FAITH: A VISION ENHANCER
Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” AMPC. This scripture shows us that faith allows us to see, and faith enables us to see. It also shows us that the things that faith allows us to see and the things faith enables us to see cannot be perceived by our natural senses. Only God can reveal those things to us by faith.
We see an example of this truth in Hebrews 11: 17-19 where we are told, ‘By faith Abraham, when he was tested [that is, as the testing of his faith was still in progress], offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises [of God] was ready to sacrifice his only son [of promise]; to whom it was said, “Through Isaac your descendants shall be called.” For he considered [it reasonable to believe] that God was able to raise Isaac even from among the dead. [Indeed, in the sense that he was prepared to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God] Abraham did receive him back [from the dead].” AMP.
For Abraham to have walked in obedience to God and offered up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice, in obedience to God, faith must have allowed him to see something that convinced him that God would see to it that his only son Isaac would live to fulfill the promise as the very one through whom God promised his descendants would come out of. In John 8:56-59 our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ revealed what Abraham saw that day, “Your forefather Abraham was extremely happy at the hope and prospect of seeing My day (My incarnation); and he did see it and was delighted.Then the Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham? Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I Am. So they took up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus, by mixing with the crowd, concealed Himself and went out of the temple [enclosure].” AMPC.
So, Faith allowed Abraham to see the incarnation of the Lord and enabled him to see that his son Isaac would live to fulfill the promise God gave him regarding Isaac. So, though Abraham did not see how everything would play out or know how God would do it, he knew that the Omniscient God knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning, and he knew that God is Jehovah Roi, the One who sees it all at once. As a result, he was fully persuaded and convinced that God would keep His promise to him that his descendants would come out of Isaac and kept walking by faith with confidence.
Genesis 22:1-19 gives us the full picture of what transpired that day, ‘Now after these things, God tested [the faith and commitment of] Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Take now your son, your only son [of promise], whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then he got up and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day [of travel] Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.”'
‘Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the fire (firepot) in his own hand and the [sacrificial] knife; and the two of them walked on together.” And Isaac said to Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Isaac said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself a lamb for the burnt offering.” So the two walked on together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood, and bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. So Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh). And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be seen and provided.”’
‘The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “By Myself (on the basis of Who I Am) I have sworn [an oath], declares the Lord, that since you have done this thing and have not withheld [from Me] your son, your only son [of promise], indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies [as conquerors]. Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.” So Abraham returned to his servants, and they got up and went with him to Beersheba; and Abraham settled in Beersheba.’ AMP; [emphasis mine].
FAITH: A VISION ENHANCER
The kingdom of God is a Kingdom of faith. God is a God of faith and His kingdom is a kingdom of faith. Hebrews 11:6 puts it this way, “But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.” AMP. So, to walk with God, you must walk by faith and operate by faith because faith connects us to God and everything God gives us we receive by faith. We see this truth in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God[.]” AMPC. Hebrews 10:38 puts it this way, “But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.” AMPC.
2 Corinthians 5:7 explains it this way, “For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.” AMPC. So, that means we are to walk by faith consistently. Walking by faith consistently allows us to stay connected with God consistently, which is the way a believer ought to live, staying connected to God always. Walking by faith is very beneficial to the believer because faith connects us to God, faith brings hope and encouragement and is forward moving, faith energizes, faith does not stagnate and is not backward looking.
Walking by faith is also very beneficial to the believer because of the things faith allows or enables the believer to do which can bring all of the things God has purposed for the believer into the life of the believer. l to the believer because of the things faith allows or enables the believer to do which can bring all of the things God has purposed for the believer into the life of the Those things include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Faith Allows us to See: Faith allows the believer to see where God is leading them or the direction God is taking them. See Genesis 6 (Noah and the ark)
2. Faith Enables us to See: Faith enables the believer to see their promised land. In Joshua 6:2 we see this truth, “And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands.” AMPC. We also see this truth in Genesis 13: 14-17, “The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted. Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you.” AMPC; emphasis mine.
3. Faith Always Puts us in the Position to Receive from God: Faith always places the believer in the position to receive what God has for them. In James 1:5-8 we see this truth, “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”AMPC; emphasis mine.
4. Faith Enables us to Hear: In John 10:27 our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ brings out this truth, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” KJV. Faith connects us to God. So, when we walk by faith, we walk with God and are able to hear Him when He speaks.
