Live By Faith

For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

To live by faith seems so simple. But when you go to practice it, why does it seem so frightening and hard? Doing a trust fall knowing and seeing that your friend is there to catch you is hard in itself. Take that, and do it without seeing who is going to catch you. 

It took great faith for Peter to trust in Jesus and walk on water, and that was in His presence.  

Matthew 14:25-33 says, “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.”

“It’s a ghost, “they said, and cried in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out. “Lord save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, He said, “Why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying “Truly you’re the Son of God.”

If we could just summon up the courage to take that step and truly live by faith, moment by moment, not just when life seems rough and there seems to be no other option, what amazing things would Jesus have in store for our lives?  In Matthew 17:20, Jesus states, “Because you have so little faith.  Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Seeking His Presence

Our God is omnipotent, or all powerful and unlimited in power. He is omniscient, or having complete unlimited knowledge. He is omnipresent, or present everywhere at all times.

Knowing that His presence is everywhere could be scary or intimidating, or it could be reassuring and calming. It depends on, I guess, if you know Him in a personal loving relationship, or if you don't really know Him and you fear Him.

Amazingly at times, God will manifest His presence, or make His presence known. One way is an inner presence through the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us.

There is another way recorded in the Bible, our Lord will make His presence known or felt in a very real obvious way. In Genesis 3:8 Adam and Eve, after they had sinned, felt God's manifested presence in the garden and they hid from Him. In Exodus 33:14-15, Moses was afraid of trials before him, but God reassured Moses that He would make His presence known to him. Psalm 139:7 mentions the omnipresence of God; "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence"

Sadly, even though our Lord is everywhere, it is possible to leave His presence through disobedience, sin, or just not wanting to do what God is telling us to do. After Cain killed Abel, Genesis 4:16 mentions that he left the presence of the Lord. In Jonah 1:1-3, the Bible mentions that Jonah did not want to do what the Lord asked him to do and he left the presence of the Lord.

But despite our ways, our Lord, because He loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us, desires us to enter into His presence! In Derek Henbest's recent blog, he mentioned the Hebrew word "shekinot"  which means to "settle in" and dwell. He referenced to a time when God manifested His Presence among His people at a makeshift temple. When the Israelites humbled themselves to the Lord, and He saw a sincere effort to worship Him, He manifested or made His presence known to them.

The easiest way to experience His presence is worship. Seek Him out by praising Him, by expressing your love for him. Humbly let our Lord know how much you desire Him and rely on Him, for His Mercies are new every day!

If we can't feel His presence at church, it's not the church’s fault. Because our Lord is Omnipresent, or everywhere, He can even be found in the most dry and boring church. If we seek Him out and come to Him in worship, He will make His presence known to us!

My hope and prayer is that we seek out His presence daily. When we are going through trials, when we are celebrating something positive happening to us, when we are praying for someone to be healed or comforted by Him, we need to seek Him and enter into His manifested presence!!!

God Bless
Stephen LaFontaine