Will we walk by faith or by sight in 2014?
We’re two weeks into 2014, but it’s still early enough to decide to put our best foot forward this year. What are you doing that will help you make great spiritual progress in your life?
I loved the story in a recent Sunday paper about Margie Bowen, the retired physical education teacher who, on New Year’s Eve, made her 500th climb up Stone Mountain.
She started climbing Stone Mountain for the exercise, but as she climbed several times each week, she kept a count. Before she knew it, she was in the hundreds, and on December 31, former students and several family members joined her as she reached the peak for the 500th time.
How did she do it? She started climbing and she kept it up. She didn’t quit. She didn’t slack up. She had “want-to,” and then she made that first climb. Every climb started with a first step, and then she kept putting one foot in front of the other until, one step at a time, she reached the top. Then one climb led to another.
God wants us to keep climbing. As the great hymn goes:
“I’m pressing on the upward way,
“New heights I’m gaining every day;
“Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
As we climb to new spiritual heights in 2014, let’s embrace 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”
First, we walk. Walking is a biblical image of our relationship with God. What did the Old Testament writer say about Enoch? Two different times in Genesis 5:22-24, we are told that “Enoch walked with God.”
One translation says that Enoch walked faithfully with God (NIV). Another translates, “Enoch walked habitually with God” (Young’s Literal Translation). Enoch had a close relationship characterized by deep fellowship and meaningful conversation.
God values the time we spend with Him and the priority we give to Him. He doesn’t want to be just an add-on to our lives, nor just a Sunday novelty. He wants us every day.
When I drive up and down Redwine Road, I notice the joggers and walkers using the running path. Often, two people are running or walking together. Many times, two ladies will be walking along, and you can tell they are in deep conversation, sometimes using hand gestures as they express themselves.
Maybe you have a friend that you enjoy walking and visiting with. That’s a picture of what God wants as we walk with Him. He wants us to enjoy His company as we walk through each day.
Second, we walk by faith. When we walk by faith, our outlook is positive and the cup is half full instead of half empty. Our confidence is in God’s ability, not our skills and talents. We center our lives around God, not ourselves. We view life through God’s eyes, not worldly eyes. We develop a spiritual perspective.
We deny self and make Jesus our Master every day. We seek first His kingdom and have our priorities in the right order. We trust in His sovereignty and know He wants what is best for our lives. Our lives are characterized by strong faith as we look for God’s hand at work.
As we walk this year, will we walk by faith or by sight?
“I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
“I am your next chance at the art of living.
“I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life
“During the last twelve months.
“All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me,
“Waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
“All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve
“Is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
“All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,
“All that you hoped but did not will,
“All the faith that you claimed but did not have, these slumber lightly,
“Waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.
“I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”
I am the new year.
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this week for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org, and “like” them on Facebook.]