For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
Are walking and living the same thing?
Well, given my current circumstances, I would say they are different because I have done a lot of living without walking. My time on my feet is extremely limited and walking any sort of distance is a remote and sought-after dream. I can walk about 50 yards or so at a time – not a long distance walker, yet.
Living by faith encompasses many aspects of life – daily surrender, daily prayer, daily study and reading of Scripture, daily serving, daily worship.
Notice the daily part? Living is an every-day sort of thing. We do not get days off to stop breathing, which is a very real part of living. There are parts of living that make living, well, living. And doable.
Living by faith requires an active life submitted unto the Father. And the active does not have to mean running a marathon in the truest sense of the word. Active means to be fully engaged in the Father’s business.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
I taught this passage about 6 weeks ago and discovered something. Something huge. Something that rocked my world.
The main emphasis in this sentence is the command from Jesus, and it is not what you think it is. Preach is the command or imperative word. Jesus is giving us an imperative to preach His Word, the gospel. To share the Good News.
So what’s with the going? I thought this statement of Jesus, this Great Commission is a two-fold command. Well, it turns out, it is not.
The word go is not an imperative or command. It is a participle; a passive deponent aorist word. A mouthful if you ask me. But basically it means, “In your going…preach.”
Having served on the mission field for years, I was sold out on this verse. I lived and breathed it. I actually went. Oh, I understood that many could not go, nor would, as they would be the ones sending the finances and being the prayer warriors. I got that and did not begrudge anyone who avoided going forward or raising their hand when a visiting missionary spoke at church. The real fear of being sent to the wilds of Africa is palpable.
I sat under many sermons about going. I raised my hand. I went.
But, in the ensuing years, I have come to believe we as believers have a job – in our every day living, we are to share Jesus. We are not to save it for the pastors, preachers and missionaries. We are to live Jesus. We are to breath Him in and out and in this living, we are sharing Him to a lost and dying world.
Having memorized 2 Corinthians in a different translation, I was taken aback when I saw it with fresh eyes this week - we are to live by faith. I had memorized it as to walk by faith. Don’t get me wrong, walking is every bit as important, but living saddles up to more of a lifestyle.
One of the reasons I love looking at the original language in Scripture is because I can see the different nuances of words, and in this case, it does not disappoint. One of the meanings of peripateo (Greek for living/walking, used 96 times in the NT, and in this verse too) is to be occupied with faith.
So, be occupied with faith.
Yes, be occupied with faith. Think about, do, pray, and have every ounce of your being in the business of faith. Takes on a whole new meaning, that.
OCCUPATION - JOB - THAT WHICH I DO ALL DAY
So, what are you occupied with? What am I?
Honestly, my answer fluctuates, and it should not. My focus needs to be on Jesus. My thoughts need to be on honoring and glorifying His name. My attitudes and ways need to convey I am a daughter of the Most High King of kings. Repeatedly I fall short.
Then there is the sight thing.
Do I live looking for my next step, or do I live in faith not needing because I am trusting my Saviour? Do I trust abundantly even when I cannot physically see the path in front of me?
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Do I have His Word in front of me so my focus is on His Word, Jesus, rather than my focus on having to see in order to believe or live?
How many missteps have I taken because I was not living nor trusting in Jesus fully and completely? How many times have I lost the way because it was I who wandered, got distracted or just plain stopped?
These are not easy words to type, nor are they easy confessions to make. But in all honesty, they have to be said.
Am I a living testimony of the work God is doing in my life or have I shut down that part of me because I am tired of the affliction? Am I living for Jesus in all I do, or do I compartmentalize my life and open that waffle box when I am “in the mood” to be a sold-out Christian?
What about you? Are you living? Are you occupied with faith? Are you occupied with Jesus?
Father God, thank You for Your Word, Your Truth and Your Way - it's Jesus. And I confess my wandering ways and heart. Please help me Lord to live, truly live for You. Help me to have my focus on pleasing You and not on pleasing self. Thank You for the reminder of how important it is to be occupied with faith. Because it is all about You. In Jesus's name I pray, AMEN.