5. Faith Enables us to Discern/Understand: In Hebrews 11:3 we see this truth, “By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” AMP. Likewise, faith can enable the believer to discern and understand things that cannot be perceived with the natural senses.
6. Faith Enables us Obey: In Hebrews 11: 29 we see this truth on display, “[Urged on] by faith the people crossed the Red Sea as [though] on dry land, but when the Egyptians tried to do the same thing they were swallowed up [by the sea].” AMPC. We see here that it was faith that enabled the children of Israel to obey God and walk through the Red Sea “as [though] on dry land.” However, when the Egyptians tried to do the same by their own strength, it did not work out for them. Likewise, faith can enable us to obey God.
7. Faith keeps doubt out: In Hebrews11: 31 we see how faith kept doubt out and Rahab put her faith in the living God, “[Prompted] by faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who refused to believe and obey, because she had received the spies in peace [without enmity].” AMPC. Likewise, when we put our faith in God, we shut the door on doubt because faith and doubt cannot co-exist. They are mutually exclusive.
8. Faith makes the Word of God come alive in our lives and produces kingdom results in our lives: In James 1:22-25 we are told, “But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).” AMPC. We can see from this scripture that obeying the Word of God makes the Word alive in our lives because it makes us do something in obedience which opens the door for God’s blessings to flow into our lives.
In Hebrews 11: 30 we see where obedience produced kingdom results, “Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encompassed for seven days [by the Israelites].” AMPC. When the children of Israel followed God’s instructions regarding Jerico, they got a kingdom result, which is the wall of Jericho fell. See Joshua 6:1-21. Likewise, when we obey God’s Word or instructions, we get kingdom results.
9. Faith allows us to function in the faith realm: Habakuk 2:4 tells us, “the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.” AMPC. To live by faith means to function in the faith realm and be able to receive all that God has for us by faith.
10. Faith helps us outlast Satan: Satan cannot operate in the faith realm. He can only operate in the natural and manipulate things in the natural for his satanic purposes. So, when we walk by faith consistently, we are connected to God consistently and can receive from God consistently. Living that way shuts out Satan and ensures that we outlast Satan always and receive all that God has in store for us. James 4:7-8 puts it this way, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” NIV.
As we can see, these things enumerated above come by faith. However, here we shall focus on faith as a vision enhancer. As a vision enhancer, faith allows us to see where God is leading us, and faith enables us to see our promised land.
FAITH: A VISION ENHANCER ALLOWS US TO SEE
When you drive at night, you can only see as far as your headlights can illuminate and allow you to see. Anything beyond that is covered in darkness and you cannot see what is in the dark. However, as you move your car your headlights illuminate more areas ahead of you and you can then see more of the road, whether it is winding or straight or turns to the left or right. Likewise, just as your headlights allow you to see as far as the headlights can illuminate, so does your faith. Also, just as you have to keep moving your car, you have to keep walking by faith and each step of faith allows you to see further.
So, faith is a vision enhancer that allows you to see where God is leading you or what God has for you. That means as you take a step of faith, you are going to see where God is leading you or what God can do in your situation or circumstance. We see an example of this truth in Joshua 3. Verses 1-4 says, ‘Joshua got up early in the morning; then he and all the children of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they spent the night there before they crossed [the river]. And it happened at the end of three days that the officers went throughout the camp, and they commanded the people, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from where you are and follow it. However, there shall be a distance between you and it of about 2,000 cubits (3,000 ft.) by measurement. Do not come near it, so that you may [be able to see the ark and] know the way you are to go, for you have not passed this way before.’ AMP; emphasis mine.
In verses 5-6 we see Joshua and the children of Israel walking by faith and following through with God’s instructions. As they took that step of faith, God gave instructions on how to cross the Jordan river and Joshua could see that God was about to do a repeat of the Red Sea miracles. We see this in verses 7-13. In verses 14-17 we see what happened when they followed through with God’s instructions and directions, ‘So when the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan with the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who were carrying the ark came up to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were submerged at the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all of its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stopped and rose up in one mass a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan. Those [waters] flowing downward toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed [the river] opposite Jericho. And while all [the people of] Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan [riverbed], until all the nation had finished crossing over the Jordan.’ AMP; emphasis mine.
Here again, we see that as they took the step of faith and the priests carrying the ark of the Lord stepped into the Jordan river, God split the Jordan river into two and caused the seabed to become dry ground, just as He split the Red Sea into two, so Joshua and the children of Israel could pass through safely to the other side.
