For we walk by faith, not by sight is one of the tiniest verses in the Bible yet it is such an enormous statement that whether we actually get it right or wrong it has a major impact on our lives.
If we get it right, it leads to a life of victory and less worry. If we get it backward and walk by sight it leads to a life of defeat and constant worry…
So let’s have a deeper look at walking by faith and not walking by sight…
Walk By Faith Not By Sight Bible Verse KJV
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
This is a short Bible verse but Oh so sweet…
We walk also means: to make one’s way, progress; to make due use of opportunities, to live, to regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s self, to pass one’s life, to follow, be occupied with.
Faith also means: assurance, belief, fidelity
- Walk by faith
- Make our way through life by faith
- Make progress by faith
- Move forward by faith
- Make due use of opportunities by faith
- Live by faith
- Regulate our life by faith
- Conduct ourselves by faith
- Pass our life here on earth in faith
- Follow God by faith
- Occupy ourselves by faith
- Walk with assurance
Walk By Faith Not By Sight Meaning (2 Corinthians 5:7)
So as we have already covered with the individual word meanings we can see that walking by faith and not by sight means to… Walk or live our lives by faith, with assurance.
Just think for a moment about what Christians are called… Believers!
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29)
Our entire life now is as a believer. Our thinking, our actions and reactions, our decision making, and everything is now governed through the lens of believing.
We do not go through life being dictated to by our natural sight or our natural senses… all the noise, obstacles, distractions and buffeting of the enemy. We do not allow ourselves to be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2).
We do not allow the temporal things of this world to stop us from completing our journey home. We have no continuing city we are just traveling through. (Hebrews 13:14)
It’s about fully trusting God… Lean not to your understanding is another way saying do not walk by sight!Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Prov 3:5) Click To Tweet
My Be Still and Know That I Am God article nails the entire concept and is well worth reading to get an even greater understanding of walking by faith.
This is a beautiful song well worth listening to before we proceed…
Examples in The Bible of Walking By Faith and Not By Sight
There are so many examples throughout the scriptures of people walking by faith and Hebrews 11 alone summarizes many of them…
However, for now, we will just cover 3 stories…
Abraham – There can be no greater example then Abraham as he is called the father of faith. (Romans 4:11)… It starts in Genesis 12:1-3 where God said to Abram – Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Let’s slow down and think about this…
- Get thee out of thy country
- Leave behind your kindred
- Leave thy father’s house
- Go to a land that I will shew thee
- I will make of thee a great nation
- I will bless thee
- I will make thy name great
- Thou shalt be a blessing
- I will bless them that bless thee
- I will curse him that curses thee
- In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed
So… Abram is asked to leave everything he knows behind and go to a place he has never seen. He was asked by God to trust God. That God would show him a place. That God will bless him with all of those blessings.
And the next verse tells us what Abram did… Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him.
Oh, how simple is that?
He didn’t think about it, weigh things up, ask his ‘besties’ what he should do… No, God said to Abram leave and Abram departed. Abram DID as the LORD had spoken to him. That’s faith… just do it…I don't know where I'm going, I am leaving behind everything I have ever known and I am heading somewhere I have never seen and I have been promised blessings that seem out of this world - but I trust you Lord, let's go. Click To Tweet
This is our Christian walk folks! We leave our old life behind, we become totally new creatures in Christ and obtain blessings of God that are out of this world. We are promised an inheritance, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and we are promised eternal life.
Walk By Faith Not By Sight Song
This is a beautifully sung hymn complete with organ playing and the singer has a wonderful voice…
Father of many nations…
Another thing that happened was that Abram’s name was changed to Abraham because he would become the father of many nations…
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. (Genesis 17:5)
For decades he introduced himself and was addressed as Abraham which means the father of many nations. This is faith – for decades – before he even had one child – he was called the father of many nations. Talk about not walking by sight and walking by faith.
For decades, he is introducing himself to people as the father of many nations. Year after year… Hello… I am the father of many nations, pleased to meet you. And it’s obvious to everyone that he doesn’t even have one kid… Those walking by sight would have thought he had to be crazy – however, we know the story and along comes Isaac.
It was about 25 years between the promise initially given and the birth of Isaac (Ishmael was the son of the bondwoman not the child of promise). Think about Abraham who still had no heir and he’s pushing 100 years of age and he is still calling himself the father of many nations.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (Hebrews 11:12)
Now that is walking by faith and not by sight. By sight, he was as good as dead… by sight, it had been 25 years and still no heir… by sight he could have stopped believing God. But Abraham didn’t walk by sight, he was a believer.
