“We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV84)
A seven-word sentence that packs more meaning than entire novels. And if you know anything about Paul’s writings, a seven-word sentence is almost unheard of coming from him. Paul makes it clear by this verse, and the context surrounding it, that we as Christians must live our lives with eyes of faith and not eyes of sight. This may seem obvious at first, but focus for a second on the second half of this sentence. We should not walk by sight. But wait a minute, that’s typically how we evaluate most situations. Our eyes probably take in more information for us to process than all of our other senses combined. Paul is telling us that when it comes to living out our faith, our physical eyes are not reliable. Why? Because they, and what we see, have been affected by sin and hence can’t be trusted.
Paul is assuring us that we would be better off most times viewing the circumstances of our lives with our eyes closed rather than with them open. Our physical eyes have a severe weakness. They can only see the moment. They cannot see beyond today and into eternity. Our eyes cannot peer into the heart of God and see things from His perspective. But our eyes of faith can! If we view the circumstances from our eyes of faith we will gain glimpses into the heart and will of God. As we focus on God’s Word, we can gain insight about our current situation that our physical eyes could never give us.
This is not to be a part-time thing. Paul tells us this is the way we ought to live. We ought to live with faith eyes, not sight eyes. A small exercise for today: Close your eyes for a few minutes and review the circumstances of your life through your eyes of faith, and tell me if you don’t gain insight your physical eyes have been unable to give.