Saying “I have faith in God” and walking by faith means two different things. After all, many have spoken and written words without substance in our social media society. Expressions that appear like a tantalizing 3-layer fondant cake, bedecked with daisies and jelly candies on a shop’s window. But when examined closely, it only reveals a caricature of the real deal. An attraction to appeal. Empty without accountability.
What does it mean to walk by faith?
When God says, Come. Step out from that boat, with no shortcuts and safety nets on the water to reach the destination, we’d go. Yes, it’s walking on water. It involves risk, trust without knowing the details, uncomfortable stretching out from the place of security and acting on the Word.
Abraham is not called the Father of many nations without reason. His confession of faith in God was tested over and over, yet he kept the faith. A man imperfect with a high call. God doesn’t always pick the strong and the powerful. He chooses the small, the weak and the ordinary for His greater purposes.
Abraham’s first test of faith is to leave home. To where? To a land God shows him. That means, he will only know when he gets there. Google maps isn’t available for preview.
Next, God promised he would become a father of many nations. Sarah, his wife, laughs at the news. Who wouldn’t? Aren’t women discouraged from having children after reaching a certain age? What makes us think it’s normal to have kids at 50? Or 90?
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.~ Romans 4:18
“Against all hope” means they were obstacles along the way. Yes, Abraham and Sarah found themselves in faith-shattering circumstances just like us. They contend with gossips, who roll their eyes in disbelief. Hear medical experts handing out their discouraging assessments. Dry their eyes night after night because it seems like the promise leads to the pit of uncertainty instead of fulfillment.
Yet in spite of all this, Abraham in hope believed. He waited 25 long years for the promise to realize. No, it wasn’t a clean record of faith. He faltered too. He tried to help God by having a child with a maidservant, Hagar. He did it by his own self-power and it turned out to be a family disaster. See Genesis 16.
Thankfully, God doesn’t reject us or take back His promises when we fall. When we sink, He will catch us.
Do you ever wonder how Peter walked on water?
He didn’t. It’s impossible. I’ve stupidly tried once on a beach outing and it didn’t work. I’ve heard it from a preacher once…
Peter didn’t walk on water. He walked on the word, ‘Come.’
When God tells us to go, I pray we follow Abraham’s example. Or when God tells us to come, we step out from the boat.
Sure. It’s impossible to walk by faith on our own. Thankfully, we are not alone. God will lead us. He has already gone before us. He knows the way. He sees the pitfalls. And He is aware of our tendencies to fail. So He gave His Word. Come. I will be with you. His command lightens our steps, carrying us through till we reach wherever He calls us to be.
God’s Word is sure. It’s not empty. It’s the real deal with the cross of Christ as a guarantee. And because God is trustworthy, we could walk by faith.