The Scriptures inform us to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7 NKJV). Yet everything in us demands a rational explanation. “Show me. I’m from Missouri.” We want the security of knowing before acting. Our duplicitous mind and heart recoil at the prospect of truly trusting God with the unknown, much less with what seems to us to be the irrational. Yet God, in His determination to teach us to walk by faith, pushes us to trust Him in the most unlikely ways that simply defy common sense: ” My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord.’ I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…” (Isa. 55:8b; 42:16a). For example:
- God to Noah, “Build a boat out here in the dessert. ” Noah: “What’s a boat?” “I’ll show you.” Noah: “Why would we want a boat in the dessert, Lord?” “Because I’m going flood the earth and drown all the wicked people.” Noah: “How long will it take me to build the boat Lord?” “One hundred and twenty years.” Noah: “But Lord, everyone will think I am a nut case.” God: “Noah, how long can you tread water?” (See Gen. 6).
God to Abraham: “Take your son, your only son whom you love…Sacrifice him …as a burnt offering.” Surely Abraham must have been thinking, “But Lord, what about your promise and fulfillment of giving me a son in my old age? You cannot be serious.” Yet Abraham obeyed, and in the eleventh hour God spared Isaac. (See Gen. 22:1-19)
- God to Joshua: “There’s this fortified city, Jericho. March around it seven times, blow trumpets and shout, and the walls will collapse and you will take the city.” Joshua could have been thinking, “He wants us to drink the Kool-Aid.” Against all rationale, God’s word accomplished what He had promised. (See Jos. 5:13 – 6:21)
Jesus to Peter: “Throw your net over there on the other side of the boat .” “But Lord, you, an itinerate preacher know nothing about fishing. I have fished this lake for years and know what is going on here. Besides we fished all night and there are no fish to be had.” To his credit, Peter – against his every rational inclination – obeyed Jesus, and … well, you know the rest of the story. (See Jn. 21:1-14)
Faith, by its very definition, demands that we look beyond proof positive, to embrace the character and promises of God. Observe Moses’ testimonial, in retrospect, on God’s faithfulness to Israel, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled” (Josh. 21:45).
CHALLENGE : Perhaps God is speaking to you about a direction or action He wants you to take that rationally does not pencil out. Consider: “…Without faith it is impossible to please God…My righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him” (Heb. 11:6a; 10:38a). Today, choose to please God by believing and obeying Him, whatever His terms.
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill