Most examples of the futility of walking by sight aren’t so clear as this one. You can make your life look spiritual by obeying the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. You can walk by sight and it can look okay, even good. Mahatma Gandhiji, the father of my nation, was known as a man who literally obeyed the Sermon on the Mount. When he died (as seen in the movie Gandhi), the last thing he said, translated in English, was, “O God!” But that translation can be deceiving. Gandhi was not calling out “O God!” to the God of the Sermon on the Mount or the God of the Ten Commandments, which he was so known for following. He was actually calling out “Hare Ram” or “O God!” to lord Ram, the Hindu god whom he followed. Even though Gandhi knew the good things Jesus said and even followed them, he still had no faith in Jesus Christ to save him. He walked by sight, by the good things he did, never having faith for salvation.
With deliberate willpower, people can rightly obey the laws and modify their behavior. This was the case with the story in Luke 18 of the rich young ruler who obeyed the Ten Commandments. He was the model individual, but just because he was perfect in obedience doesn’t mean he lived by faith. The Bible says, “Whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Sin is walking your own road, regardless of whether the road you choose looks good or bad to the rest of society.
Even today, a lot of Christian work is done by sight. There are Christian people who think they know how to carry out God’s work. They think they know how to win the lost, grow fruitful ministries or attract the youth. But the truth is that if what you are doing is not done by faith, God will not bless it. God is deeply concerned that we do His work, His way, by faith. It is simply how things function in the kingdom of God.