So, be encouraged to keep walking by faith even when you cannot see it all and even when you don’t know it all. We cannot see it all neither can we know it all because we don’t have the capacity. God is Omniscient. He is the One Who is all knowing. He knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. God is Jehovah Roi, the Lord God Who sees, and He sees it all at once. So, when God leads us, guides us, assists us, helps us, gives us instructions, directs us and gives us directions, opens doors for us, makes a way where there is no way, and shows us the way and how to do, we must do, walk through, follow through and obey with confidence knowing that with each step of faith we take we can see where God is leading us and we can experience the miracles God has purposed for us.
FAITH: A VISION ENHANCER ENABLES US TO SEE
Additionally, faith enables us to see our promised land. Our promised land is where God has purposed for us to be or what God has purposed for us to accomplish. Though the natural eye cannot see it, faith enables us to see it as done. As a result, we can call those things that be not as though they were. See Romans 4:17.
We can find an example of this truth in Joshua 6 where God delivered Jericho into the hands of the children of Israel. Before anything ever took place, we are told in verses 1-5, “Now Jericho [a fenced town with high walls] was tightly closed because of the Israelites; no one went out or came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands. You shall march around the enclosure, all the men of war going around the city once. This you shall do for six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns; and on the seventh day you shall march around the enclosure seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn and you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the enclosure shall fall down in its place and the people shall go up [over it], every man straight before him.” AMPC; emphasis mine. Here, notice that God asked Joshua to see with his eyes of faith what He has purposed for them to accomplish and then God gave Joshua instructions on how to accomplish it.
When Joshua and the children of Israel followed through with God’s instructions, though it may not have made any sense to his military leaders, Jericho fell into their hands just as God said it would. See Joshua 6:6-20. Likewise, faith enables us to see what God has purposed for us. So, when God gives us instructions on what to do and how to do it, we should do it, follow through and obey because faith accomplishes that for which we are believing God for and walking by faith, and faith always takes us to our promised land. Do not doubt and allow Satan to use doubt to steal from you. See James 1:5-8.
DOUBT IS A VISION BLOCKER AND A PERSPECTIVE DISTORTER
As discussed above, faith is a vision enhancer. On the other hand, doubt is a vision blocker and a perspective distorter. Doubt can never allow the doubter to see and can never enable the doubter to see. Doubt can never allow the doubter to see where God is leading them and can never enable the doubter to see their promised land. For, if they can see where God is leading them, and they can see their promised land then they would be encouraged to keep walking by faith. Additionally, doubt is backward looking, doubt paralyzes, doubt brings fear and discouragement and connects the doubter to Satan, doubt stagnates and is never forward moving.
Also, doubt is a perspective distorter. At best, doubt causes the doubter to stagnate and keep looking backwards and desiring the place God delivered them from, or the place God took them out of, or the place God promoted them out of. That place of pain and suffering where they were bound and tormented with no way out, no route for deliverance, and no path to promotion.
We see an example of this truth in Exodus when God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt. Though God delivered them from Egypt with spectacular miracles, they still desired to go back to Egypt, the very place God delivered them from, when they encountered a little discomfort or challenge along the way because of doubt. See Exodus 12-17.
The lesson here is that we should walk by faith always and consistently so we can receive all that God has for us and so we can see where God is leading us or what God wants us to do and so we can see our promised land. Also, for each step of faith we take, be assured that God is using it to prepare us for our next step of faith and He is using it to prepare and train us for our promised land. Do not doubt, walk in doubt, or operate in doubt because not only does doubt prevent the doubter from receiving from God (James 1:5-8), doubt also causes the doubter to desire the wrong things that are not good for them or things God has already delivered them from.
So, be encouraged and keep walking by faith even when you cannot see it all and even when you don’t know it all. Our Heavenly father is the Omniscient God, the One Who is all knowing. He knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. He is Jehovah Roi, the Lord God Who sees, and He sees it all at once. So, when God leads/guides/assists/helps/ instructs/directs/opens doors/ makes a way where there is no way, and shows you the way and how to do, you must do, walk through, follow through and obey with confidence knowing that with each step of faith you take you can see where God is leading you and you can experience the miracles God has purposed for you. Also remember to pray always because God is only a prayer away from your situation or circumstance.
By: Winnie Ebere Ihemaguba for El Shaddai Outreach
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