for we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7)
This verse’s context is awaiting our eternity; until we die the first death, we must walk by faith and not sight.
This has been a theme for me as I have studied Deuteronomy again in preparation for teaching it this month. It is also a theme God has been stretching me in. But the good news, for those of us walking with God, is found in verse 5 of this passage:
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Cor 5:5).
The Spirit is our guarantee of the life that is to come. He is also the One that enables us to walk without stumbling during this short season of blindness. It is His voice that must be our guide – even when it goes against all our natural instincts and human understanding.
The Spirit guides us along the path God has for us. God gives us some further helps as well, which are strongly reflected in the book of Deuteronomy. Here are a few of the gems He is giving me from Deuteronomy:
- Trust in God’s character plays a large part in walking by faith. The Word of God is our guide to God’s character and then personal experience cements our understanding of His worthiness of our trust.
- Understanding of God’s character leads us to love Him and it is from love that obedience flows most successfully. It is easy to obey a loving Father.
- Remembrance of God’s past faithfulness also increases our faith in Him and breeds further trust and reliance on God.
This year God has stretched our faith in Him to provide on time. In fact, throughout my life walking by faith God has always perfectly matched provision to need. This past season He has deepened the lesson that we can afford to give hilariously (2 Cor 9:7 – cheerful can be rendered “hilarious”) where He leads us because it isn’t our money, but His, and He has plenty more in His storehouse for our needs! We have had several large provisional breakthroughs this year; all supernatural and all on the back of obeying His call to give in an extravagant manner (for our personal income and possessions) that had us laughing with incredulity!
He had also had us step out in faithful obedience to chase a ministry vision that is impossible without God’s input. Remembering Him doing the same in my life when calling me to co-found Redefined Ministries DRCongo and pioneer YWAMs Bible School in Rwanda is a good example of remembrance building future faith. I hold on to how these two ministries have grown since their birth when I am discouraged by lack of (perceived) momentum in this current season. Again, Glenn and I are walking by faith and not sight in this area as we put money into converting our home into a mission hub, able to host visiting mission teams.
It seems that God hasn’t finished with my lesson in this area yet. We fly out on a mission trip Thursday, but are still awaiting a passport to arrive. We both have peace not to change flights or make other plans, yet it is stretching us! Walking by sight would be allowing anxiety to creep in, change flights, or make alternative plans. Waking by faith means holding firm to the peace God has placed in our hearts that Thursday is our flying date. Again, remembering past lessons helps somewhat. I am racking up quite a few last minute miracle stories, but two memorable ones include:
- My first Rwandan visa coming through so last minute that I had taken a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg without it and had to run to my gate with my check-in luggage on my person.
- My son’s visa for a trip last year coming 10 minutes after the close of business day on the last business day before we flew.
I hope this post is an encouragement to some of you who might be trusting God for things that seem impossible by the physics or understanding of this world. Let’s keep in step with the Spirit, walking by faith and not sight!
As an addition (02/10/2018):
God came through with the passport and we are all set to go.
Last night and this morning He challenged me with these questions: “What is your understanding of Me and My character? Am I the Living God? Am I a God who keeps His Word? Have I not promised you it will come? Will you trust in Me and My word?” Yes, I trust Him and His word.
It was no longer a question of whether or not I should go; God had spoken to me that I should go on this trip. It had become a question of trust and – I felt God saying that, because I had written the blog post – it had also become a matter of His faithfulness to His Word. It had become about His character, not whether I had heard Him correctly. And, as we see, He is a God who keeps His Word. He is the Living God!