Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” While each one of us on a journey in life, that journey does lead to a destination – either eternal life in heaven, or eternal torment in hell. But 2 Corinthians 5:7, focuses on the journey. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and said, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Every Christian must choose with path their journey will take – the path of life or the path of sight. Walking by faith is like taking journey with a blindfold on and trusting God to get you He’s leading you. But if you walk by sight, then you need to see the path and each step along the way.
The Bible provides us with examples of people who walked by faith – people like Abraham, Noah, Joseph, and Daniel. From them we can see what the journey of faith is supposed to be like.
- Abraham teaches us that walking by faith is a journey to the unknown. In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham that He wants him to leave his home and go to a place God will show him. What we don’t see in the Bible is Abraham questioning God about this place. Abraham doesn’t say, “But God, will this place be good for raising sheep?” Or “But God, what shall I pack?” Or “But God, what dangers will be there or along the way?” Or, “God, how will I support myself along the way?” We also do not see Abraham getting the advice from friends or relatives. (Not that getting advice is a bad thing. In fact, in Proverbs 12:15, Solomon wrote: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” For Abraham, he knew that it was God speaking to Him so he did not need the advice of man.) No, the Bible says in verse four, “So Abram went, as the Lord told him.” He simply obeyed.
- Abraham teaches us that there is often a cost to walking by faith. Think for a moment about what it would you to just pack up and move to a place and not even knowing where you were moving to. For Abraham, it cost him his home, friends, and family. It meant leaving everything behind that was comfortable and familiar to take a step in a place of uncertainty. Not knowing if this place would be close enough to come visit friends and family from time to time or if you’d never see them again.
- Abraham teaches us that walking by faith means we don’t always get all the details. It wouldn’t be much of a walk by faith if God gave Abraham every little detail. It’s the fact that we don’t know that makes it a walk of faith. If God says, “Go” we go and then trust Him to lead us exactly where He wants us to be.
- Abraham teaches us that obediently walking by faith brings the blessing of fulfillment of God’s promises. As God called Abraham to go by faith to a place He would show him, God make him seven promises that He would fulfill if Abraham obeyed. We can find these promises in the first three verses of Genesis 12. God said:
- “I will make you a great nation.”
- “I will bless you.”
- I will “make your name great.”
- “You shall be a blessing.”
- “I will bless those who bless you.”
- “I will curse those who curse you.”
- “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
- Noah teaches us that walking by faith means obeying even if we don’t understand. God told Noah to build a boat on dry ground because God was going to send rain to destroy the earth because of how wicked and sinful the people had become. Up to this point it had never rained before. So Noah couldn’t have possibly understood what rain was and if you don’t understand what rain is, then its likely you don’t understand the reasoning for building a very big boat on very dry ground.
- Noah teaches us that walking by faith means people will laugh in our face and make fun us. Imagine the scene for a moment. They walk by Noah’s place and notice he’s building something. Someone walks up and says, “Hey, Noah. What ‘cha buildin?” Noah says, “A boat.” The inquirer looks around him, scratches his had and thinks he’s misunderstood. “A what?” he asks. “A boat.” Noah says. Again the inquirer looks around. “Did you say a boat?” Calmly Noah says, “Yes.” The inquirer’s jaw drops. “Well Noah, are you insane? Why are you building a boat here…on dry ground. There’s no water here to launch a boat.” Without stopping his work, Noah answers, “Because God is going to send rain and flood the earth to destroy it.” The inquirer laughs. “Rain? What is rain? We’ve never seen anything called rain before.” The conversation continues until the inquirer walks away laughing and telling everyone he sees that Noah is building about a dry ground because its going to rain. Then everyone has to come by to see for themselves and they all sneer, laugh, and make fun of Noah.
- Noah teaches us that there is safety in walking by faith. Because Noah obeyed God, Noah and his family was led into the ark and they were the only people to survive the flood and God re-started the human race through Noah and his sons. If Noah had not of obeyed, the rains and floods would have still come, but Noah and his family would have perished along with everyone else. Walking by faith can sometimes seem scary because of the unknowns, but there is always safety in walking by faith.
- Joseph teaches us that God initiates the walk of faith. Before Joseph has to learn to walk by faith and trust God, God gives him dreams that let’s Joseph know that God is at work. Joseph didn’t reach out to God and say, “Hey God, why don’t one day in the future, you allow me to be used by you to save my entire family.” Instead, God gives Joseph dreams that hints at what Joseph will one day become.
