The thing about faith is that it is a way of life; it is a walk. The curious part about it that is counter to what we as humans desire, is that it is something like walking on air because the next step is not shown to us ahead of time. In Isaiah 50: 10-11, the Father contrasts how we should walk with how most of us do walk. He strongly denounces the “light-your-own-torch-and-proceed-in-the-light-you-create” method. This is what we’ve learned in our culture of self-reliance. We’ll blaze our own trails, we’ll go where no one has gone before. As one poet suggested, we are the masters of our fate, we are the captains of our souls.a Really?
How many train-wreck-type lives do we have to witness or hear about before we get it? God has a better way. Why is it a better way? Think about it. Seeing life from our perspective is limiting because we have so little to go on. We know what has happened and what is happening, but we have no clue what is going to happen. That usually doesn’t stop us from theorizing that it might be either this or that. The trap about either-or thinking is that we can easily start believing that these two ways are the only options. God steps in and says, “My ways are not your ways; mMy thoughts are not your thoughts.” b
A new understanding of that came many years ago when I was desperately praying for God’s help. When I finished praying I heard (inner voice of the Spirit) this: “What I have for you is coming from a direction in which you are not looking.” I got up and did a slow 360 degree turn, looking all around the room during which I dropped my either-or thinking and embraced the reality that God has a million more ways to solve my problem. I still remember that feeling of resolve. Telling you how all that worked out and is still being worked out for that matter would take much too long here.
All this ties into walking by faith because by so doing we fully acknowledge God’s sovereignty in our lives and our privilege to obey him. If you’ve never tried it, it all starts with an honest conversation with God. Sometimes it takes only one word – help!
Walking by faith is not for sissies, though. Ask Peter who was the only other man to walk on water.c Everyone in the boat was scared! Was it a ghost? At the reassuring voice of Jesus, Peter took a leap of faith that folks have been talking about ever since. He got out of the boat, on the water, in a storm, no less! This was a walk of greater faith. If you want to know more, check out John Ortberg’s book If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.d
a “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).
b Isaiah 55:8-9
c Matthew 14:22-33
d John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. 2008. Zondervan.
Copyright 2018 Jean Birckhead.