By Faith, Not by Sight

Proverbs 3:1-4 ESV

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.”

Did you know that much of what was taught in the Old Testament is repeated for us in the New Testament, under the New Covenant? I think there are probably people who avoid reading the Old Testament because they think it doesn’t apply to us today, but much of it still does.

In James 1 we read that we are to be doers of the word and not hearers only. We are not to merely listen with our ears and then walk away and forget what we learned. But we are to put the word of God into practice in our lives as it applies to us, the church, under the New Covenant.

We are also instructed in the New Testament to keep the Lord’s commandments, which he summarized into two: To love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:37-40; Jn 14:23-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6). And we do this in the power of God’s Spirit living within us.

We are also taught much about loving God and loving other humans, especially those belonging to the family of God (Rom 12:10; Rom 13:8-10). And this love comes from God so it prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, pure, faithful, honest, upright, and godly.

Also, we are taught that to love God is to obey him (1 Jn 5:3), and that love for our fellow humans is to do good to them and to do them no harm. So, we won’t deliberately lie to, cheat on, steal from, falsely accuse, murder, slander, deceive or commit adultery against other humans.

As well, the New Testament speaks much on the subject of being faithful. We are to be faithful in prayer, to the trust we’ve been given, in Christ Jesus, as stewards of God’s grace, and faithful to walk in the truth, etc. (Rom 12:12; 1 Co 4:2; Eph 1:1; 1 Pet 4:10; 3 Jn 1:3; Rev 2:10).

Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.”

There are hundreds of Scriptures in the New Testament which teach on the subject of trust (faith, belief) in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of those speak of a continuous faith which endures to the end of time. And there are many Scriptures which talk about the human heart, too.

We are blessed who are pure in heart. If we lust after another person we have committed adultery in our hearts. Out of the abundance of people’s hearts their mouths speak. We understand spiritual truths with our hearts when we turn from sin to follow Jesus. Some people honor Christ with their lips but their hearts are far from him. And we forgive others from the heart (Matt 5:8, 28; Matt 12:34; Matt 13:15; Matt 15:8, 18-19; Matt 18:35).

And when we trust in the Lord with our whole heart, we don’t rely upon our own human understanding. For, not everything is going to make sense to us from a strictly human perspective. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

So, when life doesn’t make sense to us, or when we don’t understand why things are happening the way that they are, this is when we walk by faith and not by sight. We trust the Lord that he knows best and that he is in control, and we rest in him and in his love and mercy.

We then trust him to lead us one step at a time in the way that he would have us to go. We do know the steps we ought to take and that we ought not to take, from a general sense, but we don’t know what tomorrow brings for us or what challenges we are going to face next, so we just have to take it one step at a time, by faith, and let our Lord lead us.

We must guard against trusting in our own logic and reasoning when it comes to spiritual matters of the heart. For, God doesn’t work like humans do. His ways are greater than our ways. So, we need to walk in the fear of (in the honor, respect, reverence, and obedience to) God.

Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.”

The writer of Hebrews quoted something similar to this in Hebrews 12:5-6. There we are taught that God disciplines (chastises) us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:11 ESV).

The Lord allows us to suffer, sometimes unjustly. He allows us to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He permits us to go through trials and tribulations which try our faith. For, suffering is part of our walk of faith, for through suffering we learn obedience.

So, when tried, we need to hold on to our faith, keep trusting the Lord, believe he is in control, and believe he is working all things for our good. Even if what we are going through doesn’t make sense to our own logic and reasoning, we trust him, and we walk by faith and not by sight.

Believe Him

An Original Work / July 15, 2013

My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.

“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.

“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.

“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”

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