What Are You Looking At? Part 3
THE SEEN OR THE UNSEEN?
by Jeanniene Lee
Looking at the seen can be very deadly! Especially when what is seen, what is visible to the senses, is contrary to the Word of God. We saw in last month's issue (Part 2) how the twelve spies who were sent to search the promised land lost their lives, as a result of fixing their eyes on the seen, the giants in the land. (Read Numbers 13 & 14.)
Numbers 14:36, 37
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even THOSE MEN that did bring up the EVIL REPORT upon the land, DIED by the plague before the Lord.
When you look at and focus your attention upon what is contrary to the Word of God, it will produce fear in your heart. When fear takes root in your heart, it will result in you speaking an evil report, a report which is contrary to God's Word, out of your mouth. When you speak fear out of your mouth, it will bring forth death. Fear is the direct opposite of faith! Faith pleases God and activates Him on your behalf, and fear activates the devil to work against you!
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If faith is produced and developed by exposure to God's Word, fear originates and grows by exposure to what is contrary to God's Word. Romans 10:17 declares that you obtain faith by exposure to God's Word: by reading it, meditating upon what God is saying to you through His Word, and confessing it out of your mouth. So then, faith comes by hearing God's Word, and fear comes by hearing the lies of the devil.
You can't sit up and watch television programs and movies that make you jumpy and afraid, and then expect to walk in faith! You can't spend hours reading books that were created with the intent of scaring you and producing fear in your heart, and then expect to turn your faith on when needed!
Remember, the ten spies spoke words out of their heart that were filled with fear. How did that fear get in their heart? They fixed their eyes on the size of the giants in the land that they were sent to search out (Numbers 13:28, 33). They became afraid of those giants and that was where the door was opened and fear entered into their heart. Once that fear took root in their heart it brought forth words of death out of their mouth. Numbers 13:32 and 14:37 calls those words of death an "evil report." It is important to realize that those ten spies didn't just look at those giants once, they "fixed" their eyes upon them, they focused upon them to such a degree that they began to get a visual picture in their own minds of how they must have looked in the eyes of those giants. This is evident by what they spoke in Numbers 13:33 "...we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, AND SO WE WERE ]IN THEIR SIGHT."
Remember, both life and death are in the power of your words. If you speak forth an evil report, it will produce destruction and eventually death whether you intended it to or not. It's a spiritual law. If you throw a ball up into the air it will come back down whether you intended it to or not, it is subject to the law of gravity. Therefore, the fear filled words that you are speaking will bring about destruction and ultimately death whether you intended for them to or not.
21 Death and life are in the power of the TONGUE: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
In essence, those ten spies chose to look at the SEEN, what was visible to their senses their eyes - over what was UNSEEN. Joshua and Caleb chose to look at the UNSEEN.
Joshua and Caleb held fast to the promise of God that He had given them the land (Numbers 13:2) and no matter what enemy was occupying it temporarily, God would help them to get rid of that enemy.
Faith was produced in their heart by continuing to look to and keep that promise ever before them, in their thoughts and in their heart, right in the face of those same giants that were seen by the other ten spies. Joshua and Caleb saw those same giants; however, they chose not to focus their attention, fix their eyes, on them. They fixed their eyes on what was unseen, WHICH WAS GOD HIMSELF! As recorded in Numbers 14:9, they stated that "...THE LORD IS WITH US: fear them not."
John 4:24 says that "God is a Spirit." A Spirit is not visible to the senses. Therefore, what Joshua and Caleb fixed their eyes on, their thoughts and the eyes of their spirit, was that the Lord Himself was with them and that no matter how big those giants were, they were not bigger or stronger than Almighty God!
Joshua and Caleb chose to walk by faith! "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN [visible to the senses]" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith initially is unseen; but, as it is continuously activated, it will bring out of the unseen world into the seen world what you are standing on and believing God for.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE UNSEEN!
This is exactly what happened for Elisha when he and his servant were surrounded by the enemy while in Dothan. II Kings 6:8-17 records that Elisha kept his eyes fixed on what was UNSEEN in the midst of being surrounded by an army (II Kings 6:14). The only thing his servant could see was what was visible to the senses, what was SEEN (II Kings 6:15). Elisha had to pray and ask God to allow his servant to see what was UNSEEN (II Kings 6:1 7). Because Elisha walked by faith and not by sight, his faith in God brought out of the unseen world into the seen world, so that it was visible to his servant, what he himself was believing by faith (II Kings 6:1 7).
II Kings 6:15-17
15 And when the servant of the man of God [of Elisha] was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do?
16 And he [Elisha] answered [his servant], Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, OPEN HIS EYES, THAT HE MAY SEE. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he SAW: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Notice that verse 17 says that "...the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire ROUND ABOUT ELISHA." What is being said here is that although the enemy had compassed the city where Elisha and his servant were, BETWEEN them and Elisha was the army of God comprised of warring angels at his defense. The army of God was BETWEEN the enemy and Elisha - - "...the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire ROUND ABOUT ELISHA." No way was that army of the enemy going to come anywhere near the man of God because he was protected; for, he was completely surROUNDED by the army of God!
Did you notice that in verse 1 7 Elisha prayed for God to open the servant's eyes! What eyes are being referred to here? We know from verse 15 that the servant was not blind physically; for, he had seen the enemy's army that had compassed them about.
