Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 29, 2011

firmly fixed on the unseen

My reading the other evening took me to a series of contradictions, at least humanly speaking. They were words that are lived by faith, and accomplished only by the hand of God. Quite frankly, our minds agree with the words, but emotionally we struggle with them. Why? Because these words are contrary to the experience of most Christ-followers. Judge for yourself!

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. — II Cor 4:18(a)
We live by faith, not by sight. — II Cor 5:7
For when I am weak, then I am strong. — II Cor 12:10(b)

Paul, the writer of II Corinthians, was a man who had struggles just like us, but he lived with purpose. He embraced his weaknesses and lived in single-minded devotion to the will of God. I don’t think for a moment that he never failed at living by faith. I do, however, believe that he grasped the significance of eternal realities, and therefore lived with his eyes firmly fixed on the unseen.

Our culture drives us to live by sight, and only speak about our faith. I am convinced that all of us with just a quick moment of introspection would agree that on issues of faith, living by sight is more appealing. But that is not the way God has designed for us to live! He wants us to live with hearts that trust Him for what we cannot see at this moment. Think about what you are battling just today. You may be searching for a new job, praying for your home to sell, praying for a son or daughter to return to their faith, or asking God to move a mountain in your life. Have you noticed the tendency to become sight driven by your concerns? Paul’s example challenges us to be faith driven.

All Christ-followers have built their hope for eternity on faith. Doesn’t it make sense that we can live daily with faith in the One who redeemed us? Sure, it may seem like a contradiction to live by faith, fix our eyes on the unseen and believe that our strength is in our weakness. But when the Father saved you, the rules for living changed. Note your life through these words from A.W. Tozer:

“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for one whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest; and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge. The man who has met God is not looking for anything; he has found it. He is not searching for light, for upon him the light has already shined. His certainty may seem bigoted, but his assurance is that of one who knows by experience his religion is not hearsay. He is not a copy, not a facsimile. He is an original from the hand of the Holy Spirit.”

Could I challenge you, even for just one day, to look at every obstacle through the eyes of faith? Because although it seems God has designed our experience in faith to be one of contradictions, it is only so through the eyes of our human understanding.  He can be trusted.  Just know, that in that trust, what is seen may often seem confused and backwards.  But as we fix our eyes on what, and who is unseen, the truth becomes crystal clear and absolute-ly right.

Read scripture, breathe scripture, walk scripture.  Live by faith, not by sight.

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