2 Cor. 5:7 For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.
One of the most fundamental truths in the body of Christ is a scripture often quoted, but one that for many has been difficult to actually live by. If we want to walk in what Christ has purchased for us, this is one of the most important truths that we will have to learn to apply. We are to walk by faith not by sight. Another way you can say that is we are to walk by faith, not by our five physical senses. The reason this is difficult to learn is because we have been trained for years to walk by natural human faith, and not the God-kind of faith.
Natural human faith is still necessary in life. For example if you were crossing a street and saw a vehicle coming down the road you had better respond to your natural human faith and get out of the road. There are many things we must do in our daily lives that require us to respond with natural human faith, but to receive what God has for us and to walk out what He desires for our life, we must learn to walk in the God-kind of faith. We should rely on natural human faith until what we see in the natural is contrary to what God's Word says. That is when we must walk by faith and not by sight.
Matt. 6:25 "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing?
People often think they are walking by faith but if they are then this means that no matter what they may see or feel in the natural, that will not change what they say, nor how they live their lives. Jesus Himself declared here in Matthew chapter 6 that we are not to worry about everyday life. This is an indicator of whether we are walking by faith or whether we are walking by sight. Worry and faith cannot coexist. The word "worry" means to be anxious or troubled with cares. This is the result of focusing on what is happening in the natural. When you walk by faith there will be no worry in your life.
Rom. 4:19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
This is one of the greatest verses in scripture that reveals an example of Abraham who lived out this truth of walking by faith in his own life. God had given him a promise that he would become a father of a multitude. There were several natural factors that were against Abraham. First of all he was 99 years old. This is obviously a rather old age to be having children, which of course would be difficult for someone that age. The other factor had to do with his wife Sarah, who had not been able to have children. So from a natural stand point the odds where stacked against them. But they had a "word" from God.
Abraham did not allow what was true in the natural to detour his faith in God. He did not consider his own body. This is exactly what walking by faith looks like. The word "consider" here is defined as fixing one's eyes or mind upon something. Another way of saying this is that Abraham did not allow what he knew to be true in the natural to be the focus, instead he focused on what God had told him and he did so by keeping his thoughts in line with that Word. Walking by sight happens when we allow our natural senses to dictate to our minds what we are going to think about or focus on. To walk by faith we must instead choose to focus our attention on God's Word. This of course is a basic and yet very important truth when it comes to walking by faith.
Gal. 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
The foundation to our faith is the Word of God. Faith begins where the will of God is known. Abraham knew it was God's will for him to have a child and become a father of a multitude because God had told him so. That is why we need to know what God's will is for us. We must have knowledge of His Word to build our faith upon. Once you know what God's will is you can then begin to walk by faith. If you don't know what God's will is or if you even question it, you are not going to walk by faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We must know His will and to know His will we must know His Word. They are one and the same.
Rom. 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom. 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Abraham did not waver in what God had given him the promise of, which reveals that he did not have any unbelief. Unbelief does not mean you don't believe what God has said, but you are choosing to believe something else more than you believe God. Abraham did not have any unbelief for he was fully convinced that what God had promised He was able to perform. If you are not fully convinced in what Gods' will is for you this will lead to walking by sight, not by faith. You will instead be more convinced of what your body may be feeling, or what your eyes may be seeing. This will lead to thoughts that will rob you of your faith.
John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
John 20:26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Here we have the account of Thomas who was not present when Jesus had appeared to the other disciples, and Thomas therefore makes the statement that he would not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead unless he could see and feel Jesus' body. Thomas was only operating in natural human faith. Then Jesus appears again eight days later and Thomas was there. After telling Thomas to reach forth and feel his body for himself Thomas then believes. Remember this is only natural human faith. Then Jesus tells Thomas he believed because He had seen Jesus with his natural eyes, but those who had not seen and believed they will be blessed. You cannot get the blessings of God in your life through natural faith. You can only do so by the God-kind of faith.
Rom. 4:17 As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.
As we look back to this story about Abraham in Romans chapter 4 we see another very important element that most believers know about, but they must get honest with themselves and find out are they doing this. Look to the last part of this verse and you will find out that God, who does all things by faith, speaks of the nonexistent things which He has promised, as if they already existed. This is another very important key to walking by faith and not by sight.
When God gave this promise to Abraham notice at the start of the verse what He actually said about him. God said to Abraham, "I have made you the father of many nations." God did not say that he would make him the father of many nations; God said He already had made him the father of many nations, when in the natural Abraham did not have any children. This is a very important element to walking by faith.
Faith does not speak of things as though they will one day come to pass. Faith brings what one hopes for into the "now". Whenever you find a promise from God in His Word to be able to walk by faith and not by sight there has to be a transition in the way you think and in what you see. If you look to the Word of God and find His will for you but you still only see it as a promise to be fulfilled you won't walk by faith. The minute a pain comes forth in your body, or circumstances staring you in the face bring thoughts to your mind you are not going to make it, you will likely begin to consider your circumstances over the Word of God.
Remember Abraham did not consider his body almost dead and 99, and the fact that Sarah could not have a child. Abraham did not take what God had said and still see it as a promise to be fulfilled one day, because that is not what God said. YOU MUST GET THIS VERY IMPORTANT POINT. Abraham heard God say, "I have made you the father of many nations." As far as Abraham was concerned he already was the father of many nations, he was not going to one day become the father of many nations. He simply took God at His Word.
Heb. 11:1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Faith is the proof of what we hope for. Our hope begins in what God has promised but faith must change that hope of God's promise into a present realty before it is ever seen. This is how we walk by faith and not by sight. As you do, then what God has said will come to pass in your life for God cannot lie. You can take Him at His Word.
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May God's Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker