What I learned about living by faith not by sight
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’m not the most patient person in the world. If I set my mind to something, I’ll do it without even a minute passing. If you tell me you’re going to do things for me, I expect you to do things right away.
That’s why when God gave me the words “fulfilled promises” and “conquering my Promised Land” at the start of 2011, which to me means a better writing career, a family of my own, and prosperity, among other things, I was sort of expecting they would come to pass within the year, or if not this year, in the years ahead, with 2011 as the time for God to lay the foundation.
It turned out, it wasn’t this year. That was fine with me, but only for a time. When I looked at my circumstances and saw that things remained just like they were when the year started, I concluded that God wasn’t working. I began to nudge God a lot harder, and I grew more troubled when I felt he wasn’t even hearing my prayers.
I knew these were lies, the enemy’s work to dampen my faith. But without physical evidence for my “fulfilled promises” and “Promised Land,” it was so easy for me to succumb to these lies. With my permission, these lies immediately took residence in my heart and unleashed their poisoning powers.
Suddenly, there was a tug of war in my heart. One part wanted to believe in the faithfulness and truthfulness of the Promise-Giver. One part wanted and prayed for evidence, for reasons to believe.
Faced with the facts of my situation, I was losing the battle. Day by day. Instead of earnestly seeking God, I ended up accusing him. “You don’t care,” I whined, almost childishly.
But even at the height of my doubt, God remained faithful. He was never intimidated by my doubting remarks and accusing questions. He reminded me that just how faithfully he kept his covenant with Abraham and blessed him with a son even though it looked humanly impossible, God could and would always be willing to fulfill his promises to me although my present situation depicts otherwise.
It took a lot of Bible verses and reminders of God’s faithfulness to convince me that God was indeed interested in my affairs, and now I realize that wanting physical evidence for his promises as a condition for me to believe was faulty. I wasn’t operating with faith. I was operating with pure human logic. Human logic is not entirely bad, but it often clashes with faith because it always needs explanations and evidence.
Friends, faith means believing even though the eyes couldn’t see any proof. It means believing even though it defies human reasoning. It means believing for things before they come to being. What we need is to take facts as they are, but approach them with eyes of faith and a heart full of hope.
If at the start of the year you believed for something and it didn’t materialize, remember that what he wants from us is just to believe—believe that he knows his plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), that not one of his good promises will fail (Joshua 23:14), and that if we put our hope in him we will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). With or without evidence for his promises, we should continue trusting his wisdom and faithfulness. And whether we acknowledge it or not, God is working on our behalf. God’s Word has several assurances of his faithfulness, and these are enough to make us believe.
Truth is, God is already at work in me. Only his works are sometimes invisible to my human eyes. At other times, my human eyes choose to ignore God’s works because my brain sends signals that they aren’t what my brain is expecting. Yet God is silently doing the groundwork and orchestrating events according to his blueprint, which he created long before I graced the earth.
It might take a while for me to reach my Promised Land and receive the fullness of my inheritance, but God will take me there at his appointed time. For now, he wants me to activate my faith as I patiently wait and prepare myself for settlement in my Promised Land. Waiting and faith are married to each other. We can’t gracefully wait without faith. And our faith gives us power to wait a little longer.
So today, I pray to be like Abraham, who knew the facts of his old age and his wife Sarah’s barrenness and yet, without unwavering in his faith, believed God for a son through whom God would fulfill his promise. Today, I pray that as I end 2011 and move to another phase of my life, I’ll continue to live out what “living by faith, not by sight” really means.
And I believe 2012 is going to be a grand year! On many levels! This I claim.