We live in a world that teaches us to trust our senses above all else and that seeing is believing. In other words, the world relies on empirical evidence to acknowledge the existence of something or someone. However, if we operate under such a strict mindset, it leaves no room for placing our faith in God. Perhaps you can recall the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that stars Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. One scene in the film is my favorite example outside of Scripture for what it means to walk by faith, not by sight.
“Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight2 Corinthians 5:6-7
The scene places Indiana Jones on one side of a great chasm that he must cross to save his father’s life. The clue in his father’s diary says one must take a leap of faith, but Indiana sees no apparent means to cross. The only thing he can see is the steep walls of the abyss. With only minutes to save his father, Indiana lifts one foot and leans forward, and to his surprise, he lands on a narrow bridge. The bridge was painted to the exact scale of the chasm wall to create the illusion that there was no way to cross. Check out the scene in the video clip below.1
The reason I like this example is that it illustrates so well how our senses can deceive us. In the film, Indiana’s eyes told him there was no possible way to cross the chasm. However, the reality of the situation was that Indiana could not see the whole picture. From his vantage point, there was no hope whatsoever, and only a leap of faith brought the situation into focus. That same concept applies to Christian living, where there will be times when we are unable to see or understand the work God is doing both in and through our lives, which is why we must walk by faith, not by sight. Moreover, walking by faith is part of how we Show and Tell the Gospel.
My favorite example that comes from Scripture features none other than the memorable Simon Peter. His fellow disciple Matthew records the time when Jesus sent the disciples on to cross the sea ahead of Him. Later that evening, amidst a storm, a figure appeared to be walking on water, which the disciples thought was a ghost. But Jesus said, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter, being Peter, boldly stated, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water,” and Jesus replied, “Come!” (Matt. 14:27-29).
When Jesus told Peter to come, Peter proceeds to step out of the boat, not by sight but by faith. If Peter had focused on the water, his senses would have told him, “you’re going to sink like a rock big boy!” By the way, that is not why Jesus nicknamed Peter “Rock.” At that moment, Peter showed tremendous faith in the Lord for what his senses said was impossible the Lord made possible. Peter’s example should cause us to ask ourselves, “When it comes to faith, am I simply afraid to step out of the boat, am I afraid to fully trust God?”
Interestingly, we place our faith in things every day. For example, most people jump in their car and drive off without making a single safety check. They trust that the vehicle will operate as expected. We place our faith in other drivers that they will safely operate their cars. We put our faith in the people who prepare our food at restaurants, and the doctors who tend to our physical well-being. Simply put, we put our trust in other people and the things of the world but struggle and hesitate to put our faith in God by whom all things were created.
I started A Faithful Sower Publishing because I desire to be a useful tool in God’s hand to reach people with the gospel and help them grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord. I have faith that the Lord will increase this ministry in His way, according to His will, and in His perfect timing. Whether He grows it to only 50 followers, 500, even 50,000, or more, God will be using this ministry to reach someone who is lost and has a need to hear His word speak directly to their heart. Who could ask for anything more than to lead someone to Christ?
In the book of Hebrews, Apostle Paul wrote the eloquent words that speak to or defines faith. Paul wrote:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.”HEBREWS 11:1-2
In his commentary on the book of Hebrews, author Charles A Trentham breaks down the preceding verse of Scripture to explain Paul’s words in modern terms. He writes, “Faith does not turn life into a daydream of wistful longing. Instead, faith brings the things which God has already prepared for us in the future into the living present and makes them real now.”2 To put it another way. Faith is far less about getting what we want and far more about receiving what God wants for us. When we put it that way, what God wants for us will always surpass anything we want for ourselves because we rarely know what is truly best for us.
Therefore, as we move forward in the 2020 Christmas season and reflect in celebration of Jesus’s birth, let us heed the words of Apostle John, who wrote in the book of Revelation, “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). Let us persevere in our endurance and keep our faith in our Savior and Lord for He is faithful and true.
1 El Toro. (2017, January 11). Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade (1989) – Leap of Faith. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBBbq2g7yf8&feature=youtu.be.
2 Trentham, C. A. (1972) Hebrews. C. J. Allen (Ed), The Broadman Bible Commentary Vol. 12 (pp. 1-14). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press