September 30, 2010
Walking by Faith
Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6-7, NIV
In college, I took a course in which I was instructed to bring a blindfold to class one day.
Sounded a little suspect a first, but I soon found out that it was just a harmless exercise in trust. We were paired up with classmates and had to take turns walking around campus while wearing the blindfold. The partner who could see would audibly guide the blindfolded individual.
When we reconvened in the classroom, we were to discuss what we were feeling and thinking while blindfolded. Were we fearful? Did we have faith in our partners? Did we trust in and follow their instructions?
I can't remember if I had a good guide or not. But I do remember not liking being blinded to what I could see. I didn't like being out of control. It was disconcerting, and I was thankful when the exercise was over.
As believers, this illustrates how our lives are to be lived. We all are wearing "invisible blindfolds," if you will. We are never promised that we will see everything we want to see in this life. Nor are we guaranteed to understand our circumstances or why we must face times of hardship and struggle on earth.
Instead, we are told to follow the voice of the Lord. To focus on the eternal, not on the temporal. To trust in what we cannot see.
Several examples in the Bible encourage us in this kind of "by faith" living. …
Gideon …who defeated the Midianite army with a force of only 300 men. They carried no weapons—just clay jars and lanterns into a battle with the Midianites, who numbered 135,000! A surprise attack in the dark of night only confused the Midianites, and they turned their swords on each other. Only God could have orchestrated this unbelievable victory (Judges 6-8).
Esther … who risked her life to save her people from death. As the wife of King Xerxes, Queen Esther could do something to stop Haman, the evil prime minister who was plotting to kill all the Jews in the empire. She could have chosen to play it safe and not speak up. But she obeyed the Lord and bravely approached the king with her request to save the Jews (Esther 1-10).
Jonah … who lived in the belly of a fish and didn't know if he would make it out alive. When God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn the people of their sin, he first disobeyed and got on a ship heading the opposite direction. God then brought a storm and caused Jonah to be thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. Jonah prayed and repented, and he was spit out. Jonah then went to Nineveh and preached, and God did not destroy the city (Jonah 1-4).
Today, you may feel like you're facing insurmountable opposition—the size of a 135,000-member army! Or perhaps your circumstances make you feel like you're stuck in the hopelessly dark belly of a big fish.
But God knows what opportunities lie ahead for you, so be encouraged! And may you and I continue learning to live each day by faith and not by sight.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Looking back on your life, think of the times when God asked you to do something that seemed "strange" to you. How did you respond at the time? Can you see now that his plan was the best way? Thank him today, that through your life he has indeed done marvelous works!
1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV
2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV