Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Walking by Faith and not by Sight

I’ve been acquainted with this notion of walking by faith instead of sight for quite a while. It comes from 2 Corinthians 5. But I’ve come to see a new application of it lately. For the longest time I have believed that if I followed the proper formula, and made the appropriate adjustments along the way, that I would end up with a fine church, one that I could be proud[!] of. I’m coming to see that this won’t work. Hidden in that way of thinking is the assumption that I can control what is happening. If I see something develop over there all I need to do is make the appropriate adjustment over here. That adjustment might be a particular topic to preach on or some new program to establish. My job was to see what was going on and tweak things to keep things on track. I think that a good label for that is ‘walking by sight’. And it’s the kind of thinking that assumes that I am in control. [Now, no one is so pagan to suggest that this means that you don’t have to pray. It just defines what it is that you pray about: being able to control well.]

Lately, I’ve found that this control motif doesn’t work. I’ve given up trying to work that model. As a result, I have no idea of either what Jesus is doing or what needs to happen at the church. I’ve found that I’m flying blind. And I think that it’s better this way. So, instead of figuring out a master plan for the next however long, I’m seeing that I just need to do the next thing. And to know what the next thing is I need to pray, ‘Okay, Lord, I’ve finished what You told me to do. What would You like me to do next?’ So, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be preaching on Isaiah this Sunday. I can say that because Jesus has already told me to work through that book – though I had my questions about doing that when He told me. I’m only pretty sure about that because I know that He could tell me otherwise sometime this week. But beyond that, I have no idea what’s going on. I freely acknowledge that I am in no way in control. So, that means I need to trust Him to direct me each step of the way. And I have a feeling that this is going to work better.

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