We see too much of this world and what is around us. It can clog our eyes and mind with astonishment, unease, worry, or fear and dread. Yet, with spiritual eyesight, we can see beyond the temporal world in which we live. Paul talks about seeing the unseen things even in the midst of troubles in 2 Corinthians 4:18. “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
So the question is, are you seeing the unseen? You might answer yes and no. Yes, you see God’s promises and believe they’re yours but no, you’re not participating in them yet. How do we see the unseen things of God, the promised blessings? It comes down to faith. You can’t even please God in any way without faith. With faith you believe Jesus loves you and died for you. It’s by or with faith you receive the blessings of His new covenant of grace. It’s time to put aside the smack-in-your-face sights and put confidence in trusting God’s Word, His promises. Then step out in faith and with an open heart receive what God has promised. It’s already yours. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV).
The Ark of the Covenant was to rest on the shoulders of the Priests. They were the ones to carry it. Israel got into trouble when men carried it, placing it on an ox cart. But when the ox stumbled and it looked as if the Ark would fall off, Uzi reached out to keep it from falling but it cost him his life. He didn’t follow instructions not to touch it. It was to be carried by the Priests (on poles). The ox cart was not authorized either. Now the Ark weighed close to 250 pounds. No wonder man wanted it carried on a cart because that’s a lot of weight.
But isn’t that how we are, trying to do things when we should be relying on the Lord’s strength, grace, and wisdom? Daily we have a choice of carrying our problems, difficulties, and burdens and trying to fix them or turn them over to the Lord and let Him carry our load and fix our problems. It’s a matter of letting go, trusting Him, and then resting in His ability, strength, power, and grace to work things for our good. He provides the rest when we trust Him.
You may have read accounts and testimonies of soldiers being totally delivered from horrible situations or other testimonies of ordinary folks experiencing God’s deliverance from unthinkable circumstances. You may have experienced God’s protection and deliverance in a supernatural way yourself. Whatever you have faced or will face or are even facing right now, know that Jesus is right there with you, and HE will bring you through. Know as the Psalmist did that ‘surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow you all the days of your life’ (Psalm 23:6).
Too often when we’re in the middle of a very tough time, we only see the tough time. Let’s focus and see through the eyes of faith looking beyond, past the tough time. Hear Jesus speaking these words to you today, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you” (Isaiah 43:1-2, NASB).
Many times when our children were young and we were in a new area, we’d take off and drive around. Sometimes we just enjoyed the countryside. Other times we wanted to find a particular destination. A few times we would not be on the right road and our children would ask us “are we lost?” We always replied, “No, we just don’t know where we are”. It can seem that way in our lives at times. Other times we come to a crossroads and wonder which way to turn. Heaven forbid you make the wrong turn.
No matter the decision, don’t allow condemnation or guilt to override your mind because you found out you made a wrong turn. There’s a solution for that. It is God’s great grace. Just like your car GPS system informs you to make a U-Turn when you missed a turn off, God’s grace simply says make a U-Turn by renewing your thinking and then carry on.
God’s U-Turn is always available and filled with greater peace, joy, and favor.
In reading one of my favorite authors, James L. Rubart, he quotes Ryan telling the main character, Jacob Palmer, “You live in a limited realm, Jacob Palmer” (from The Long Journey To Jake Palmer). You and I live in a limited realm of spiritual understanding, reception of great spiritual truth, and the ability to be spiritually receptive but we’re the ones with the limits. We don’t push to understand more of God’s great love and grace. We don’t keep our hearts open to continue to receive more of His truth. And, we don’t take time to be as a child and receive from our Abba Father. Religion lulls us into believing that once we receive salvation, that’s enough. But there’s more.
Just as God’s universe is more than we can imagine or even see, so is God’s abundance for all areas of our lives. You and I live in a limited realm—a realm of limiting God, a realm of limiting Him flowing in our lives as fresh anointing, a realm of restricting Him to show us ALL that He is. Let’s receive the challenge of Ephesians 1:18-19 (NASB), and experience all that God is. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
I always enjoyed watching my children or other children play and imitate their parents or something they’ve observed. I remember when our daughter worked for a short while at a day care facility and came home to tell us how astonished she was to overhear a little boy tell another little boy at the day care ‘let’s play drug dealers’. She knew exactly what that child had seen. In this case, imitation is not the best teacher!
The other day a friend of mine posted this thought on her social media page: “Jesus always spoke the end results, not the problem. Never did He confess present circumstances. He spoke the desired results. I wanna imitate Jesus” (GHH). I wholeheartedly agree with her conclusion. Let’s imitate Jesus. Let’s imitate His love, grace, and peace. Let’s just imitate all that God is and be reflectors of Jesus. The Apostle Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NASB), “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
Our life sometimes gets complicated. Whether it’s in the dieting arena or your spiritual walk, in pursuing a work or academic goal, or even just maintaining, whenever things are over-complicated, it’s time to get back to the basics. What are the basics? I’m glad you asked. To a certain degree the basics might be different for everyone, but there are some basic basics. The Urban Dictionary defines this as “a return to previously held values of decency”. In other words, don’t be too concerned with complicated details or new theories but concentrate on the simple, important activities and ideas.
To me, the basics are the tried and true—those things you’ve followed in your life that give you satisfaction and enjoyment and fulfillment. In some cases, getting back to the basics can involve eliminating other elements that only pull you down and really don’t add any life value. You can dig deep into theological academia as long as it doesn’t take you away from the simple message of the Bible—Jesus’ love for you. The basic element is God’s love for you through Jesus.
Get back to embracing His love and you’ll find greater fulfillment in your life.
Many good believers won’t associate with other believers because they feel they are wrong. Most of us do feel more accepted when we’re with ‘like-minded’ people. Yet, some that fight a new revelation of who Jesus is and what He has done for us can easily begin to tell falsehoods. They don’t realize they’re telling lies because they’ve believed a certain thing for so long. But if they put it to the test of the Word, they’ll find they’ve been believing and telling lies—about God’s love and grace.
The Apostle John gave the best description of who Jesus is in John 1:14 and 17. He said the Word became flesh and dwelt in our midst, the son of God who is full of God Himself, full of grace and truth. Let’s paint a better picture of who our God is, who our Jesus is. He isn’t against people. He’s for them and loves them. As Clint Byars says, “Decide that God’s truth is THE truth and change your thinking about yourself in life to agree with how God sees you in Christ.” Jesus is full of God’s favor, blessing, acceptance, love, and truth that will set you free from any lies and bondage.