2 Corinthians 5:6–7 (ESV)
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Pastor Chris shared a message that has been in his spirit, and on his heart, for about 8 months – By Faith. We are to live “by faith” according to God’s Word. Our sight is limited to contained reality. When we exert human effort to accomplish works for ourselves, even for the church or the kingdom, we become exhausted with anxiousness, striving, and worry. Our Lord and Father invites us to trust Him to shed stress, worry and fatigue of doing and thinking of all the possible outcomes ourselves. Rather, we are to point our feet in the direction of faith (not feelings) and begin taking a step. Faithfulness will challenge us to give up control, comfort, and self-reliance. These are smokescreens of the enemy. Chris emphatically challenged us to surrender our own ideas, initiatives, and imperatives and anticipate that God will replace them with His. Corrie Ten Boom, a survivor of the Holocaust describes faith as an acrostic:
Consider these two lists which sum up the tension that exists in us when we should trust God, yet rely on ourselves:
|Seven Weaknesses of Walking by Sight Human Sufficiency Human Resources Human Wisdom Human Ingenuity Human Calculation Human Strength Human Comfort||Seven Strengths of Walking by Faith Christ’s Sufficiency Christ’s Resources Christ’s Wisdom Christ’s Power Christ’s Direction Christ’s Enablement Christ’s Stretch|
Three Aspects of Biblical Faith
- Faith Pleases God
” 1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16 (ESV)
- We are Saved by Faith to Walk in Faith
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)
“The righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 (ESV)
“The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 (ESV)
God is saying, “Believe me!” Walk without the end in mind, but expect the miracle of God to provide. He loves it when we say, “I don’t know how this will happen, but I’m going to trust you!” It doesn’t seem to make sense, but I know that God is good and gives good gifts to His children.
- Faith is to be Exercised Regularly
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6)
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise” (Proverbs 13:20)
“8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. Hebrews 11:8–9 (ESV)
11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11 (ESV)
“17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” Hebrews 11:17, 19 (ESV)
God wants us to join Him in the adventure!
- How do you think we can build churches to endure in an increasing godless world?
- In what ways are believers tempted to walk by sight?
- Share a time when you were prompted by the Spirit to walk in faith. What was your answer? What was His response?
- What are some faith accounts in the Bible that have motivated you to “walk by faith?”
- What is a need or godly desire that you have that could only be accomplished by stepping out in faith?
- Seek the Lord in prayer for a faith-step you will take this week. Once you have the answer, share with someone what it is and commit to sharing the results!