Faith - The 6th Sense
by Anna Balsamo
Heart Song Worship Center
We all know we have five senses and the corresponding body parts to prove it. We have eyes to see; ears that hear; a nose that smells; a tongue to taste, and hands to feel. But are we born with another sense - one that does not have a physical body part to go with it?
I like to think that we do. Let me explain. When we sit down on the sofa, we have faith that it will hold us up, don't we? When we go to sleep at night we have faith that we will open our eyes each day. Even a baby experiences faith when it's loved one holds it in their arms. It begins to trust that when that happens they'll be kept safe. We believe the dishwasher will work after we have added the necessary soap and pressed the "on" button. We walk with faith more than we know even if we aren't a believer. It's not something most people will acknowledge because it's not something they can put their finger on. It transcends what we see with our physical eyes or our sense called sight. But it is there nonetheless from birth. Just like our other senses.
So when God calls us to "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7), it sounds like we already have it and must learn to utilize it, doesn't it? A baby gradually learns how to eat solid food, and toddlers learn to walk slowly and before long they are up and running pretty fast. It is the same with us and the faith God has already given us. But why is faith so important? "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6). We must take the faith already inherent in us and learn to trust the God who put it there, much like the toddler learning to walk - by taking baby steps of faith and then gradually leaps of faith.
So if we are all born with this sixth sense called faith, how do we learn to use it in our walk with Christ? "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ" (Romans 10:17 NASB). Here we learn that in order for our faith to grow we must hear God's Word in the Bible. "Why is that?" You ask. In Hebrews 4:12 God tells us that, "the Word of God is living and active; sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
God is very clear throughout scripture that His Word is the standard by which we should live, and the way we learn about Him. By reading and meditating on His Word, gradually and little-by-little His Holy Spirit takes that Word and helps it grow us up in Christ. But only if we obey what we read.
Let me give you an example: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).
I could read this scripture everyday for a year, and the Holy Spirit could convict me of the sin of unforgiveness, but unless I decide to obey and forgive the offender, I am not letting go of "me" with all its selfishness and pride and letting His grace shine through me. He won't get any glory from my behavior. No one will see Him in me, and I will be walking in my old sinful nature. "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:8). So what is the purpose to this life of faith? 1 Peter 1:9 tells us that the goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Romans 10:9 (NLT) states, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." That is and always will be God's intent for our faith - to receive His one and only Son. But it doesn't stop there. He has given us life here on earth and after salvation expects us to follow His plan for it. And He does have a plan for each one of us, "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me" (Ps. 138:8). The one goal we as Christians all share is this: to become like Him. Sometimes Our Heavenly Father allows very difficult times in our lives to stretch our faith and if we let Him, become more like Him. 1 Peter 1:7 (NLT) tells us, "These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
I can't say I enjoy the trials God allows in my life, but long after they're over I can see how He has used them to change me and even to stretch my weak faith. I remember one summer about three years ago when I experienced one horrible event after another. I used to be like a child out of school each summer joyfully anticipating things like a day at the beach or barbecues in the backyard with lots of family around me. But God used what I like to call "the summer from hell" to change me. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say it felt like I was on a roller coaster (front seat no less!) and each dip I took I held onto the Lord and the truth of His Word more than ever before. I only knew I was going to survive because He said so and not because I felt it. "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). I came out of that experience with more faith and more praise to my Heavenly Father. Oh yes, I was tested alright, and I am not the same person I was before those experiences.
Walking by faith was always His plan - right from the beginning. Once you learn to use this "sixth sense" by putting one foot in front of the other (hearing and reading His Word and obeying it), you will be glorifying your Heavenly Father and one day you might just hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant!" (Matt. 25:21). Well done!