We live by faith and not by sight.
Hey! What’s up Valley Creek Students! My name is Rebekah and I’m so glad you’re at Students circles! And guess what – IT’s September… and do you know what that means? Well it means you officially survived the summer of 2020. AND WHAT A SUMMER IT WAS. And if we think about it – man the entire year of 2020 has been a year to remember. I mean, We have never walked through a time like this – It’s brought a lot of changes and some challenges, and I think just maybe we’ve learned some things along the way over 2020.
That’s why this week we are starting a new series called just that – “Along the Way” and we’re gonna talk about those lessons of 2020, where we’re gonna talk about what God has been teaching us along the way. And I want to encourage you, these lessons are not what God is teaching just one of us, so don’t check out, these are lessons our good dad is teaching us as a family.
And you actually talk about the lessons more than you think. Like if we were at a coffee shop right now, I’d have my grande triple vanilla latte, you might have nice warm PSL, or a nitro cold brew, and one of the first things I’d ask would be: “What is God teaching you right now? What has he taught you in 2020 or even just the past few months, what have you been learning along the way” And if you hadn’t thought about it, you might need a few minutes to think about it. Or you might need me to ask it like this “what have you seen?” Because sometimes that question is easier, especially in 2020, because we have seen A LOT.
We’ve seen pain and sorrow, we’ve seen grieving of schools being closed and our activities being “postponed” We’ve probably seen WAY more of the inside of our house than we’d like, We’ve seen strange things become the norm like living 6 ft apart, running back to the car to grab a mask. We’ve seen the physicals campuses of Valley Creek go quiet, silent, and empty. we’ve seen first days of school through a web ex calendar, drive by birthdays, and we’ve haven’t seen the INSIDE of a chick fil a in MONTHSSSSS. And all that, it’s impacted us whether we realize it or not.
The Comfortable has become uncomfortable
The familiar has become foreign
What was certain, has become uncertain.
What And what we are seeing is having a significant impact on us.
. that’s why, along the way, one of the lessons we’re learning is
And if we take a minute to think about it, maybe what we have SEEN is impacting the way we are living? Is that true for you? PAUSE – Is what you have seen in 2020 affecting your mind, your thoughts, your choices, or even your heart. PAUSE – I know it has for me, and I know it has for many of your parents, your leaders, and your friends .. so you’re not alone. The great thing we get to continue to learn through that is
WE LIVE BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.
And maybe you’ve heard that before. I mean we use that word faith A LOT. We say things like“Just have Faith” Don’t lose faith” We put it on jewelry, on t-shirts, journals and bibles, I mean, raise your hand if you have something on you or around you with the word Faith on it.
And here is the thing, I love the word faith but I think too often we over use it, and under define it. We don’t give meaning to the word WE OVER USE IT, AND UNDER DEFINE IT – so can we change that today? Can I let me ask you this – what does FAITH mean – better yet – what does FAITH mean to YOU.
The great thing is we get to turn to words Directly from GodThe word of God to define FAITH. Hebrews 11 says this:
NOW FAITH IS CONFIDENCE IN WHAT WE HOPE FOR AND ASSURANCE ABOUT WHAT WE DO NOT SEE.
Faith is Confidence in the promises of God, AND Confidence being sure even about what we can’t see. And if I’m honest, the first half of that definition I’m good with but the second half is HARDDDD. I mean it’s so tempting to let our reality be defined by what we SEE instead of what you believe, and you may be asking what’s wrong with that?! What is wrong with living by sight? Well, if we are only living by sight, we are forgetting about the FAITH that we have in Jesus. If we are living by OUR sight, we are forgetting the Vision GOD has for our lives, we’re forgetting to have FAITH in the promise that he ALWAYS has victory. No. matter. What.
So now you may be thinking, ok I think I get it, I’ve also been learning that Jesus calls us to walk by faith not our sight. BUT ummm how do I do that? Do I just close my eyes and listen to my heart… Well no, we know he doesn’t want us to walk around with our eyes closed because there are tons of stories of him giving people sight, and I believe he wants to help you see in a new way his way, so Let’s take a look at one of those stories in mark 8 – But how do we do that how do we believe in the victory God has when what we see is different – well, there is a great story in Mark 8 that can help.
· So there was a group of friends, and one of them was blind, and we don’t know much else about these guys except that some of them knew Jesus, because they knew that Jesus could heal their friend, so they brought the blind man to Jesus. And begged him to touch him and heal him… man those are some great living by faith friends. And Jesus responded by taking the man by the hand and leading him outside their village – PAUSE, don’t miss that, in order to heal him, Jesus has to lead him to an unfamiliar place, I would say – we’re in a pretty unfamiliar place right now. In this season could Jesus be doing the same with you, Taking you to unfamiliar places to heal blindness in some areas of your life maybe? to heal something in YOU, to heal the way you might be seeing things
· So they’re outside the village, and Jesus well.. he spits on the man’s eyes. Put his hands on him. Are you serious? Like Jesus did the totally unexpected and maybe a little uncomfortable thing – but wait – isn’t that where we kind of are now – we are in an unexpected place, with some realities that aren’t super pleasant – but Jesus is still moving, we are still learning, we are part of something bigger.
· You see after Jesus spit on his eyes he asks “Do you see anything?” and the guy says yeah, I think I do, you all look like fuzzy tree people – Fuzzy tree people? No no no that’s not God’s best, so once again Jesus puts his hands on the man’s eyes – and THEN he received full sight, he could see clearly. And in that moment we ‘see’ that with Jesus, there is ALWAYS more You see with Jesus we know there is always more.
· After that first time his sight was partially restored the guy could have thanked Jesus and said “peace out” but he didn’t. He didn’t just believe only by what his eyes saw – he believed that Jesus was bigger than what he currently saw, and he put his trust in JESUS and believed by Faith that Jesus had there was more for him than what he currently saw . He didn’t want to walk around with fuzzy tree people vision. Would Do you?
· I think that too often we settle – ya know – instead of allowing Jesus to complete the work he’s doing in us, we’re quick to want to move on to the next thing God has but the truth is Because I know if you stay were God has taken you [SM7] – if you go where God is taking you and stay with Him…you will receive more from him. If you stay by faith in your circle and connect and share – If you stay by faith committed to learning in a new way – If you stay by faith in that club or team even when you don’t feel good enough, when you stay, he shows you how to walk by FAITH, not by sight. God always has more for you, but you have to stay.
· So if we turn back to Mark and to our newly not blind friend who made the choice to stay, what happens next is fascinating – Jesus sends him back home… remember Our friend, he’s in an unfamiliar place, outside of his village and Jesus sends him home. If He didn’t have his sight, he wouldn’t be able to find his way home from this unfamiliar place, if he only had fuzzy tree people vision, he would have thought he was making progress, but he would still have been lost and searching for home – In this unfamiliar season, have you may be lost your way home? Because home is where we find peace, and rest and comfort. Home Is the father’s heart – and Jesus is the only way there. Will you let his sight take you there?
Living by Faith, not by sight is a lesson we are learning, so let’s keep growing as we are learning our lessons together – along the way.