I feel compelled to continue spending time on this verse about walking by faith and not by sight. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5 is talking about the life after this one. The life that matters most. Because we are assured of the life to come, we can walk by faith and not by sight in this present darkness.
How can someone come to a place where they can manage to make decisions, and live their lives completely apart from the things they see in front of them? I think it becomes much easier when we learn to have an eternity mindset. We begin to see this life differently when we realize that as the Bible says, “This life is but a vapor”. The whole of our lives cannot exist for the brief moments we survive here. We are passing through. This is not our home.
This is just the starting point. We land here in this place completely helpless and spend the next seventy years or so learning how to continue to be dependent.
But wait a second…that doesn’t match the general consensus on how to successfully make it to adulthood, now does it? We raise our children to become independent adults, don’t we? We live for the day that they will fly away from the nest, and live on their own apart from us. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of successful parenting? Independence?
Nope. Not for the Christian parent, it isn’t. Every one of my children came into this world completely dependent upon my husband and me. They needed us for everything. Without us, they would have perished. We tended to their every need, no matter what the need. We fed them, clothed them, and met their physical and emotional needs both day and night.
Eventually they grew to become more self-reliant. Now, my kids don’t really need us so much. It’s a good season of life. But this is not success as a parent. Success for the parent is in the transfer of the dependence of their children from themselves to God. At some point, every successful child will stop depending upon their parents and begin trusting in God to lead, guide, and direct them.
One major goal of every parent should be to teach their children the art of walking by faith and not by sight. Maybe this is news to some. Perhaps you haven’t learned how to do this yourself. The good news is, it is never too late to learn.
When we learn that there is more to this life than what we can see with our eyes, we begin to understand how to make decisions based on faith and not our current circumstances. If we could have a “behind the scenes tour” of our lives, our whole perspective on this life would change.
I love those behind the scenes tours. If you ever visit the set of a television show, you’ll be amazed at all that goes on to produce the show everyone sees on the screen. Similarly, I have a bird’s eye view each month of our Motion Night for students at Church of the Highlands. I get to sit in the Control Room and watch the service play out from a very different vantage point from the students in the auditorium.
Sometimes there are technical glitches. No one working in a Control Room likes for anything to be out of control. That’s why it’s not called the “Out of Control Room.” But sometimes it happens. Most of the time, the students are never even aware of all that went on in the control room to repair, fix, or manage the situation that went awry. Sometimes they never even know there was a problem in the first place.
I believe our lives are like that, to a degree. So many things are happening behind the scenes of our lives that we have no knowledge of at all. When we learn that the behind the scenes action is really the true show, all that we see in front of our eyes begins to be less important. We stop making decisions according to what is in front of us, and begin to direct our lives according to what’s going on in the control room… so to speak.
We have to learn to let this life hang about us like a loose garment. Our lives began here, but they will not end here. We must adjust our lives to care for that which will last. We have to care for our souls. It has been said, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
This life is training ground for the life to come. It is our charge to go into that life to come as healthy as we can. This life will pass away, but our soul, and the souls of those around us will live on.
Walking by faith means learning to listen to, and trust in, the direction of Holy Spirit. We take steps forward or not depending upon his guidance. We cannot see the back-story, so we have to trust in the One who can.
Walking by faith means trusting in what you know to be true of God and not in what you feel. Our feelings change day by day and moment by moment. God never changes. When we base our decisions on the truth of God, rather than our feelings in the moment about what we see before us, we take a step in faith.
Those early steps my kids took as toddlers were difficult and scary. Yet eventually, they learned to walk and then to run. The same can be true of walking by faith. Those first tentative steps are uncertain, but the more steps we take in faith, the more confident those steps become. So eventually, when we walk from this life into the next, we will step out of this present darkness into His glorious light as someone who really did see.
I love this piece of a message from Francis Chan about living for eternity.