Thursday, January 15, 2015

NTDS (48): What Are You Looking At?

2 Cor 4:18 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. NIV

Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good?” On the surface, it mind sound reasonable. After all, don’t we want to be of value here on this earth and do good things for God? If we are always thinking about our future in eternity, won’t we just be wasting time in the here and now?

The answer to that question is not at all! The premise itself is incorrect. I believe it is impossible for us to be too heavenly minded. In fact, the thing we need to be concerned about is the opposite, that we are so earthly minded, we are no heavenly good!

The apostle Paul knows this, so he encourages us to be much more conscious of eternal things, rather than temporal things. He says, in this verse, to get our eyes off of the temporary troubles of this world and onto the realm of the eternal things, the things of the Spirit, which we cannot physically see.

The context in which he brings this subject up, is in speaking to the Corinthians about the suffering and hardships that he and those working with him in the ministry of the gospel, have been going through. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor 4:8-9) If Paul were to look at the ministry from only an earthly perspective, I am sure he might have been thinking, “why am I doing all this, all it brings is great difficulty and suffering?”

Looking through the lens of eternity however, Paul could see something different. He could see the eternal benefits for the people he ministered to and that God was being glorified. 2 Cor 4:15 “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” That perspective also brought them the encouragement they needed to carry on. 2 Cor 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

When we fix our eyes only on what we can physically see, we can lose sight of what is really important. We can easily forget, that God may have a purpose in our suffering or trouble, which could never be fulfilled in any other way. Remember the man in John, chapter 9, who had been blind since birth? When his disciples asked Jesus who had sinned to cause this horrible affliction, Jesus said, …"but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

How often, when we do not fix our eyes upon the unseen, do we miss the blessing from God that our earthly trials can bring us. But often, when we continually seek to see our circumstances from a spiritual (unseen) perspective, God reveals to us His plan and purpose for good! Even if he does not reveal that to us, we can be at peace, knowing that
“in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Ro 8:28)

Will you fix your eyes today on the unseen things? It is what faith is all about. Heb 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Let’s be more heavenly minded than ever before, seeking to fulfill His purpose in our lives each and every day!

God bless you

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