“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7)
I have been thinking a lot lately about this Scripture and many others that talk about living by faith. This new chapter in my life had me curious as to what does it really mean to live by faith. I am at a really good and comfortable place in life right now. I have a good job, a good church, a good ministry and am surrounded by good people. Life couldn’t get any better. I am content and sastisfied. I want for nothing now.
And yet… here I am getting ready to leave it all behind for an uncertain future in a place I know very little about. Why? Because, like Abraham, I feel called to such a thing. I have honestly never felt anything like this before since becoming a Christian. It has me rethinking my entire definition of what it means to live by faith.
I felt called to ministry and to preaching. It was a very strong conviction that this is what I’m supposed to do with my life and the joy found in the task itself. But it was also a rationale decision that I could make logical sense of. It didn’t really require a blind leap into the undiscernable uncertainties. I could give you the pros and cons and biblical support of why I should be preaching and serving others when I made that decision.
I am a rationale man. (Don’t get rationale confused with intelligent. I can be rationally unintelligent at times.) I like people and things that are logical and reasonable. When things are logical they are understandable. When they are understandable I feel safer. I don’t know why but understanding things makes me feel safer.
So when I’m faced with decisions, especially major ones, I disect them from every possible angle I can get to. I’d probably be grate at statistical analysis for a living because I do it everyday all day in my own life. My mind is always constantly spinning at light speed analyzing each new factor in my life, as compared to existing and old factors, and trying to compute every possible change new factors might introduce in light of past experiences and biblical insights. I kid you not. There is this constant statistical analysis process going on in my head in regards to my life. (Sometimes I picture a bunch of little Elves running around up there processing all this information for me. Lol)
I have realized over time that the reason I do this is partially out of wisdom, partially out of a healthy fear and partially out of an unhealthy fear. I was never like this before becoming a Christian. Before I just always went with the flow making the decision that felt good to me at the time with no worries about whether the consequences be good or bad. After becoming a Christian I didn’t want to make the same mistakes I did before in the past. Neither did I want to find new mistakes to make.
Therefore I developed this fear of making mistakes because I was such a big screw up in the past. To an extent this cam be a healthy fear producing wisdom learned from past mistakes. But to live in constant fear of making the wrong decision isn’t healthy. It causes you to depend on what you can see and doesn’t allow you to walk by faith. What happens when we live like this is that if we cannot see an outcome which guarantees the desired result then we don’t move.
God definitely did not create us with the ability to assess situations without desiring for us to do so in wisdom. But the over analytical mind will miss out on many faith adventures that simply may not make any sense at all.
Did it make any sense for Abraham to pack up his entire household and move to a land He had never even seen before? Did it make any sense for Moses to stand I’m defiance of Pharoah? Did it make any sense for Shardrach, Meshach and Abednego to go willingly into the furnace or Daniel into the Lion’s den? Did it make any sense for a 10 year old boy to take on a seasoned soldier with just a sling and a stone?
How did these men know they were doing the right thing? Truth be told, they couldn’t. They had no visible gaurantee that the decisions they made in those moments would turn out to be the right decisions in the end. There was no logical way for them to draw a reasonable conclusion that their choice of action would turn out to be the right or best choice in the end. We must learn to accept that sometimes faith will look like this. Unless we want to downgrade these biblical accounts of faith in action to just some good bedtime stories.
In what ways have you possibly limited your faith in God to only what you can see, understand or analyze? If God asked you to do something in which you could see no gaurantee of what the outcome would be would you be willing to do it? Do you trust God enough that you are willing to put a blindfold on and let Him lead you one step at a time?
This is what God has been speaking to me lately. I am honestly not quite there yet. But little by little I am letting go of my need to have everything figured out. Me and this blindfold have a love-hate relationship. I don’t like it because I want to see the forecast. But I love it because it keeps me close to God.
– Joseph Sterling