“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:18
This passage gives us a key factor that will greatly affect the life of faith we are called to live. We should be learning to look at the things that cannot be seen, and training ourselves not to look so much at the things that can be seen. We are a part of two different worlds. We are a part of this physical, natural, and temporal world. The natural world can be seen and experienced with our natural senses. However, as Christians, we are also a part of a spiritual, supernatural, and eternal world. This spiritual world is just as real, but cannot be seen with the natural eye.
The easiest things to look at are those things that are seen. For instance, we can look at our apparent resources. They can be seen. We look at our obvious weaknesses and incapability. They can be seen. We look at the way we feel. That can be known on a natural level. The more difficult things to set our attention on are the things that are not readily seen. What are some examples of things that we are to look at, that cannot be naturally seen? The eternal destinies of men, Heaven, and hell cannot be presently seen, but are real, nonetheless. The cross of our Savior cannot be viewed with the natural eye, but is the real and powerful source of our salvation and victory. The promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence, leadership, and power cannot be seen. The grace to endure trials cannot be seen. The strength to persevere cannot be seen, but it is real. Eternal reward cannot be seen, but it is certainly a promised reality.
Where should we devote the majority of our attention – to the things that are naturally seen or the things that are not seen? We are to look at the things that cannot be seen. God wants us to focus on the things that are eternal. The more we set our affections on the things that are unseen, the more real they will be in our lives. How then can we see things that are unseen? First, we see them as they are revealed in the Word of God. Secondly, we see them by faith. By faith, we gaze upon the things that are eternal. In order to look at the things that are not seen, we must look away from the things that are seen. By faith, we turn our focus from the physical and the natural, and set our attention on the unseen and eternal spiritual realities.