We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Biblical teaching is clear that we, as Christians, are to live by faith rather than to base our lives only on the realm that is physically seen. Instead of demanding a `blind faith', however, God gives us the opportunity to see a world that is, humanly, unseen.
It is easy for us as physicians to sense that some things transcend the physical realm as we know it. The ideas of will, conscience and emotion all surpass our anatomical models and descriptions. Though unseen, these aspect of the human mind are very real. So it is with the spiritual realm. God and the heavenly hosts are alive and actively involved in our lives, yet they are not visible to our eyes.
Elisha's servant in 2 Kings 6, was treated to a sight usually seen by faith alone as he saw protective chariots of fire. The chariots had been as real to Elisha, with his sight by faith, as if they had been viewed on visible wavelengths of light. Moses, by faith, was able to live through adversity because he could see `him who is unseen'. We too, based on guidelines presented in the Bible, can share this view of the heavenly realm.
First, we must believe in the reality of the physically unseen spiritual world. He who come to God, we read in Hebrews, must believe that he exists, for without faith it is impossible to please him.
Second, we must look at the unseen world; we must set our minds, Paul told Christians in Colosse, on things above. With sight by faith, `let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith' (Heb 12:2 NIV).
Believing in the unseen world and looking to its Ruler, we must then take action. Just as a growing infant's vision becomes perception through interaction with his environment, so we too must get involved with our world, based on what we see by faith. `The righteous,' wrote both Habakkuk and Paul, `shall live by his faith'. Our sight by faith not only gives us great encouragement; it also gives us illumination by which to live.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
Helen H Lemmel*
Further reading: Heb 11:1-12:3. Col 3:1-4. Hab 2:4. Rom 1:17
* Reproduced by permission of National Christian Education Council