Faith…Sight…Which one is real?

by Lester Young

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). If you’ve opened up a Bible or been to church more than twice in your life, you’re probably well aware of that famous verse. And you should be, because that very short phrase is packed with not only God’s wisdom, but also an instruction from Him.

Contrary to what some may think about that verse or how it’s often regarded, it is not just some suggestion that we can take or leave based on the occasion or our feelings at the moment. It’s a command for how to always conduct our lives! It tells us: “The world operates by its physical senses and what it’s able to figure out on its own by using those senses – because that’s all it has to go on (indeed, it’s all that’s left, because it has rejected God, His knowledge and wisdom, and His Way [John 16:9]). But those of us who are in Christ Jesus are to operate by another way altogether, a way that doesn’t depend on the very limited amount of information that our senses or brain can deliver to us. It’s based instead on trusting Somebody Who in fact has all the info; and, on top of that, He’s promised with an oath to see to our good! (Hebrews 6:17-18) So, we take and believe whatever He tells us, regardless of if our circumstances are screaming something completely different. That’s how God’s sons and daughters do it!”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sure does! Tough to do in the natural, isn’t it? Sure is! Well, you know the saying: “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.” In all fairness to the One Who designed the system, He never said it would always be a picnic for us – He just said we’d always win (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14). As a matter of fact, Jesus pretty much squashed the notion of things being ‘easy’ in the New Testament by saying, “When affliction or persecution arise for the Word’s sake…” Not ‘if’ but ‘when.’ Put plainly, if you’re standing on the Word of God for something, they’re going to come, period. The Apostle Paul seconds the motion on that in 2 Timothy 3:12, declaring, “Yes, all who [choose and set out to] live godly [lives] in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (The Message translation of that verse just buries any and all lingering doubt: “Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.”)

The ancient Israelites faced the same predicaments we do now (or is it us who are faced with the same predicaments that they had?) Either way, the problem was ‘giants.’ Actually, no, that’s not true. Giants weren’t the problem; they were the perceived problem. The real problem was how the Israelites regarded themselves in relation to the giants. They saw themselves as grasshoppers trying to go up against those gigantic folk. And because that’s how they viewed themselves, they just naturally assumed the giants saw them that way, too (Numbers 13:33). (Just an observation, but how would they have known what those giants thought?! It didn’t look like anybody bothered to go over and ask, because they were too busy scurrying away from them – like grasshoppers.)

In short, they got their eyes so focused on the obstacles facing them that they completely forgot about the One Who was with them and had already fought for and gloriously delivered them from their previous enemies (Exodus 14:30-31; Psalm 78:42). They became so fixated upon those people’s size, strength, fierceness, wealth and importance (sound familiar?) that they didn’t even bother to factor into their thinking the God of heaven and earth – the One Who had specifically told them to go on over there and take the land and everything in it, and not to worry because He was with them! (Exodus 33:14) How could they forget?! These were the people that had seen plagues – plagues which seemingly began and ended suddenly – and a sea divide right before them! Going forward, how could they disregard that? What else did they need in order to believe?! The nerve of some people, right?

Well…we often do the same thing today…so how could we disregard it? We get so focused on the size of our problems and what we don’t have to overcome them, that we forget to factor in our Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood that has both given us right-standing with the God of heaven and earth and ratified an inordinate number of exceedingly great and precious personal promises to us. We so easily and naturally set our eyes and attention on the problem until it fills us with fear and doubt; when we should have been spending all that observation time focusing on what God has told us to do, and on His promises of deliverance and victory.

Now, some may say, “Hey, I have to take stock of what I’m up against. I can’t just ignore it – gotta ‘keep it real.'” Absolutely; gather all the pertinent information you need. But then, turn your attention to God’s Word – and after you do, don’t turn back away from it. Find out what He says about the matter, and start acting just like it’s a done deal (James 2:21-26) – because, as far as He’s concerned, it is. Remember, just because a set of facts is real, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17); and what He says about you and your situation is the truth. Circumstances that don’t agree with His Truth are simply ‘facts’ that eventually will have to change – assuming, of course, that you stay in faith on His Word.

So, then, the question really becomes, “Who are you going to believe? God, or your lyin’ eyes?

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6 Responses to “Faith…Sight…Which one is real?”

  1. God bless you for sharing this message, Lester.

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