"We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
We have been trained through the prideful perspective of many that we are only to look to and believe that which we can see and physically experience here on earth. We’re told that there couldn’t possibly be more to life than what we’ve seen because the unseen can’t be experienced in the physical. What a self-centered perspective! Why do we have to know and be able to presently experience all there is in order for it to be real? Why are we, with our limited capacities, the ultimate judge in the debate of what is real and important? In Ephesians 1:18-20, Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus praying,
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened . . . .” What does it mean for our hearts to have eyes? And what does it mean for those eyes to be enlightened? The truth is that all of us are given spiritual eyes. All of us know and experience things that can’t be physically seen. We’ve all received and given some type of love. We’ve all had an intuition or belief that couldn’t be physically proven. And as believers, we’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit who longs to guide us to a perspective that far exceeds the span of this world.
2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Our Savior is calling us to a life lived for that which is unseen: the eternal. He is calling us out of the cycle of worldly pursuit into a greater calling of eternal significance. To live for heaven is to cast off that which is fleeting and temporary and seek that which can only be found with our heavenly Father.
Take time in guided prayer to look to that which is unseen. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your heart. Ask him to give you spiritual insight into your own life and the lives of others that you might call all those around you to live for heaven. Cast off those pursuits which tie you down to this world, and ask the Spirit to guide you into a lifestyle of seeking the kingdom of God above all else. May you discover the abundant life available to you in the Spirit as you worship your Father in both spirit and truth today.
1. Meditate on the importance of looking to that which is unseen. Allow Scripture to fill your heart with a longing to live for heaven.
“We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any pursuits which are solely fleeting and temporary. Write down any ways in which you have not been looking to the unseen enough.
3. Ask the Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your heart that you might experience all that God has for you today.
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:18-20
Looking to that which is unseen is the door through which we experience the fullness of God’s presence available to us on the earth. As Jesus taught us, “God is spirit,” and to truly experience him we must cultivate a lifestyle of opening the eyes of our hearts. Our Father longs to lead us to a lifestyle of continual and transformational encounters with him. He longs to meet us at the doors of our hearts every morning that we might let him in to love us, speak to us, fill us, and transform us. May looking to that which is unseen guide you into deeper and more impactful encounters with the living God.
Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 4