Cross Words:

By Isaiah Pauley

In this season of viruses and political instability, I find myself thinking a lot about eternity. This world is not my home. And it can be hard for a young man like me to really embrace. After all, I look forward to what God has in store for me on this earth. Even still, at the end of the day, I know I’m not home yet.

In October of 1950, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis was published. It’s one of my favorite stories. As Lucy and her three siblings enter Narnia, everything changes. They fall in love with Aslan who is known for his protection and sovereignty in the Narnian world. Having fallen in love with Narnia, the Pevensie children are enamored by a world far beyond their wildest dreams.

One of the reasons why this book remains so popular 70 years later is because of Lewis’s ability to capture us in Narnia. Even those who reject Christ find themselves drawn here. Neil Gaiman, a secular author, writes, “The weird things about the Narnia books for me was that mostly they seemed true. These were reports from a real place.”

Indeed, my favorite Lewis quote reads, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

And that’s the hope of the gospel.

The apostle Paul writes, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:1-7 ESV).

There’s a lot in these verses. But I want us to see the context of that last verse, which reads, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (v. 7 ESV). After all, this is one of those t-shirt verses. Like, you know, something we would put on a coffee mug or canvas. And it’s a beautiful verse. But notice what Paul says first.

He acknowledges how our bodies are temporary. Pain is temporary. Viruses don’t last. And we long for the day when our heavenly bodies are revealed. We long to see the face of Christ. But until then, we walk by faith.

After all, the author of Hebrews writes, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). Furthermore, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (v. 6 ESV). Then, as the author continues, he speaks of Abraham who “… was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (v. 10 ESV).

This world is not our home. Even still, we walk by faith. We look to Christ, trusting in His sovereignty. Trusting in His power. Resting in His promises.

Last Saturday, my soon-to-be wife had a bridal shower. We received some decorations for our home, and they were all wonderful. But there’s one sign that sticks out to me. It says, “This home runs on faith.” And that sign hangs in our soon-to-be living room. Why? Not because it’s creative or cute (even though it is). Rather, the sign hangs where it does because it says something we believe. That, through every up and down of life, we walk by faith. In good times and bad times, we walk by faith.

As I close, I want to encourage those who know they’re not home yet. Don’t lose hope. Don’t forget God’s promises. His heart is closer than you think. He cares more than you realize. And His grace is sufficient for you.

Would you walk by faith today?

By Isaiah Pauley

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.