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Walking by faith

Part 1: By faith


You won't have been a Christian very long before you hear the term "walking by faith". If you get to hear one or two sermons that touch on it you soon realise that this is something important to your Christian life. What, though, is walking by faith?

Why does it seem so many Christians aren't very good at it? How do you walk by faith when everyone around you is walking it out by sight? This article endeavours to answer these questions.


The prophet Habakkuk boldly declared,

The just shall live by his faith.

Habakkuk 2:4 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Apostle Paul exhorts us to live by faith.)


As he teaches the churches the way of faith the apostle Paul makes good use of this prophetic word uttered by Habbakuk. In his letters Paul demonstrates that the salvation we have in Christ is by faith. He spells it out that in Christ our position of right standing with God is by faith. He follows this up by exhorting us to live this life we now have in Christ in the same way - by faith.

Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10:38 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Discover what is meant by the phrase 'to live by faith')


Where do we start? How do we follow Paul's exhortation to live by faith? And what will be the outcome in our lives of living by faith? Perhaps, first though, we need to ask what is meant by the phrase "living by faith"?

To live by faith is to walk out your life journey by faith. The norm in life is for people to walk out their life journeys on the basis of the evidence their circumstances and what the circumstances around them declare. To walk out your life journey by faith is to walk it out on the basis of the evidence provided by the promises in God's Word.

The walk of faith therefore is based on the evidence of things not seen but declared by God's Word. The New Testament tells us,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hewbrews 11:1 - NKJV

(Content of this section: It's a challenge to live by faith but the reward is great.)


It is the person who sticks to walking out his life journey by faith who receives the promises He is given access to in Christ Jesus. They are fulfilled to him. 2 Cor.1:20.

How do you walk out your life journey by faith when everyone around you is walking it out by sight? How do you walk out your life journey by faith when all the circumstances surrounding you are crying out, 'See me. Look at me. Walk after me. Walk according to how I look!'?

It is indeed a challenge. Nevertheless, a king of ancient Israel shows us how. This king's name was Jehoshaphat.

King Jehoshaphat was brought news of a massive invasion force coming against the land. His first reaction was to fear but then he took hold of himself and turned to seek the Lord. He gathered the people together to petition the Lord in prayer. He led them in prayer himself and declared in that prayer,

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.

2 Chronicles 20:12 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Learning from Jehoshaphat to begin walking by faith by acknowledging one's own inadequacy)


The words King Jehoshaphat uses in his prayer give us much needed guidance on how to walk by faith. In his prayer Jehoshaphat makes request for the Lord's intervention in the form of a question. Then he makes an important and very revealing two part statement.

Jehoshaphat's two part statement shows us how to begin our faith walk. First, he admits inadequacy and second he sets his focus on the Lord.

The first part of his statement is an admission of his own inadequacy, he acknowledges in the resources naturally available to him he doesn't have want it takes. He says,

We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do.

2 Chronicles 20:12 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Learning from Jehoshaphat to begin walking by faith by getting one's focus on the Lord)


The second part of his statement is his declaration of intent. By it he sets his focus on the Lord as the One from Whom adequate resources can come. He says,

Our eyes are upon You.

2 Chronicles 20:12 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Two parts to starting and making the walk of faith)


How then should we start every walk of faith we make? First, by acknowleding to the inadequacy of the resources and the inadequacy of the knowledge we possess. Second, by confessing that we plan - indeed we are committed to - focusing throughout our walk of faith on God Whom we acknowledge has all the adequacy we need.

For most of us, the first part is the easy part. It isn't hard for most of us to look at our resources and our knowledge and declare inadequacy. On the other hand, it's surprising how a bit of education or a bit of money can trick someone into believing they have what it takes in themselves for whatever comes. It was this very condition that Jesus was addressing when he spoke to his disciples about how hard it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. We really need to watch out against relying upon what we appear to have going for us instead of totally trusting in and relying upon God. Mat.19:23-24.

However, for most of us, the second part is the challenging part. It is in focussing on the Lord consistently through every situation no matter what arises that most Christians faulter. More often than not Christians take their eyes off the Lord and look at circumstances and conditions the very moment trouble and adversity approaches or patience is tested. It is focussing on the Lord that we need to get trained in, habitualised to and assured of.

The prophet Isaiah wrote a song that has lines to encourage us in this matter of focussing or staying our minds on the Lord. He wrote,

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3 - NKJV

(Content of this section: What's available in the next part)


The consequences of taking your eyes off the Lord on your faith walk are vividly illustrated in the story of Peter and his walk on the water.

In the next part of this lesson I'll take you through this story and show what it teaches us about walking by faith.

Preview of content in next part:

  • The Gospel account of apostle Peter walking on water and then starting to sink
  • Discovering the cause of Peter starting to sink during his faith walk
  • Learning that God has a word for you to walk on
  • Those who take their eyes off Jesus in their faith walk start to sink
  • The author tells of one example of his eyes getting off the Lord and the remedy the Lord provided
  • Learning how to take charge of your soul and get your attention on Jesus
  • Copying Jehoshaphat in the words he spoke to the Lord
  • Conclusion

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