The eyes that are being referred to in verse 1 7 were the eyes of his spirit man. So, it is possible to be spiritually blind although you can see physically. Spiritual blindness is a result of unbelief. Elisha believed God and it was evident because he saw that which was unseen with the natural eyes but which was seen with the eyes of his spirit man; and, Elisha chose to keep his eyes "fixed" on that. It bears mentioning that Elisha did not deny the existence of his enemy; but, he chose to keep the eyes of his spirit focused on what was UNSEEN. By doing so, he walked out of that situation with the victory! (Read II Kings 6:8-23.)
Remember, it is your choice whether you look at the size of the army of people that are against you or whether you look to the promise of God that says He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). It doesn't matter if the whole world and all the people in it gang up against you, they are not stronger than Almighty God. It is your choice whether you walk in faith or fear.
Elisha refused to allow fear to dominate his thoughts and heart. Dear reader, stand firm against thoughts of fear that are trying to bombard your mind and heart right now. Stand firm on the promise of Psalm 27:1-3, and make that promise your decree and audible declaration.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation: WHOM SHALL I FEAR? The Lord is the strength of my life; OF WHOM SHALL I BE AFRAID?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, THEY STUMBLED AND FELL.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR; though war should rise against me, IN THIS WILL I BE CONFIDENT [that the Lord is my light and my salvation (deliverer)].
Dear reader, fear is the direct opposite of faith; and, unbelief is synonymous with fear. Unbelief causes spiritual blindness. Fear and unbelief is why Elisha's servant was spiritually blind and could not see the UNSEEN that Elisha saw.
II Corinthians 4:3 & 4 declares that the minds of those that are not saved are blinded by "unbelief." This keeps them from seeing the truth which is declared in the good news of the Gospel. If "unbelief" can blind them in the way that it prevents them from seeing the truth of the Gospel, it (unbelief) can also blind you and prevent you as a Christian from seeing the truth of God's Word and the promises that are already yours as a believer in Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 4:3 & 4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world [the devil] hath blinded the minds of them which BELIEVE NOT, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For example, the doctor has diagnosed you with having an incurable blood disease. The doctor tells you that there is nothing he can do to actually bring you healing but that he will continue to offer you treatment that will provide temporary relief until eventually that blood disease kills you. If you choose to accept fully what that doctor has told you, and choose to keep focusing your mind and thoughts on that bad report, unbelief will begin to fill your heart! Then the devil will begin to bombard your mind with thoughts of you dying as a result of that blood disease. If you don't cast down those thoughts and resist unbelief, it will blind you to the promise that is in God's Word that guarantees you healing!
Paul exhorted the Corinthians to cast down every thought that was contrary to God's Word.
II Corinthians 10:5
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
God's Word promises you healing (I Peter 2:24)! God's Word promises you long life (Psalm 91:16)! God's Word promises you that you will not die (Psalm 118:17)!
Choose not to accept those symptoms, drive them far from you with God's Word. Don't continue to repeat that "bad report" that the doctor has given you.
If you choose to walk in fear and unbelief, it will blind you to the promises of God that belong to you. Only faith brings out of the spirit realm and into the physical realm what you are standing on by faith and believing God for. Faith will bring you total victory!
1 Now faith is the SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT SEEN [UNSEEN].
To walk by faith does not make sense because it is NOT CONNECTED TO THE SENSES. To walk by faith is to walk keeping your eyes fixed on the UNSEEN.
II Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is UNSEEN. For what is seen is temporary, but what is UNSEEN is eternal.
This is exactly what David did when He stood before Goliath, as recorded in I Samuel 17. While everyone else was looking at the SEEN (Goliath), David stood before this giant of a man with his eyes focused on the UNSEEN.
Again, fear and unbelief were the dominating factors that kept the other men of Israel from destroying Goliath.
I Samuel 17:24
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man [Goliath], fled from him, AND WERE SORE AFRAID.
David knew that the key to standing firm in the face of his enemy was to not let fear enter into his heart. He knew that if fear entered his heart, it would cause his heart to fail. Fear in your heart will cause you to fix your eyes on the seen. Faith in your heart will cause you to fix your eyes on the unseen. Fear in your heart will ultimately lead to you speaking words of doubt, unbelief and fear, and those words will bring forth destruction and death. Faith in your heart will result in you speaking words of faith, and confidence in God, which will result in you receiving total victory!
I Samuel 17:32
32 And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him [Goliath, their enemy]...
David knew that the key ingredient to coming out of warfare victoriously was not to let your heart faint from fear. David undoubtedly remembered the law of warfare as recorded in Deuteronomy 20. He recalled it, took heed to it and acted on it.
1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and SEEST [with your natural eyes] horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, BE NOT AFRAID OF THEM: FOR THE LORD THY GOD IS WITH THEE...
2 And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people [the priest was to exhort them with the words of verse 3 and
3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: LET NOT YOUR HEARTS FAINT, FEAR NOT, AND DO NOT TREMBLE, NEITHER BE YE TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM;
4 For THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU, TO FIGHT FOR YOU against your enemies, to save you.
Notice the word "save" in verse four. Remember, the word "salvation" from Psalm 27:1? God is with you to DELIVER you! He is your salvation! He is your deliverer!
So then what will it be? Will you continue to look at the seen or the unseen? Renew your mind by meditating upon God's Word day and night as Joshua 1:8 encourages us to do! CHANGE THE IMAGE (the mental picture that is contrary to God's Word that is in your mind and thoughts right now). CHANGE THE IMAGE (stop focusing your eyes upon those visible giants that are arrayed against you). Choose to fix your eyes on what is UNSEEN, and CHANGE THE IMAGE WITH THE WORD OF GOD!