What does it mean to “walk by faith and not by sight,” as instructed in 2 Corinthians 5:7? This is one of the main words of wisdom or instruction you hear one giving to another, when an individual doesn’t know what to do. But is the meaning of this verse really in the context of walking blindly as so commonly believed? No, it is not.
A more accurate translation of this verse is to walk by faith, and not by what is seen, or what appears to be. It means to not be guided by this natural realm, or what you see and experience on this earth. Specifically, it means to not make decisions based on a carnal mind, or by using your 5 senses. There is a big difference in not allowing yourself to be guided by this earthly realm, and to walk blindly.
When we focus on the things of this world, we will desire this world and we will pursue what it has to offer. This relationship is discussed in Romans 7 when it speaks of carnality and the law of the mind. It is natural for us to be guided by our carnal mind, or by what is seen. On the other hand, God does not expect us to walk blindly in this world. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), we have access to the direction of the Holy Spirit who is intimately connected to us in this earthly realm that He guides our steps (Proverbs 16:9). God is so intimately connected to you that He desires to direct your steps. To me, that is not walking blindly. We can feel like were walking blindly when we are distracted from God’s presence, and we don’t hear His still small voice amongst the loud circumstances of everyday life.
But was does it mean to walk by faith? Just like God instructs us not to make decisions based on what we see, when we walk in faith, it is also speaking of our decision-making process. Let us look at the definition of faith in Hebrews:
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV): Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Most people believe faith is believing in what is not scene. Although true, it is only half the definition in that they leave out the substance of hope. Substance means something that you can tangibly see, or measure objectively. In other words, when one has faith, it can be observed. How can faith be observed? It can be observed through making decisions with the confident expectation of God’s goodness. This is how faith manifests in everyday life, when you make decisions with a confident expectation that God’s Word will do what it promises you. You will make decisions that are grounded in the peace and love of Christ. It is the opposite of making decisions based on fear, stress, anxiety, and worry, or through not believing God will do what He says in His Word.
Therefore, when we walk by faith and not by sight, it is meaning that we are living life making decisions with a confident expectation that God will do what He has promised in His Word. We make decisions in life knowing that God is faithful, that we are loved, and that we are saved, healed, delivered prospered, protected, preserved, and made whole. It means that we won’t make decisions based on fear, but in the security that God has everything under compete control.
So, do you walk by faith and not by sight? Do you make decisions based on God’s faithfulness, or are decisions made with the motivation of fear and worry?
1 John 4:18 (KJV): There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.