What Does It Mean To Walk by Faith?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. ~ Prov. 3:5-6

Faith means walking one step ahead of your understanding, trusting the One your reasoning abilities can lean on.  

Faith is a lack of options, eliminating all possibilities but the one necessary thing the Lord is doing at any given point in time in your life. Your role is to align with what He is doing.

It is that simple. It is that vulnerable. 

George MacDonald, a misfit minister from the Victorian Era, paints a parabolic picture of what this means in a fairy tale called The Golden Key. The main characters, Tangle and Mossy, are  on a journey to discover “the country from which the shadows come,” having seen moving silhouettes of fantastic and joyful things they yearn to see firsthand. Along the way they meet mystical people, mythical  creatures, the Old Man of the Sea, and the Old Man of the Earth in his cave. To help Tangle on her journey, the Old Man of the Earth poses to her a question.


“What do you hear?” he asked.

“I hear,” answered Tangle, “the sound of a great water running inside the rock.”

“That river runs down to the dwelling of the oldest man of all—the Old Man of the Fire. I wish I could go to see him. But I must mind my work. That river is the only way to him.”

Then the Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down.

“That is the way,” he said.

“But there are no stairs.”

“You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.”

She turned and looked him full in the face—stood so for a whole minute, as she thought: it was a whole year—then threw herself headlong into the hole.


Karen and I have chosen to follow Tangle’s course of action. We have chosen to throw ourselves into what He has called us to do with no foothold other than day-to-day obedience. This is because we have learned that, for us, there is no other way to fully steward the particular form of grace that is on our lives. And what is that grace?  What is the ministry the Lord Jesus has given us?

Our ministry is to equip you with His living word,
so that you might gain courage for what you are called to do.

Donations are the income for such a form of ministry, for donation-based living leaves us adaptable to produce literature, pastor believers, prophesy to nations in prayer, and place ourselves at the borders between wrath and mercy near live combat zones. It is the role of the bard. It is the Christian version of Gandalf. 

This is an agenda for a very vulnerable life, but in the words of the Old Man of the Earth in the above tale, “there is no other way” for Karen and me. We know, for we have tried other ways repeatedly, each time confirming we are called to return to vulnerability. But our chosen way reveals that we belong to a body of believers who work together as one.

~ km

© Kurt Mahler

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