For those with well trained dogs, a simple command brings forth instant obedience. Dogs can understand verbal commands, hand signals and even body language and inflections in the voice. The owner of a well-trained dog has faith that his commands will be obeyed. In many cases he doesn’t even have to see the obedience. He knows the dog will carry out the command.
However, the same owner who confronts a strange dog may give the same commands and signals but will only be able to judge the outcome by what he sees. With a strange dog the human must walk by sight. The dog may not obey at all. There is no assurance because there is no relationship. Apart from relationship there is no authority established.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)
Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Only in the realm of relationship and authority can we be certain of that which we don’t see. An instruction to a teenaged son to mow the yard while the parent is away should result in a mowed yard by the time the parent returns. If the relationship is strong and the authority of the parent has been established, there is no need to be concerned for the outcome. In the mind of the parent, the yard is mowed the moment the instruction is given.
In the same way, our faith walk with God is based upon our relationship with Him and our understanding of our delegated authority. God has given us authority over sickness, our emotions, our words, our thoughts and actions and within our sphere of influence. We were created to have dominion in the earth. We should be able to walk by faith, not sight, calling things that are not as though they are.
We should know that in the world of the Spirit, our words have authority. Demons tremble, sicknesses wither, favor surrounds us and blessings overtake us! But if we are unsure of who we are in Christ, we will continue to walk by sight. We will be ruled by circumstances and our own feelings and doubts. We may try to exert influence over the things that come to steal, kill and destroy, but we will only know if we are successful by what we see. Life is like a big dog that we don’t know.
Faith begins with relationship with God. Relationship will reveal our authority in Christ. Like the Centurion we will be able to say, “I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Mt. 8:9)