“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” — 2 Corinthians 5:7
What does it mean to walk by faith? Sure, it’s a Scripture that is quoted frequently but do we really know what it means? One of the first things I notice about 2 Corinthians 5:7 is the word “walk.”
Paul didn’t use the word “run” so we would burst out in faith only to tire quickly and sit around. Walking conveys a gradual, continual movement. I’ve seen Christians sprint in their faith for a little while only to tire quickly. Walking is steady, a pace we all can do throughout our day.
Most people don’t like to run. Sure, it gets us where we are going faster but it requires more energy and is usually done less than walking. We all want things to happen fast but there is no fast-faith. Walking conveys intimacy and is found throughout Scripture.
Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:24) and God even walked with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). We are told to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and to walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:8).
When you think of spending time with your spouse most people don’t say, “let’s go on a run.” Walking together sounds more intimate than sprinting. We are a fast-pace people. We love results that come quick. We all look for the shortcut to get the end result faster. How does this add up in the Christian’s walk with the Lord?
Romans 1:17 says, “The just shall live by faith.” Faith is played out over a lifetime. Faith is practiced and developed day by day, moment by moment.
Why do we walk by faith and not sight? I’m sure all of us have made decisions we regret. Most of mine are from acting or speaking too quickly out of feeling, emotion, worry or fear. If I had just stopped and asked God about it or waited and prayed through it I would have been better off.
All too often we fix our eyes on something appealing and do anything to get it. Scripture tells me to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
Love at first sight is cute but usually impossible. Love is developed over time once you get to know someone better. Your eyes can play tricks on you. What looks good today can seem disgusting tomorrow. Walking by faith tests and approves what our senses are telling us.
Growth happens over time. Whenever I go away for a period of time without my kids they look like they have grown a ton when get back.
Every few months I mark the height of my kids on a door frame in my garage. I can’t see them growing physically each day, but over time I know that they are. Spiritual growth happens daily as well. We walk by faith day by day and look back over time and see just how much we have grown.
Christianity is a daily process, not just a onetime decision. Paul said, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6). Walking in Christ builds and establishes us in the faith. Remember this: walking by faith means moving ahead step by step in confidence even when you can’t see around the next corner!
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Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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