Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
Eight days before Jesus said these words to Thomas the Apostle, Thomas had refused to believe the report of the other disciples—that they had seen the Lord. When they told Thomas, he said, “Unless I see and feel, I will not believe.”
Jesus said that kind of believing has no faith in it. Faith is of the heart—the spirit—not the mind. To activate the believing equipment God has given every person, one must believe something he cannot see or feel—the Word of God.
Many Christians today don’t realize that. They think if Jesus would appear to them in the flesh, their faith would skyrocket. But that’s not so. If you’re prone to depend more on sense-knowledge faith than you are on the Word of God, seeing some astounding manifestation in this natural realm can actually set your faith back. That’s why Jesus did what He did on the road to Emmaus.
Two of His disciples were walking down the Emmaus road talking sadly about Jesus. So Jesus, coming alongside them said, “What’s the matter with you boys?” (This is West Texas paraphrase.)
They thought He was a stranger. So Jesus began to preach to them (Luke 24:27-32). They took in all that He said, and suddenly they knew Him. But the moment they recognized Him, He disappeared. Why?
He did it because He wanted them to be blessed or empowered. He wanted to keep their spirits activated by believing the Word, instead of shutting down their spirits and simply believing He was alive because they had seen Him. He didn’t want to set their faith back.
Some years ago, when I didn’t understand that principle, I used to pester God to appear to me. “Lord, You appeared to Kenneth Hagin. You appeared to Oral Roberts. You appeared to T. L. Osborn … and I want You to appear to me!”
I kept after Him about it for so long that He finally spoke to me by the Spirit and said, Kenneth, if you keep asking Me to appear to you, I’m going to have to do it. But I’m warning you, it will set your faith back five years.
At that point in my spiritual development, I would have come to rely on sense-knowledge faith, rather than on the faith that comes by the hearing of God’s Word.
The fact is, Jesus would like to appear to every one of us. It would delight Him to just walk into the room and sit down with us. But He’s had to restrain Himself, because He is training us to govern our lives by the God kind of faith. He’s teaching us to walk by faith—not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Speak the Word
“I walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Heiligschriftstudium: Luke 24:27-32