One of the worst enemies of our Faith, our ability to act and behave based on God's Word is our constant reliance on the evidence we continue to obtain based on our physical senses. This is attempting to understand God based on what you see with your eyes, hear with your ears, smell with your nose, taste with your tongue, or touch with your hand.
We MUST understand that our feelings have nothing to do with anything that is relative to God. Please understand me as I say this to you. That does not meant that we are not allowed to have any feelings, we all do. We all have feelings based on what we have chosen to think and thereby judge and define in our world and life experience day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. If you are attempting to live your religious and spiritual life based on how you feel, you are choosing to walk down a very false and dangerous path.
Many times people forget that senses change, emotions change, and everything that they can experience with their five senses changes. Any time you allow your senses to dictate to you where you are with God, you have already lost the battle to Satan and his workers, called demons.
For instance, if someone says, "I felt like the Lord really heard by prayer that time." Ever said that to yourself? The real truth is that most Christians feel like He does not hear them, MOST of the time, so you always end up having doubt in the back of your mind, ready to devour you at its first opportunity. Let me say it again, being caught or stuck in what you experience through your senses destroys the faith of many people. They are busy looking to the circumstances. NOT TO GOD. In the things of God, you have to learn to fly by instruments only. Airline pilots have to go through training as they learn how to fly, where they strictly learn how to fly a plane by "Instruments" ONLY. The flight instructors put the new pilots into "flight simulators," and the new pilots are forced to go through practice flights in which they cannot see where they are going. They have to rely on their instruments ONLY.
Any pilot will be happy to share with you how his first sessions in one of those flight simulations affected him or her. He or she will tell you that the moment you cannot see anything, you loose all points of reference, like suddenly going blind while driving your car at high speed down the freeway. They have to LEARN HOW to trust, have confidence in, and believe that they will arrive safely at their destination, that the instruments will get them to where they need to go, safely.
Well, folks, we need to learn how to fly "by instruments." The Bible, God's Holy Word is your instruction manual. It gives you all of your readings, all of your settings. If you allow it, you will never "CRASH" in life. The old saying, "Seeing is believing" is not true in the things of God. That OLD SAYING needs to read like this, and we all need to remember this: "Believing is seeing," for all Christians who are truly holy innocent children of God.
We simply must learn that what is UNSEEN is just as real as what we think we see with our physical eyes -- that we believe is real. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, we are told:
" While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Remember, in the Gospel of John 4:24, Jesus Himself says: "God is a Spirit." So we must remember, that unseen things are actually spiritual things, things that exist in the spirit realm, and YOU "look at" and receive them by using YOUR FAITH. When you use your faith, in essence, you transfer them from the spirit realm to the physical realm, and they change from being "unseen things" to things your five sense can experience.
Let us look at another example. There are many people who say that certain things, such as sickness and disease, do not exist. They say that it is a matter of mind, that there is problem with your mind. They say that if you can adjust your mind, change your thinking, that the sickness you think you see, physically will go away. THAT IS NOT TRUE. If anyone know whether that idea is true or not, God know. If there really is not any such thing as sickness and disease, then why does it say in 1 Peter 2:24 that by our Lord Jesus Christ's strips were we healed?" Let us take a look at the Gospel of Matthew 8:17, "Himself (Jesus) took our infirmities, and bore our sickness?" Why does it say in Psalm 107:20 that, "He sent his Word, and healed them," if there is nothing to be healed from. Remember, we are not asked to believe that what we experience here is NOT real. We think and experience it as VERY real. But God's Word says to look beyond the physical experience of what is happening to you AND to walk by Faith and not by Sight. Our focus needs to be on God's cure, God' solution to it, which is written in His Word, and to then use your Faith to apply it to your situation or circumstance. If we stand unmoved, unshakable in our working of Faith, standing on God's Word -- THEN, the answer to our prayers come into manifestation into our physical lives and life experience.
