The Pryor Times

Religion

June 6, 2014

Walking by faith

PRYOR, OK — What does it mean to walk by faith?  In 2 Corinthians 5:7, Paul wrote, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  Those who walk by faith are those who trust God enough to obey what He commands and live the way He wants them to live.  Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God.  If we don’t walk according to God’s word, we are not walking by faith.  And without faith, we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Many try to live their lives without seeking God’s instructions from His word.  They simply do what seems right to them.  But Solomon warned in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  The prophet Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 10:23, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”  God’s ways and thoughts are higher than the ways and thoughts of man (Isaiah 55:8-9), so we should always trust Him.  Man’s ways often fail, but God’s ways always work.

To walk by faith is to trust God completely.  The eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives us some insight into what it means to walk by faith.  In verse 4, we are told that by faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain did.  Since he offered his sacrifice by faith, it is obvious that Abel obeyed what God told him to do.

Hebrews 11:7 tells us that Noah built an ark by faith.  What great faith it took for him to build such a large boat out in an open field.  Most scholars believe that it had never even rained before that time.  We are told in Genesis 2:5-6 that the Lord had not caused it to rain on the earth, and that a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.  People no doubt made fun of Noah and his family, but because of his faith, he did exactly what God told him to do.

Verse 8 of Hebrews 11 tells us that by faith Abraham left his country to go to a land God would show him.  Can you imagine packing up and leaving your home, not having any idea where you are going?  It took tremendous faith for Abraham to obey that command.  But that wasn’t the end of it.

Hebrews 11:17 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.”  That was one of the greatest tests of faith ever recorded in the Bible.  Abraham’s faith in God led him to obey.  The Hebrew writer tells us that Abraham assumed that God would raise his son from the dead.  Although his assumption was wrong, things did work out for good.

Moses also walked by faith.  Because of his faith, he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy life as Pharaoh’s extremely rich grandson.  His faith led him to keep the Passover and later, to pass through the Red Sea (Hebrews 11:24-29).  Because of his faith, he obeyed whatever God instructed him to do.

Hebrews 11:30 says, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.”  God had told the Israelites to march around the walls of the city once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day.  Then the priests were to blow their trumpets and all the people were to shout with a great shout, and the walls would fall down.  That sounded like a very strange plan.  Only great faith would lead them to obey those commands.  Their faith was strong enough to lead them to obey.

These, and other examples in Hebrews 11, show us that to walk by faith means to hear what God says, believe it, and obey it.  “By faith” does not mean “by faith only.”  May God help us today to have enough faith to walk in His ways.

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