Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” Many translations use the term “walk” but the NIV and the NLT uses the term “live”. Contextually, both terms implications are the same, however to “live” is the better translation as the meaning is to live, act or conduct oneself. The translation using “walk” was intended so that the reader could have the sense that they were on a long journey of faith.
Living by faith and not by sight means that we live today according to God’s promises, even though we cannot see them, and not according to the temporary, arbitrary things that our eyes often focus on here on earth.
Living by faith is believing in God’s Word and His promises. “Faith” is described in Hebrews 11:1 as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
Living by faith doesn’t mean we dismiss the obvious, but we must equally factor that it’s not about how things “appear” to us while we are living on earth. The translation does not mean “vision” or “sight” with the carnal eyes, as some commentators suggest. Some suggest this part of the verse is a reference to 1 Corinthians 13:12 where Paul stated that his understanding of God while on earth was unclear, obscured, and imperfect compared to how he would be able to understand God perfectly, clearly, and fully in Heaven. In that verse, Paul said that we now see darkly through a mirror (and so we need faith), but in Heaven, we will see face to face (faith will be replaced with actual full awareness and knowledge of God). When we “see face to face” we will visibly be able to see God. It is also important to note that mirrors in those days were made of polished metal, and did not display reflections clearly as mirrors do today.
I hope all of this makes sense and perhaps answered some questions you may have been pondering in regards to living by faith.
That being said and in summation, living by faith frequently contrasts the visible unreality of this fake, false, and failing world, with the invisible reality of true, glorious, eternal, heavenly things, that are our promised inheritance, in Christ. Undoubtedly, we must fully trust and embrace that faith is not only required for salvation, but is the much necessary ingredient (secret sauce) to live a victorious Christian life. At the end of the day, living by faith simply means that we trust completely… every word the proceeds out of the mind and mouth of God.