12/05/2010

We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

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2 Corinthians 5:7 is a verse that gets thrown around a good deal in Christian cirlcles.  That verse, as the title of this post might suggest, says that believers in Christ walk by faith and not by sight.  What that means is that regardless of what we see around us, we live our lives trusting in our God.  So, no matter what our circumstances are, no matter how hopeless they seem or how confusing they may appear, we live not by what our circumstance may suggest.  We live according to our faith in the God who loves us and saved us.  We live by faith in our God who tells us that He works all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

In my experience, the reminder that we walk by faith most often comes from those who, truth be told, don't need all that much faith to walk.  Life is pretty good for them.  No matter where they look, they can see plain evidence of the goodness of God.  I include myself in that category.  For the most part, we know where our next meal is coming from and we don't have to worry about finding ourself out on the street.  We talk about living by faith, but how much do we really depend on God on a daily basis?  I don't think I really knew what walking by faith really meant until the Thursday before this past Thanksgiving.  Until that day, walking by faith was just another truth that I believed but didn't really understand.  In the weeks since that day, I am learning more each day what walking by faith and not by sight really means.

Of course, at this point, you are wondering exactly what happened that Thursday that led to this epiphany for me.  I came back to the office from a pretty intense time of prayer with some other pastors and went into a meeting where I learned that, due to financial circumstances, my position of Adult Ministry Pastor would no longer be funded after the end of this year.  I believe that a great deal of prayer went into making this decision and I do not think it was made lightly by any means.  Of course, even with that being true, the fact of the matter is that I am going to have to find a different way to support my family.  I immediately went home to tell my wife and called some of my closest friends so that they could begin praying for us.

Let me tell you a few things I am learning about walking by faith....

It is terrifying.  Walking by faith doesn't always mean feeling confident that everything is going to work out ok.  It means choosing to believe even though everything in you is screaming "What are you going to do?  Why is God doing this?"

It is a choice.  Like I said, it is choosing to trust in God even though you have no idea what He is up to or why He has chosen the methods He has.

It is hard.  It is anything but easy in this economy to know that you are only a few weeks away from having no income and not freak out.  It is hard to trust sometimes.  My flesh does not like the idea that my only option is for God to come through, but I know that really all that has happened is that now I am aware that He is my only hope.  The reality is that He has always been my only option, I just needed to have my eyes opened to it.

It is good.  In the end, it is good to fully trust my God.  The sad truth is that it takes something like losing a job for us to really throw ourselves completely at His feet.  The great truth is that He will take our jobs from us if that is what it takes to bring us fully to Him.

So, please pray for us.  We are leaning how to fully trust our God and to place all our confidence in Him.  It isn't easy and I could use more faith and strength in this.  We have worked hard to get to a place where my wife can stay home with our kids and the prospect of her going back to work is a hard one to swallow.  Pray for our children, that God would protect their hearts through all this.

We walk by faith and not by sight.

Like an awful lot of our faith, the reality of it often looks a lot different than our idea of it.  The last few days have been some of the toughest for our family since I married Katherine over 12 years ago.  I also believe that they will become some of the best days for our family as God uses this to draw us closer to Him and detaches us from the things of this world.

We walk by faith and not by sight.

In this process, we believe that God is clearly calling us away from what has been our home church for 11 plus years.  All four of our children have been born while we were members here.  If you are a Northsider reading this, know that we love you guys and deeply mourn our leaving.  There is some uncomfortable-ness about the whole process but we fully believe that God is in control and that He is doing what is best for us and for His Kingdom.

We walk by faith and not by sight.

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