Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Walk of Faith"

Part 1

    "We walk by faith" (II Corinthians 5:7).

    During times of doubt, uncertainty, and trepidation, we often approach the Lord in faith and sincerity, trusting Him to be and do whatever we may need.  In the moment, we experience the fulfillment of His promise of a peace "which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).

    Sometimes, however, we quickly feel renewed turmoil in our soul.  Feelings of fear return, and we find our thoughts again flowing against rather than with the current of faith.  Does this mean that we didn't actually trust the Lord to begin with?  Certainly, this can be the case.  Sometimes our hearts are not actually in our requests, and we pray without true confidence in God's faithfulness.  "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord" (James 1:6-7).

    This possibility notwithstanding, renewed challenges of faith do not always means that we haven't trusted God.  We "walk" by faith, as the Apostle Paul declared.  A walk involves steps, in this case, steps whereby we often must reaffirm within our hearts the truths of God's Word.  Some matters involve frequent choices to continue in journeys of faith amid feelings, thoughts, and conditions that strongly challenge our confidence.  As we often suggest, relationship with God through Christ is not for the lazy of heart and mind, even as Paul commanded, "Exercise thyself rather unto godliness" (I Timothy 4:7).

    We've all heard the old saw, "Don't just take your cares to the Lord.  Leave them with Him!"  There is truth in this adage, but it can also be misleading.  Indeed, it would be nice if we could simply pray a prayer, arise from the altar, and make our way with perfect mental and emotional assurance.  However, it often doesn't work that way in a fallen world filled with fallen devils and fallen flesh.  "There are many adversaries" declared the Apostle Paul, who himself confessed concurrent sensibilities of faith and fleshly confusion: "We are perplexed, but not in despair (I Corinthians 16:9; II Corinthians 4:8).  Our enemies, as allowed by God, lie in wait all along the path that leads from the throne of grace.  Their taunts challenge us as we make our way, making it necessary to remember and reaffirm the promises of God we've chosen to believe.

     This is a good thing, actually.  We'll consider the reasons for this in our next consideration of "The Walk of Faith."

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."
(Isaiah 26:3)

No comments: