is worth every tear and drop of blood we may shed.
For the first time in my life I am experiencing joy in the necessity of living by faith.
These past 6 months have been unlike any others in my history.
- I’ve stepped out of a secure income into a life of financial uncertainty.
- I’ve placed a large stock into the development of resources, products, and business models that I’ve never practiced before.
- My family budget is at the point of daily dependence – we pray each day for the bills due the next, and wait for the LORD to provide.
- We are asking the LORD to lead us in doing our part in being the means He uses for our provision.
Though it is amazing to me that I’m able to actually live this way, the most unbelievable and baffling thing is that I’m doing so with enjoyment.
It has been fun (yes, it has) to seek the LORD’s provision, to have no clue where it will come from, and to watch as He faithfully provides.
It has been a delight to come more fully to the realization that He is ultimately trustworthy and entirely faithful to us as His chosen adoptees.
It has been convicting and powerfully motivating to recognize that fear, worry, stress, and anxiety dishonor Him, malign Him, and serve as indictments of my own too-small faith.
For the first time in my 41 years of Christian discipleship the responsibility of walking by faith not by sight has been a pure joy.
And it is the LORD Himself who has taken me there…
… through wearisome years of toil and consistent effort.
It is the LORD who has used every trying circumstance of the past to refocus my eyes on truth, to reprogram my default patterns of thinking and choosing, to lead me to consider His purposes and ways.
It is the LORD who has provided the conviction over sin and shame over my lack of faith.
It is the LORD who has provided the eagerness to live out what I profess.
It is the LORD who has done this laborious, snail-paced renovation of my soul, and the results are exactly what He has promised.
Teaching your children to walk by faith, not by sight
One of the most encouraging outcomes of this journey toward walking by faith is the knowledge of how to train, teach, and help my children live more consistently along these lines from an earlier age than I did.
Walking by faith is not an adult-only venture. Children, raised in the discipline and instruction of the LORD (Ephesians 6:4) can and should be able to apply the same truths to their own experience.
My children need to face their own limitations, fears, sins, and lack of faith – and learn how to violently oppose them through godly sorrow that leads to humble repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
They need my encouragement and help in discerning what those things are, but more importantly they need my help and instruction in how to depend on the LORD in spite of their unique versions of what is “seen” – things like fear, doubt, the unknown, personal failings, and feelings.
They need to be taught the truth, how to embrace it, and how to trust it more than their emotion or personal desires.
They need to learn how to act in faith, based on that truth, in the daily things of life; things like arguments with siblings, conflicts with classmates, bad grades, loss of a dearly loved pet, broken toys, ruined lego (c) projects, illness in the family, financial uncertainty, and death of a grandparent.
I am to lead them in the path I’ve been walking and compassionately teach them how to live faithfully in a fallen world and as a fallen person. I must bare my own soul, confess my own sins, expose my own weakness and pettiness, and testify tot he faithfulness and greatness of God through and in spite of those realities.
I must give them hope that the calling of God to walk by faith is a life-long road the we can walk with victory, because the LORD is faithful to walk it with us… and to teach us as we go.