There is a phrase that, although often used, I’m afraid is greatly misunderstood. It is one of those phrases that sounds good, spiritual even, but when not properly defined becomes nothing more than empty words. What is the phrase?
“The Journey of Faith.” Or, “Faith is a Journey.” Even more personal, “I am on a Journey of Faith.”
While this may sound good, what exactly does it mean?
First, what it is not. “The Journey of Faith” is not:
1. The ongoing search for truth. Many who use this phrase mean that they are in the middle of a lifelong process of discovery that will hopefully lead to an understanding of what faith is. (I actually wrote about that here.) As I said in the post referenced, faith is something that can be understood and defined. Therefore, the journey of faith is not a spiritual exercise of self-discovery leading to the deeper meaning of the universe.
2. A process of defining what faith means for you. Many think that we each must walk our own path in order to determine what faith and spirituality mean PERSONALLY. This is different than searching for truth (as in our previous point), this is about defining faith in a way that aligns with our own experience and subjective conclusions. Similar to the belief that many roads lead to enlightenment, just pick the one that is best for you, this process is based only on personal experience and emotion.
3. A blind journey full of hope in everything but the Eternal God. This belief equates a “Journey of Faith” with positive thinking and believing that everything will somehow work out ok for those who are doing their best.
The problem with all of these is that they turn the “Journey of Faith” into an unknowable goal whose attainment is up to me and good luck.
So, what is “The Journey of Faith?”
1. Living a life that understands the goal is to be like Jesus and to live this life in His Power and for His glory.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
2. Running the race set before us by God, the individual race or path that He has for each one us, by following Christ. Each of us has a different call (from an “in this world” standpoint) on our lives but the fulfillment of that call can only happen because of Christ. He gave us the call and He is the one that will bring it to pass.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
3. Daily seeking God through His word. It is a journey because it happens daily throughout our lives.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
4. The way were were designed to live.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight:
“The Journey of Faith” is not a blind walk of self-discovery. It is a confident journey taken over a lifetime accomplishing all that God sets before us until we are conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) He will guide us. He will lead us. He will equip us. He will provide for us. One step at a time.