While I’ve been off on ‘God-ability’ (much better than just medical disability!) during this second bout with breast cancer, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect about a number of things. One of the matters I’ve found myself being quite passionate about is a seemingly straightforward verse found in II Corinthians 5:7 – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Simple and easy to understand (at the mind’s level), though a lot more challenging to embrace and put into practice (at the soul’s level).
It’s a short verse that intuitively says, “Get a clue. This is truth speaking. If you’re going to insist on staring at the things in front of, to the side of, and behind you, then you’re not walking by faith, plain and simple.” Of course, my version isn’t canonized as Holy Scripture; however, Holy Spirit knows how to get His point across. Who else but Him can give you a good swift kick in the pants with such love and grace?
Back to my fit of passion…for a long time I have wanted to know what the Word of God is really saying, not what I or others want to suggest it says or means, or how it might be reworded to fit ‘today’s reality.’ As a result, it’s a rare scripture I post in my blog these days that isn’t searched out first in the Strong’s concordance – getting back to the original meaning of what is being said. If you do likewise, prepare to stand amazed. Revelation and understanding unfold in waves at times that are nothing short of faith-builders. It’s also a humbling experience, our finite minds pitted against the mind of the Infinite God.
Considering the journey my husband and I have been on since this past summer and the fact we now have to settle in for ‘a long winter’s nap’ – much to the muscling up of our endurance and perseverance, this Corinthians passage popped up this morning in our conversation. It took us no time at all to determine that we simply do not and cannot know what the Lord has in mind for our future ‘beyond cancer.’
Don’t get me wrong. We have hopes and dreams and confirming words from the Lord that we have a future and a hope. The Bible says we do. But let’s face it, people. None of us can see in plain view what is waiting around the next corner. Yet too often we who call ourselves Christ-believers get hung up operating by the appearance of things when the LORD himself is calling us to exercise our faith.
Here’s a portion of how Strong’s renders the original meaning of this simple little verse…
“For we walk (tread all around) by (reason of) faith (reliance on God with inward certainty, belief), not by (occasion of or for the sake of) sight (view, appearance, fashion, or shape).” II Corinthians 5:7
On deeper exploration, ‘walk’ besides ‘tread all around’ also means ‘trampling a path under foot.’ That releases deep within me one of those touchdown staccato-footed victory dances! “For we trample a path under foot by believing in reliance on God, not for the sake of what’s in view or what shape it’s taken.” (Bentz version)
It is so heartening to realize that we are not responsible for what our faith will ultimately bring from the hand of the Lord. Instead, our walking steadily through the darkness, while looking beyond the current dim view and choosing to be persuaded that our God is able, is trampling a path under our feet that leads right to His very heart wherein lies all we have ever wanted, needed, or hoped for. But we must believe.
While it may not seem ‘reasonable’ to us to be treading all around – aka, seemingly walking in circles some days – to walk ‘by reason’ of faith is an entirely different matter. Next time the Lord says to you, ‘Come, let us reason together,’ be quick to take Him up on it. No doubt there’s a faith-building path He’s waiting to place you upon. And if the Enemy’s head is there, too, start walking and keep walking. Trampling his head underneath your feet is your birthright.
Wearing my waffle-stompers,