Walking by faith IS walking by sight.
The thing is, we don’t walk according to what we can perceive with our 5 senses. Though we may be in a dire situation financially, relationally, emotionally, we are charged to walk forward with the Lord. We don’t often see many people in today’s world operating without a five-year plan, but today the Lord reminded me of one His faithful servants who walked just that way: Abraham.
Abraham, then known as Abram, had been living what we can probably assume to be a pretty normal life in the land of his father for many years. We learn in Genesis that Abram (yet to be called Abraham) was a man of means, a man with cattle to spare, etc. Yet, in these circumstances of relative security in the times in which he lived, Abram senses deep within himself that this type of outward success is not the full reward for obedience that the Lord would bless Him with. Jehovah, Yahweh, I AM, is calling him to walk closely with him: away from what he knows and out into a transitional, nomadic life. Yahweh, the one true
God, has promised Abram that he will be the father of many nations.
As of yet, his wife is barren, and despite his material wealth, he may feel like a failure within the eyes of his peers, having not produced a male heir to carry on his name and take over the family business. Despite years and years of wandering from one dry and dusty place to another, Abraham maintains a loving heart towards the Lord his God, Jehovah, and uses what means he has to serve those who come across his path. There were some perks along the way too; Without knowing it, he even entertained angels! We know how the story ends with Abe, that the Lord’s word did come to pass in His perfect timing, but let us not miss out on the process of patience. May we let patience have its perfect work, so that we’ll be lacking no good and perfect gift of the Lord in our lives! It is through faith and patience that we see God’s words come to pass, that we come to enter into the great rest that God has for us, in small part now and in large part later on.
I’m sure there were days when Abe was not in the mood to watch the cattle or to move from one place to another, not knowing where his tent pegs would next rest. There were likely days when Abraham awoke sore from the previous day’s journeying and shepherding, guarding his family and his flocks from unknown predators in an unknown place. The stress of such living was likely high. Constantly being in an unknown situation can keep one ‘keyed up’ even when the situation has been over for awhile (ask a recently returned preciously deployed soldier!). All of this really stretches a guy. Yet, day in and day out, not perfectly, but consistently, Abraham chose to follow the Lord’s voice, Yahweh’s leading and guiding. Call it a ‘gut feeling’. Call it a ‘sixth sense’. However we might think of it, Abraham sought to hear the word of God in his life every day in a fresh way. He pressed in to hear what the Lord was seeing, thus seeing with the eyes of faith (provided by God’s grace) even in situations where his natural eyes found calamity.
Though the word of God, the Bible, contains all the information necessary for salvation, should we have hearts and minds moved by the grace of the Lord to respond to it in faith, it doesn’t necessarily answer all of our day-to-day questions. What career should I choose? What town should I live in? What should I have for lunch? We live in a complex world in which we are all intertwined with one another; every decision we make irrevocably affects each and every other person on the planet, to varying degrees depending upon our closeness with that person. Because of this fact, in my understanding, the Lord DOES care about each of our little decisions throughout the day. If enough people were led by the Lord to eat lunch at home instead of eating at McDonald’s for a long enough period of time, they may be forced to raise prices, lay off employees, shorten hours, or close altogether. If McD’s closes, how many jobs would be lost? How many chance meetings would be cancelled out of history? McDonald’s has become a community center of sorts, a meeting place.
As we can see, there are multiple dimensions that potentially affect the course of human history in each of our little decisions (especially when we are acting with a number of others or just acting in response to the Lord’s leading) ; why not ask the Lord for his leading and wisdom on each of them? Abe did. Abe obviously trusted the Lord’s leading enough to pack up and leave town on what others would have perceived as a whim, and then followed the Spirit of the Lord wherever it would lead. This is the walking by faith that the Lord refers to in the New Testament, through Paul’s pen as he writes in his second letter to the congregation at Corinth. Abe learned that faith in the Lord, getting a sense for the Lord’s leading in one’s life came by hearing, and that our hearing comes by the word, the same type of creative word that Yahweh made use of when He created the world in the very beginning. If we will partner with the Lord by living lives utterly surrendered to obeying every word that proceeds from His mouth as our bread, won’t we wonder at what the Lord will create in, around, and through us!
Hallelujah at the Lord’s creative words and His purposes coming to pass! May we see with the eyes of faith and respond to what we see with our spirit with the aid of His, not to those things we perceive with our natural senses. In Jesus name, amen.