But wait… after all of that time he is now asked to sacrifice Isaac – do you see the faith of Abraham?
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
God had already told the father of many nations that in Isaac was the promise – Abraham trusted God… accounting that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead if necessary to fulfill his promise.
Abraham knew that God is not a man that he should lie. Do we? When times get tough, when things happen that we do not understand, do we continue to trust in the Lord like Abraham did or do we start walking by sight, by our own understanding?If God's ways are so above our ways, why do we think our ways will solve the problem? Click To Tweet
Peter – In one short story, Peter demonstrated both scenarios. He showed what can be done when walking by faith and what can be undone when walking by sight.
Peter actually walked on water…
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Matthew 14:29-30)
So when Peter had his eyes on Jesus and walked by faith he actually walked on water, but when he started to walk by sight and saw the wind boisterous, it caused fear and he began to sink.
Do we take our eyes off the Lord because of the boisterous world around us, do you see how walking by sight causes fear? Fear is the opposite of faith, we stop trusting, we start doubting, and we start sinking. Praise the Lord he is there to stretch out his hand and lift us up again when we cry out to him to save us.
Caleb & Joshua – we know the story, how Moses sent 12 spies (one from each tribe) to go and spy out the land. Now listen to the report of the entire 12 when they came back…
And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. (Numbers 13:27)
Okay… The land is exactly as God had promised. A land that flows with milk and honey.
Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. (Numbers 13:28-29)
This causes massive unrest among the children of Israel and this is where Caleb speaks up…
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30)
But they quickly shoot him down…
But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:31-33)
The impact that your unbelief can have on others…
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Remember these are the very same people who walked through the Red Sea. The very same people who saw and experienced the promises of God being fulfilled. The very same people who were told to stand still and see the salvation of God and they saw it. The very same people who God said their was a promised land waiting for them, flowing with milk and honey. The spies even confirmed that what God said was true, the land was flowing with milk and honey.
However… there was a… however!
There are giants in the land and walled cities we are not able to go up against these people.
We are not able – as if they were able to be freed from the Egyptian bondage, as if they were able to escape the Egyptian army through the Red Sea. They were never able in any of their past victories either and now they are relying on if they are able or not!
We as Christians can be no better at times. Stop relying on your own strength, your own goodness, your own works, your own sight, on your own able… because you were never able. It is only through Christ Jesus we obtain victory we were never, ever able.
So now instead of standing with God and relying on God, they want to overthrow Moses, find new leaders, and go back to the bondage they were just delivered out of. All because they did not walk by faith and their entire decision-making process was dictated to by sight.
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flows with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. (Numbers 14:5-9)
This is walking by faith. Let’s itemize what they said…
- It is an exceedingly good land
- If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us
- It is a land which flows with milk and honey
- Rebel not ye against the LORD
- Neither fear ye the people of the land
- They are bread for us
- Their defense is departed from them
- The LORD is with us
- Fear them not
What a positive speech. the land is everything God said it would be and the Lord is with us so there is nothing to fear. How did the children of Israel respond?
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. (Numbers 14:10)
Wow… who needs enemies when you have friends like that!
And of course, we know the result – none of those people over the age of 20 entered the promised land except Joshua and Caleb. Walking by sight caused 40 years of a wasted unfulfilled life, living in defeat in the wilderness. If they walked by faith they could have been living a fulfilled and victorious life in the Promised land.
The scriptures tell us that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:19)
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:6)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:11)
Have you heard of any of these names?
Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi and Geuel
The chances are you have not. The names we do remember are Joshua and Caleb. These other 10 guys have totally faded from history. They were the other 10 spies who came back with a negative report about the promised land and persuaded the children of Israel to doubt God. Their names can be found in Numbers 13:8-15.
So once again we see walking by sight causes unnecessary worry and fear, which leads to unbelief, and just like the law of gravity keeps our feet on the ground, unbelief will rob you of joy and victory.
We also see how walking by faith leads to peace, security, and victory. Walking by faith gives you a sure foundation…
Do Not Allow Your Sight Over-Rule What You Hear From God Through His Word.
This is important…
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
There is no sight involved.
The below video explains this concept really well…
This is a nice short presentation which builds to one major thought that is very, very good… Faith responds to what God initiates. Presumption initiates and expects God to respond…
I really like the concept mentioned in the video above about… Faith responds to what God initiates. Presumption initiates and expects God to respond.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God and there is no sight involved. Do not allow your sight to over-rule what you hear from God.
I hope you found this little study about walking by faith and not by sight to be a blessing to.
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