“I have to live my life in faith, without seeing Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (Moffatt)
To live by faith and not by sight is a challenge when we don’t see or feel the presence of God. When we first gave our lives to Christ, the experience was amazing! Some people shed tears of joy and relief while others feel a calm sense of peace. Whether your experience was sensational or simply one of deep assurance that your heart was now right with God, your sins forgiven, and your destiny secured, you were no doubt conscious of God’s presence. It’s almost like a honeymoon stage of faith. Everything becomes new – new attitudes, new direction in life with an awesome awareness of God like you’ve never had before! With time, the newness can fade, and you may become less aware of God’s presence.
To grow our faith, God will at times withdraw His conscious presence. At first, like a young child separated from his mother, we cry out demanding His attention. We fuss and complain that we are alone and wonder where God went. Daily routines of seeking God and serving Him become mundane and we begin to feel obscure. In his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers raises a good question, “Can we do our duty when God has shut up heaven?” Do we always demand God to move in sensational ways, withholding our devotion and service when there is no fresh inspiration? Those rare moments when God manifests His conscious presence in our lives are wonderful. They are the mountain top experiences that Peter, James and John were privileged to share with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Like Peter, we want to stay on the mountain top. Yet, Jesus brings us back into the valley of obscurity to exercise our faith and grow us into His image and likeness. Oswald Chambers asks, “How many of us have laid ourselves by, as it were, and said, ‘I cannot do any more until God appears to me.’ He never will, and without any inspiration, without any sudden touch of God, we will have to get up. Then comes the surprise – ‘Why He was there all the time, and I never knew it!’”
The real miracle is not in those moments of inspiration. It is when we do our duty in the mundane routines of life where we don’t feel God’s presence. Are you just living for the rare moments when God brings His conscious presence to affirm you, or will you live by faith, without seeing Him? The miracle is in the mundane when you discover by faith that He is there all the time!