The issue still is our own mouths, isn't it? Have you, for instance, within the last couple of days even, allowed yourself to but into the sickness or illness of others around you? Have you tired to compare YOUR symptoms with the symptoms of others to see if YOU ALSO had their illness or sickness in your own body or thinking? You can not, REPEAT cannot walk by FAITH and by SIGHT at the same time. You either are walking and using and living by FAITH -- or by the SIGHT -- of your physical eyes and the rest of your senses here in this life of ours. You cannot have it both ways at the same time. I you are busy verifying either your own sickness and illness or for the illness and sicknesses of other people, you are NOT motivating them to walk and live by Faith. How do we know this is true? Well, it is very simple folks. If you were walking by faith, you would have been asking them about how they had prayed for their healing. Did they pray in the right way? You might even perhaps ASK if they had seen a doctor to find out what was really wrong before they prayed, and help them claim their healing, and then both of you five thinks for the healing that they received, and even help them to BELIEVE they are healed until the healing is manifested into their lives. But one thing is for sure, you would not sit and discuss shared symptoms, how much they hurt, how much they disable you, etc.
Look folds, the word SIGHT makes us think about eyes. It then leads you to think about your visual perception, what you see with your eyes. If you talk about using your eyesight, you limit yourself to only 1/5th of your Body's ability to feed information to you about the environment around you. What about the things we can hear, the things we can touch, etc. We need to learn how to walk by FAITH and not Sight when it comes to our prayers and our relationship with God our creator.
So now, let us go back and look at 2 Corinthians 4:18 once again, and re-read it using our FAITH formula.
"While we look not at the things (which are perceived by the senses) but at the things (which are not perceived by the senses) for (or because) the things which are perceived by the senses are temporal (temporary, subject to change); but the things which are not (perceived by the senses) are eternal."
We can then go to 2 Corinthians 5:7 and read it the same way: "For we walk by Faith, not by (the senses)." And we can also do the same thing with Hebrews 11:1, to read this way: "Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (not perceived by the senses)." Let me say it once again. Learning to operate in and ON God's Faith is just like learning to fly an airplane on INSTRUMENTS ONLY. Our emotions, our feelings all work to BLIND US as we are flying this airplane we call life. That is why, Paul tells us in Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing (i.e. hearing what?) and hearing by the word of God." (i.e. Faith then, comes by hearing the Word of God.) But not even hearing it is enough is it??? You have to do what the Word of God tells you to do.
Let us change, just for a moment, so that we can understand what the scripture is really telling us. Let us word it as it is really speaking to us here: For we walk by Faith (i.e. the Word of God), not by the (our) senses. God's Word then, becomes the evidence of things which are as yet, unseen, That is why we need to believe, UNTIL they are manifested into our lives.
Look folks, ONLY God's Word working IN YOU, THROUGH YOU, can ever have any effect on the experience of your life here. It will change the circumstances of your life. Let us look again at Matthew 14: 22-31.
Peter does not TRY to walk on water, HE DOES WALK ON WATER. Peter asks Jesus if it really Him, can he, Peter, come to Him. Notice what Jesus says to Peter: "Come." He gives Peter permission to walk on the water. It says that PETER DID IT. Folks, if you can take five steps on the water, you can take 5,000 steps on the water. But Peter falls prey, doesn't he, just like we do so often. Peter takes his focus, his attention off of Jesus and looked at the Wind and the Waves. That is what SIGHT will do for you. Whenever we walk by our senses, it will cause you to walk in fear. When we allow FEAR to dwell in our minds, faith leaves us. Let us remember here, our friend the Apostle Peter was NOT yet born again, nor was he filled with the Holy Spirit as yet. He could not be born again yet, because Jesus had not yet died or risen from the dead.
So here is Peter. He has taken his focus, his attention off Jesus and : "He, Peter began to sink, He therefore cried aloud saying, LORD save me." in verse 31, we read: "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him (i.e. Peter), and said to him, O THOU of little faith, WHY DID YOU DOUBT." Peter doubted because he looked at the Wind and the Waves. The wind and the waves are in the realm of the physical world where our bodies are located. When Peter doubted the Word of God, his faith "WEAKENED," and fear entered him. Whenever you hear the Word of God, faith will come to you. At this point we ALL have a choice. You can believe your senses (i.e. your bodies and all its symptoms) OR you can believe what God's Word tells you. Remember, it is ONLY God's Words working through you that will ever change the circumstances of your life.
+Most Reverend (Joseph Benedict OSB/bcsa) Sills, S.T.L.
The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church in America
San Jose, California
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