"We walk by faith…not by sight or appearance."
- 2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP
One of the most important things I've learned in walking closely with the Lord all these years is that, in order to gain the victory in most situations, we must not focus on what we see with our eyes, or what we hear with our ears. In fact, one of the first Scriptures that God gave me years ago was a verse in Isaiah that spoke of the coming Christ - "He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears." (Isaiah 11:3 NIV) When we are in a tense situation, we may be tempted to judge our circumstances according to what we see around us in the natural realm, or to make decisions based on what we hear from others. But that could be a big mistake, causing us to miss out on the miracles and blessings that God has for us. Jesus said, "Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment." (John 7:24 NIV) Living our lives based on appearances can make us vulnerable to satanic attack, because the devil can easily manipulate people and things in the earthly realm, in order to distract us and get us off the paths of success and victory that the Lord has prepared for us.
The apostle Paul wrote, "We walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV) The Amplified Translation says it this way: "We walk by faith…not by sight or appearance." God created our senses, and He gave them to us as a precious gift, but He never meant for us to live by them. The New Living Translation says, "We live by believing and not by seeing." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT) So if we're not supposed to put our faith in what we see, hear, or feel, what ARE we supposed to put our faith in? We are to put our faith in God and His Word. Scripture says: "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body." (Proverbs 4:20-22 NASB) Paying attention to God's Word, and keeping it before our eyes and in our ears, will help us to think more and more like God, and less and less like the world. We simply are not going be able to walk in close fellowship with God when we are thinking and acting like the world. The Bible says, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3 NKJV) The obvious answer is no, they can't. In order for us to walk closely with the Lord - and receive the wisdom, power, protection, and provision He has for us - we must get into agreement with Him, and "have the mind of Christ". (1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV)
The Amplified translation of First Corinthians 2:16 says: "We have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart." As believers in Christ, you and I have the potential to think like Christ, and to see the world - including our own circumstances - from Christ's perspective. Notice I said "potential". Unfortunately, if we haven't cooperated with God for the renewing of our mind, we will think more like the world than like Christ. Paul wrote: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NASB) After we've received Christ as our Savior, we can choose to be conformed to the world, or we can choose to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Keeping the Word of God before our eyes and in our ears - reading it, believing it, meditating on it, and applying it - will renew our minds and help us to gain a godly perspective on everything and everyone. When that happens, we can make decisions and choices that are in line with God's will for our lives. And His will for us is always "good" and "perfect," just like Scripture promises.
Maybe you've gotten a disheartening report on your health, your job situation, or a relationship that is dear to you. Whatever discouraging situation you're facing today, I urge you not to put your faith in what you see or hear, but to put your faith in God and His promises to you. "Stop judging by mere appearances" - and open the door for the Lord to work miracles on your behalf!
Prayer: Lord, today I commit to You all of the circumstances I am facing which trouble me. Enable me to see them from Your perspective from now on, and to act accordingly. Show me which promises from Your Word I should stand on for my victory. Thank You that as I purpose to walk by faith, instead of by sight or appearances, You will reward me with untold blessings that bring glory to You!
- J. M. Farro