WALKING BY FAITH
St. Paul exhorts us to walk BY FAITH and not BY SIGHT.
A 'spiritual' man walks by faith, unlike a 'natural' man, who walks by
sight. Walking by faith is the same as walking through fire WITHOUT
the fear of being burnt, and emerging UNSCATHED. Mark 9:23
declares, "All things are possible to him who believes." Walking
'by faith' means walking 'in the Spirit', and walking in the Spirit is walking in the awareness and assurance of our regenerate life in
Christ Jesus, and His in us. "If any one is in Christ, he is a new
creation." (2 Cor. 5:17) As we learn walking in the Spirit day after
day, our faith correspondingly starts increasing by leaps and bounds.
In Gal. 5:22 'faith' is named a 'fruit of the Spirit'. Constant praise and thanksgiving are the means to cultivate faith in our lives. So is the Word of God. Rom. 10:17 states, "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ." (Revised Std. Version) In the New King James Version, the same reads, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word
of God." Hearing and/or reading the Word of God is sustenance or
nourishment for faith.
'Faith' is, in fact, a faculty of the 'inward man', which is the indwelling spirit, whereas 'fear' is the 'acquired' frailty of the 'outward man'. "Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." (2 Cor. 4:16 - NKJV) Renewal is through abiding or enduring faith in Christ Jesus. Faith is the inward certainty, confidence or conviction that transcends and goes beyond the senses.
It is the assured anticipation of things, yet imperceptible to the five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We need to accept the answers to our prayers with an inward assurance BEFORE we
can experience them outwardly in the physical realm. For instance,
accepting the desired healing inwardly, even when the symptoms of
the disease persist outwardly in all their virulence.
Often we hear people say that nothing happens in spite of their
intense faith. Faith, that does not translate itself into the desired outcome, is 'dead'. The Lord's advice in Lk 8:50 is, "Do not fear, only believe." Personal faith has infinite potential unless limited by a believer himself/herself through fear, doubt etc. The sky is the limit.
Vicarious faith too works effectively - e.g. our being blessed on
account of others' prayers for us.
Nakkolackal V. L. Eapen,
ID. No. 4160