Walking By Faith

When a child is born, he is not expected to be able to walk until he is about a year old, some a little sooner and some a little later.  However, if he is not walking by the time he is about 2 years old something is wrong.  Walking is usually preceded by crawling or scooting, though not always.  It is a major turning point in the life of a child when he begins to walk and ushers in major changes in his life from that point on.  Walking is basic to life as we know it.

But have you ever considered what is involved in the process of walking.  Please follow along with this breakdown.  Walking in the animal world is usually on 4 legs but in man it is a balancing of the body on two legs.  In the process of walking, all of the mass is balanced on just one leg, and the other leg supports nothing and is allowed to transition to another position.  Upon that transition, all of the weight is then transferred to that leg from the first leg, which frees it up to transition to another position.  Walking , then, is the alternating of the body’s weight from one leg to the other and back again, with each freed leg transition to another position and enabling a continual transition of position.

It is important that you are conscious of this process to fully comprehend the Scripture,  2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  As I studied this concept of walking by faith, I noticed the descriptive prepositions that accompany this spiritual walk.  The first one is the word “in”.  We are told to walk: in the steps of that faith (Romans 4:12); In newness of life (Romans 6:4); In the Spirit (Galations 5:16, 25); In Love (Ephesians 5:2); In Him (Colossians 2:6); In the light (1 John 1:7, Revelations 21:24); In truth (3 John 4).  From this we can deduce the security that we have in attempting this walk.  Just as a child learning to walk has something to hold on to that will aid his balance, these things will give us balance in trusting the Lord in our faith walk.

The second preposition is the word “as”.  This word is used illustratively and reveals additional truth.  For example, 1 Corinthians 3:3 directs us to walk as men.  That is adult men who have walked with the Lord for many years and have long passed the elementary stages of just beginning to walk.  A second example is found in Ephesians 5:8 where we are directed to walk as children of light, who have matured in their faith and properly represent God’s intention of our walking by faith. 

The third preposition is the word “by” as in 2 Corinthians 5:7 and reveals the methodology of how to do this walking.  Going back to our description of walking, we see a transitions of the weight from one leg to the other and back again.  Here is what is happening on the spiritual level.  The Lord is represented by one leg and we represent the other.  He carries the weight of responsibility and direction while we carry the weight of obedience and faith in Him.  We cannot move until He directs us and He will not move without our obedience and faith in Him.  Our first steps of faith and uncertain and our trust is a new process but as we gain an understanding of how God is developing our new and living way, we gain confidence and skill in walking in harmony with Him.  This process is necessary to ‘grow in faith’ so that we do not remain undeveloped in His image and likeness.  Without it we will become ineffective in our service, insensitive to the Lord’s voice, and unconscious of our spiritual existence.  Simply put, we will be salt that has lost its savor. 

Sometimes a young Christian struggle with this concept as there is few or poor examples for him to emulate.  Others lack encouragement and other have wrong teaching or some other hindrance so that they attempt to walk in a manner that doesn’t work, such as acting on their own without the Lord’s direction .  That would be like hoping on one foot without the benefit of the other leg.  You might do it for a short time but you will quickly find out that it is without the Lords blessing and you will not be able to continue for long.  The process of walking by faith is understood that that faith is in the Lord and not in yourself nor in anyone or anything else.  As you learn to trust Him to lead and to empower you to do His will, you will find Him doing more and more through you.

Wisdom

Wisdom can be defined as the proper use of knowledge.  Knowledge is basically information whereas wisdom is the proper use of that information. 

The application of wisdom falls into three distinct arenas.  The first arena is on the personal level and has to do with your personal proficiency.  Itdeals with your skills and abilities.  These skills and abilities can be improved by training and experience.  There are at least five characteristics that enhance an individual’s personal proficiency.  First, they are focused.  They have a goal and it is predominate in their efforts and they are constantly moving toward it.  They do not allow distractions to keep them from it. 

Second, they are organized and they have learned not to waste motion or action.  Any distraction from that goal requires additional energy, resources, and time and can defeat the main effort by exhausting your provisions to reach your goal.  My dad used to advise me to “work smarter, not harder” to underscore this truth.

A third characteristic is efficiency, which is thinking about what you are doing and practicing it repeatedly.  By doing this you discover how to remove wasted motion and the end result is that you make it look easy.

A fourth characteristic is diligence.  They neither give up nor quit.  Staying at the task is vital in order to accomplish it.   After all is said and done it still requires a full investment to do it.  Equally important is protecting against burn out which requires a balance of effort. 

Finally, they finish well.  Completing a job is not only satisfying but it is also a vital part of the effort.  They tie up loose ends with the three R’s of RESTORE, REPLACE and RETURN.  They restore their tool’s function by fixing what’s broken and repairing what is worn.  They replace what is used up and worn out and they return what is to be used again to its place.

The second arena of wisdom is in Proper Prudence.  Thisarena addresses professional practices with others and involves living a productive and generally successful life.  In this arena you deal with people and all of their faults and failures.  They are not always kind or helpful but rather they are mostly selfish, short sighted and hurtful as they are in darkness and have not know God or his ways.  Here it is not a matter of just being right but a reflection of the grace and wonder of God, Himself.  Sometimes we must bear the burden of their error in order to reach them in their darkness. 

Honesty and fairness in your business dealings are good examples of how to relate to people who are walking in darkness.  Truthfulness and dependability are also spotlights that expose God.  Humility is the alternate to the proud, and respect will set you apart from those who ridicule.  These are but examples of proper prudence that say you are important and I value you.  This wisdom comes from God and requires a dependence on Him to work His wonder.  It is not a compromise nor is it flattery but must be genuine in its application and an expression of faith in the Lord.

The third arena of wisdom is Philosophical Principles.  This arena addresses the profound issues of human existence such as good vs. evil, human suffering, the basic questions of life (Who? What?  When? Where? And Why?) with an emphasis on the Why of life.  Answers in this arena come down to the Sovereignty of God and ultimately we must trust Him; especially when we do not understand.  Yet, struggling with these principles we come to understand God better.  The book of Job is a classic example of this arena of wisdom.   Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified (looked at as though it was a person)as a woman who would bring many blessings when heeded and curses when it was rejected.  It is contrasted to three types of persons; the inexperienced, the mockers and fools, all of which reject wisdom and its ways, and ultimately end in death.  Life is full of challenges and difficulties and wisdom will enrich the journey while life without it will be an endless struggle and ultimate defeat.