We are in a time when every believer needs to function in the ability to see, to have spiritual perception. Lord, empower us by the Holy Spirit to have eyes to see. I’m praying for you, to have increase in your ability to see for your life, for your family, for your destiny in Christ, for others around you, for city and regional impact, and for Kingdom building. I pray you will see with greater clarity so you may be a wise master builder according to His blueprints.
We are living in changing times and experiencing greater challenges. But there is good news. We do not have to peer through the lens of adversity or hard times darkly. Neither should we grope our way through hardship, veer off to the highway of destiny, or even engage survival mode in these times. Rather, we can stand strong and brave because, as Spirit-filled believers, we have God-given eyes to see through the night what others cannot!
The apostle Paul says, “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” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV). Likewise, James tells us, “If any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass” (James 1:23 KJV). In other words, we cannot give up but must continue to be people of action who fix our eyes on the unseen, believing in and having assurance of its existence.
The measure of adversity we face today is great, but it is also indicative of the incredible opportunity available to believers. Today we do not have to blindly call things forth and wish with all of our might that these things will happen; rather, we can see through the tough stuff and the climate of the day to actual solutions—some of which have not yet been discovered, thought of, or tried—and see the incredible plans and opportunities of God. You and I have an advantage! Our advantage is our spiritual eyesight, which—by reason of use and, of course, the precious Holy Spirit—we can learn to see through our circumstances into ways we may have never seen before.
Spiritual eyesight gives an advantage to Christians to see in the heavenly realm what unbelievers cannot see. We look at the world with our natural eyes, but with our spiritual eyes, we look at the Kingdom of God!
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit moved upon the prophets of God, giving them the ability to see in the spirit. Elisha knew by faith what was outside and assured his despairing servant that, though he saw with his physical eyes the enemy surrounding them, they were not outnumbered. Then Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be open to see what he knew to be true, the mountains full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding them (see 2 Kings 6:15). Sure enough, the servant’s spiritual eyes opened to the realm of the Spirit, and he was able to see the scope of their salvation. Not only that, but as the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, He struck the enemy with blindness. I love that.
Under the New Testament Covenant, the Holy Spirit is in all of God’s people and available, by His power, to help us see what we otherwise cannot see and what the unsaved cannot see. The apostle Paul explained it to the Corinthians this way:
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.—2 Corinthians 4:3–4
We do not live as the spiritually blind do. We want the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ to shine on us ever brighter, illuminating greater knowledge and greater understanding of His marvelous plans and purposes. God’s desire is to fill our hungry hearts so that we may do exceedingly and abundantly above what we can think or ask. It is true that we walk by faith and not by sight (see 2 Cor. 5:7); faith actually opens our spiritual eyes.
What is faith? The writer of Hebrews gave this famous definition of faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
The Conviction of Our Reality
The Amplified Bible explains faith as “the conviction of our reality.” The more we see those unseen things in the spirit, the greater the realm of faith for our circumstances will be. Remember again how Elisha answered his terrified servant. “They that be with us are more than they that be with them” (KJV)! Elisha was already aware of the protection the Lord had encamped around them. He wanted to reassure his servant of the reality of the Lord watching over them. Elisha was not moved by the natural because he was anchored in faith in the Lord because of what the Lord let him see. I believe seeing in the spirit, for Elisha, was a natural thing, second nature. By reason of use, he could see the things he needed to with the eyes of his heart and understanding. I am convinced we can train our spiritual eyes to see as naturally as we do with our physical eyes, as naturally as we take a breath, without even thinking about it.
Natural eyes only see the surface of things—present realities, the appearance of things as they are in the world. The Lord has given us our physical eyes that are marvels of creation. For example, the retina can take in light at the incredible speed of light, which travels at about 186,000 miles each second—roughly a million times faster than sound travels and fast enough to circle the Earth more than seven times in one second! How great God is to have conceived the intricacies of vision. The wonders of the eye are the product of the wisdom, skill, and creativity of God, and they baffle scientists even today. It would take a watch over twenty-three years to tick as many times as the nerves in the retina vibrate when receiving various colors. We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made!
As They Really Are
By the power of the Holy Spirit, because of the blood of Jesus and our redemption in Him, God allows us to see what our natural eyes cannot; He allows us to see beyond the surface and into the reality of things as they really are according to God’s plan, work, and good purposes. The moment we enter into a new relationship with our Creator through Christ Jesus, we experience a new birth. This, like natural birth, is a process. Gradually, as God opens our spiritual eyes to see what we could not see before, we start to use our eyes. Where once we could only construe surface meaning in the words and stories of the Bible, for instance, we are now able to go deep enough, into the breadth, width, and depth of it, to see in greater dimension and vastness the wonder, beauty, and glory in His Word. In the natural, the Bible is a great history and story book, but in the spiritual, the Light illumines; the Scriptures come alive in a meaningful way. Words, truths, promises, instruction, revelation, nature, and history open up with spiritual significance, direction, and insight. With God’s supernatural help, we can behold every wonderful thing He has for us.
Of course, such vision gives us understanding of our situations and faith for the seemingly impossible—an advantage to help us accomplish the smallest and the greatest feats and exploits in Jesus’ name, despite insurmountable worldly odds.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus for the first time, he had eyes to see Jesus for who He really was, the Son of Man. A casual observer—like one of us, had we been there that day—may have seen Jesus as an unremarkable, plain, dusty, and modest-looking thirty-something-year-old man. Perhaps some there did not notice Him at all. The Bible tells us in the Book of Isaiah that nothing in His appearance would have necessarily attracted someone to Him. Jesus was born into a humble carpenter’s family in the small farming town of Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth, a town scorned by the elitists of the day as a place of nothing good. Then one day He showed up where John was, at the Jordon River in northern Israel, an obscure and desolate location in the wilderness. And immediately, John saw Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. How did John do that? He had eyes to see what the world could not. The Father had opened them when He designated John as the one who would prepare the way for His Son. John would point Jesus out to the world.
The Father actually allowed onlookers to see things as He saw them, through Jesus’ baptism and anointing into ministry. They saw more than just the dunking of a man into a muddy river. “This is My Son,” He said, “The Holy One of Israel.” The heavens opened and they saw the very Spirit of God descend and alight upon Jesus as a dove. (See Matthew 3:17.) In that moment, God revealed the perfection of the distinct Persons of the Trinity in a great and profound demonstration of Himself as the loving Father, Jesus as the Son and the Savior of the World, and the precious Holy Spirit in His gentleness and power. Wow—what a powerful glimpse!
Abundant Glory Blessings to you,
Keith & Janet Miller