Friday, November 16, 2012

Seeing the Invisible

By faith he [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Heb 11:27)

Moses saw him who is invisible -- that is, God, of course.  How did he see him?  The burning bush, I assume.  He didn't see a physical being that was God (only first century folks living in Palestine had that privilege), but he saw a physical, material phenomenon that had no explanation and heard God speaking to him to authenticate the vision.

Kind of like how nobody can see the wind, but we do see the tree branches sway.

I wish God would make himself evident in this physical, material way more often.  It has happened to me on a couple of rare occasions.  Nothing as dramatic as a burning bush that is not consumed, certainly.  But a couple of honest-to-goodness material happenings here on earth that had no other explanation than that God reached down and acted in our measly human affairs.  Moments when I was sure of what I hoped for -- certain of what I could not see.

Here's the difference between me and Moses:  he saw him who is invisible, and it caused him to persevere.  I saw him who is invisible, walked in a spiritual high for a while, then gradually grew less and less certain of what I had experienced.  Moses is an example of faith.  I am an example of . . . something else.

I wish those experiences happened more often; but if they did, frankly, my spiritual walk wouldn't require much faith.  More physical manifestations of God would not strengthen me, I suspect.  They would make me reliant on the physical manifestations, not on faith.  (Remember: without faith, it is impossible to please God....)

Jesus came to earth and did miracles as initial evidence to those first century Christians of who he was -- but then he left, and they were expected to persevere.  Impossible in our human frailness . . . which is why he sent the Spirit.  Really, the church just doesn't teach enough about living in the Spirit . . .

In any case, I am thankful this morning (during this thankful month) that God, in his omniscience, knows when we need to see him who is invisible and meets us -- literally -- at our point of need.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

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