Seeing The Unseen
“C.S. Lewis wrote that we believers should say, ‘Jesus Christ was raised from the dead’, in the same matter-of-fact way that we say, ‘I saw a crocus yesterday’. One year it will be the last November. Jesus is coming back again. On that day everyone will see what was true all along – that the supernatural world is as close to you as the person who is right now sitting on the other side of your door. There is perfect continuity between the seen and the unseen worlds. This is evidenced over and over again throughout the Bible, as ‘causes’ in the spiritual world have ‘effects’ in the material world, and vice versa” (Andree Seu, “A Crocus and a Resurrection”, 11-8-2010, Worldmag.com). I must wake up and see the interconnectedness of the seen and unseen realms before it is too late. Truly, on the Day of Judgment all people will finally recognize that they are under the hand of God, and have always been that way. It takes much more maturity and depth to open up my mind and recognize God’s interaction with me right now. The Bible makes it clear that this is not an impossible task:
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things we are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
“We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
“He was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
“Considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:26-27).
Of course, the assertion that we must “open up our eyes” and see the unseen can seem esoteric to some, so it should be noted that there are meaningful and practical ways to look for God all around us. We are not just looking for a feeling, a vision, or something cloaked in mystery, but a real and definable divine presence in our daily lives.
Seeing The Answer To Prayer
The Bible certainly affirms that God hears and answers prayers (Psalm 65:2, Proverbs 15:8). God can respond even before we have finished speaking to Him (Daniel 9:20-21). One of the ways that we can see the unseen is to acknowledge the way our lives have been changed by prayer. Even when it seems that God’s answer is “No”, positive side effects are there for the taking. Some may balk at the idea of prayer proving anything, but for the keen observer, there are just too many inexplicable blessings and lessons out there to deny that we have Advocate and a Helper.
Seeing The Effect Of One Sinner
Equally confounding to the unbeliever is the way that sin affects many people. “But one sinner destroys much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18). Think about the way that Cain, Achan, Jehu, David, or Jezebel affected the world around them because of their sins! Furthermore, in a more modern setting, one could say that world wars have been started because of the aims of only a few people. Like a cascade reaction, everything we do is connected to the world around us.
Seeing The Changed Lives Of The Saved
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Every other Christian you meet, every sin that is abolished, every life that is changed by the influence Jesus Christ, is evidence of the unseen acting in our world. There is no greater testimony to God’s presence and mercy than the witness of His godly ones living purified, perfected, changed lives (1 Peter 2:9). For all the glory that this world has, it pales in comparison to the conversion of even one person – the angels in heaven sing over that transformation (Luke 15:7). After all, everything that is seen is passing, fleeting. We are looking for something that is not seen. “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:24-25).
Therefore, Do Not Be Ashamed Of The Unseen
“The problem is that we have a tendency to speak of the supernatural in a weird way, especially in the company of unbelievers. I think the explanation is nothing more esoteric than embarrassment. Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him before people, He will be ashamed of us before His Father (Luke 9:26). This is a very sobering statement; He does not soften it at all. Yet how many times have we toned down our profession before folks we esteemed, especially the intellectual crowd. We say ‘God’ rather than ‘Jesus’ because it is slightly more acceptable in society. We do not deny the faith outright but it is somehow not as sharp and clear as it ought to be. My desire is to stop denying Christ in subtle ways, and be able to say to anyone I converse with – the intellectual or scullery maid – that ‘Jesus Christ was raised from the dead’” (Andree Seu).