Walking by Faith & Does God Speak Today?

A musing from yesterday's home group.

Why is it hard to take next steps of faith with God? I can think of three reasons:

1. We like to walk by sight, not by faith. A commitment to walk by faith means opening ourselves up to the possibility that God might want us to something that, as yet, we feel unqualified to do. In fact, that is pretty much the definition of walking by faith. If I can already do it without God in the picture, then it isn't walking by faith, it is walking by sight

2. We like to avoid scary things. Being asked to do something that we currently feel unqualified to do is scary. We naturally default to being within our areas of expertise and comfort, not outside them. Therefore walking by faith is inherently scary because God is in control and we are not. When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh his list of excuses is almost comic. I'm certain when God took nearly all of Gideon's army (and all the weapons!) away, Gideon must have felt quite inclined to not walk by faith. But walking by sight means we win the victory (usually small and inconsequential ones) and we get the glory. God is interested in him winning the victory (big and world-shaking ones) and him winning the glory as he fights for his name and his people. Walking by faith is getting us involved in his purposes. Walking by sight means the most we will ever do is ask God to get involved in our purposes

3. Walking by faith contains the assumption that God speaks today and guides us to do certain things. Either by general understanding from the Bible that his purposes for his people involve us doing everything to spread his fame all over the world. Or an understanding that sometimes he directs much more specifically, even individual believers to individual acts of faith. The person who doesn't believe either of those has no reason to walk by faith because their implicit assumption is that God will not guide them to anything, other than to live godly lives but in totally non-specified ways. If you don't believe in some degree of specific guidance, it is hard to see how you believe in walking by faith either. For that person, the Christian walk consists of doing your best to live a holy life (a good thing!), but nothing more

I suspect that this last category contains a large percentage of Christians in Britain. Trying to live in ways that are morally pleasing to God, but not expecting him to direct them in specific ways, let alone into adventures that are beyond their control. And in the lack of expectation they don't pray for it because secretly they don't really want it. Much better to be in control and never do anything scary. Wanting to walk by sight isn't very godly, isn't very faith-building, will never take strongholds for God or storm the gates of Hell, and leads to mediocre lives whose highest definition of success is "am I comfortable." And that is very sad.

Thankfully it is not true of the members and leaders of our home group.