- Joseph teaches us that when God gives us a dream, we need to cling to those dreams and by faith trust God to bring them into full fruition – even when you’ve been rejected, sold out, accused of things not true, and forgotten. Joseph’s own brothers threw him in pit. Most of them wanted to kill him, but the oldest came up with the plan to throw him in the pit. He thought that when the other brothers were distracted, he’s rescue Joseph and send him back home – but while he was away, the other brothers sold him as a slave. He lands in Egypt and is bought by Potiphar. Over time, he works his way up the ranks in Potiphar’s house until he catches the eye of Potiphar’s wife who wants to sleep with him. Joseph runs away but in the process his outer garment is left in Mrs. Potiphar’s hand. Angry that Joseph would refuse her, she waits until her husband comes home and then claims Joseph attacked her, which lands Joseph in prison. Sometime later, Pharaoh tosses his chief baker and cup bearer in jail. They have dreams but can’t figure out what they mean. Joseph explains it to them and things happen exactly the way Joseph said. He asks the one restored to his position to remember him and tell Pharaoh that he is innocent and doesn’t belong in jail. But the guy forgets all about Joseph until Pharaoh has a couple of dreams and no one can explain them to him – then the cup bearer remembered Joseph and Joseph was brought out of prison and before Pharaoh
- Joseph teaches us that when we walk by faith, God is always with us. Over and over again in the story of Joseph’s life, the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph. He was with Joseph in Potiphar’s house. He was with Joseph in jail. He was with Joseph before Pharaoh as God revealed the meaning of the dreams to Joseph. God was with Joseph as He gave him the wisdom to plan for the famine that was coming. And God was with him when Pharaoh made him second in command of the entire nations of Egypt.
- Joseph teaches us that walking by faith doesn’t always mean the path is easy. Remember that before Joseph made to 2nd in command, he was hated by his brothers who were jealous of him and planned to murder him, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery. Just when it looked like life was turning around for him and he was placed in charge of all of Potiphar’s house, Mrs. Potiphar takes a liking to Joseph and accuses him of attempted rape which lands Joseph into prison. There is he is forgotten, until the exact moment in time for what God had placed Joseph in Egypt for in the first place. The path to get to that moment was not pleasant, but it set Joseph up for coming before Pharaoh.
- Joseph teaches us that walking by faith means never rejecting God. Joseph had been torn away from his family – a family that had taught him about God. Even when he was sold into another country with very different religious beliefs, Joseph never gave up his own beliefs about God nor did he reject his belief to take up believing in the false gods of the Egyptians. In fact, he was a witness to the Egyptians as he lived a life of integrity and telling others that his God was with him.
- Daniel teaches us that walking by faith means not defiling ourselves with sin. In the book of Daniel, we find that Daniel was taken captive by the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar chose the “best of the best” of the captives who would spend three years training and learning the Babylonian language so that they could serve in the King’s court. These chosen men were given the best food and wine from the kings table, but in verse 8 we see that “Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank.” God had given the Israelite specific instructions about what they could and could not eat. Daniel may have been a captive, but he still chose not to defile himself and eat what God had said they should not. He chose not to do what everyone else was doing and to honor God’s instructions. Because God has commanded them to not eat certain things, had Daniel done so, it would have been sin for him.
- Daniel teaches us that walking by faith means risking it all. Daniel’s faith landed him in a den of lions. Some of the administrators of King Darius came together to plot against Daniel and got the King to sign an edict that said for 30 days no one could petition any god or man except for the king and if they were caught doing so, they would be thrown in a den of lions. As soon as Daniel heard about the edit, he went to an upper room in his home with the windows opened to Jerusalem and just as he had always done, he prayed three times a day. The administrators eagerly watched and then went back to the king to remind him of the edict he had signed and inform him that Daniel had broken the edict.
- Daniel teaches us that walking by faith means others see God in us. King Darius was immediately displeased and he tried all day to come up with a way to save Daniel, but the administrators said, “You as king now it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no edict or ordinance the king establishes can be changed.” So the king calls Daniel and just before Daniel is thrown in with the lions, the king says, “May your God whom who serve continually, rescue you!”
- Daniel teaches us that walking by faith means God will rescue us. All night, the king fasted and he couldn’t sleep. As soon as dawn came, he went to the lion’s den as quickly as possible. The Bible tells us that the king called out in anguish to Daniel, saying, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?” Now if it had been me, I think I would have kept quiet at least for a little bit but Daniel replied, “May the king live forever. My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t hurt me, for I was found innocent before Him. Also, I have not committed a crime against you my king.” As long as God still has a plan for us on this earth, He will again and again come to our rescue when we are walking by faith. However, there are times when we have faithfully carried out the walk of faith and God calls us on to heaven to spend eternity with Him.
What does your walk of faith look like? If you look back over the journey you’ve been on, do you see the moment where God initiated and called you out to walk by faith? What has it cost you? Did God give you all the details up front? Have you yet to see the blessing of God’s promises to you? Do you understand all that God has asked you to do? Who are the people that have mocked you, not believed that God would call you to such as a faith-journey? What safety have you found by walking by faith? Are you still clinging to the dreams God gave you for this faith-journey? Where have been the times on the journey that you knew God was with you? Can you identify the times where your faith-journey has not been easy? Have you ever considered rejecting God and walking away from the faith-journey He has called you to? Have you ever considered defiling yourself with sin so that you could fit-in with those around you? Are you willing to risk it all to be faithful to what God has called you to do? Does your faith-journey point others to God? Can you identify a time that God has rescued you?
Walking by faith can be exciting at times, scary at times, uncertain at times, and difficult at times. But God has called us, as Christians, to walk by faith – totally surrendered to His will and trusting Him with every aspect of our lives. Take a few moments and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the areas where you are walking by faith and the areas where you are walking by sight. Then ask Him to blindfold you and lead you by faith where He wants you to go.
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
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