Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 10, 2013

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
A little girl was with her father hiking in the mountains. It was a crystal clear sunny day with a bright blue sky. When they reached a clearing high on a ridge they stopped to take in the panoramic view. Both of them stood speechless for several minutes just overcome by the beauty surrounding them. The little girl broke the silence as she exclaimed, "Daddy! I can see farther than I can see!"
I am glad I can see beyond what my human eyes can behold.
When you think about it, everything that matters the most will never be seen by the human eye!
You will never lay eyes on your soul but your soul is the part of you which will last forever. What is more important than that?
You will never see God with your eyes. According to the Old Testament, if you did happen to gaze on with your human eyes you would die.
And, you will never see heaven with your human eyes. No one ever has and no one will.
Allow this thought to sink in for a little while. All of those "things" we work so hard to attain, those things we see and then we want them will some day belong to someone else and we will be somewhere else!
No wonder the Apostle Paul so passionately wrote, "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"  II Corinthians 4:18.
If you want to see further than you can see - and then eventually get there - fix your eyes on what is unseen!

March 9, 2013

"By  faith  Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen,  moved with godly fear,  prepared  an  ark for the saving of his household,  by which he condemned the  world  and  became  heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." Hebrews 11:7
They are beginning work on the Washington Monument to repair damage done by the 2011 earthquake that was centered some 70 miles south of DC. Measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale, the quake happened deep below the surface of the earth where some tectonic plates collided along a fault line.
No one could see the cause of the quake but it was felt by millions and the effects where obvious above the surface of the ground.
So it is with soul shifts. They happen deep inside in the soul of a believer where no one can see but the outward changes are obvious.
While there are several great examples in the Bible of people who underwent the soul shift of Seen to Unseen. No one demonstrates it any better than Noah.
He had three Define the Reality moments that are necessary to make the Seen to Unseen soul shift.
I want to highlight those for you because I think they are key to anyone who will make this soul shift.
First - He Committed To Expectations Beyond His Experience - "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen"
Noah was a humble farmer just trying to scratch out a living from the land. God chose him to save the human race and most of the species of animals.
God spoke to Noah and warned him He would destroy the earth by sending torrential rains that would create a flood. That alone would be enough to stretch his faith but when you consider Noah had never seen rain nor a flood, it became a major reality test for Noah.
Would Noah base his decision on what he had seen in his life or would He believe God about something he had never seen?
Noah chose to let God define his reality for him.
How about you? Can you believe God for something you've never seen or live in the world of the familiar?
Second - He Committed To God's Call Beyond His Comfort Zone - "moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household"
Noah probably had never seen a boat but now he was going to have to build one. A very big one! To build it he would have to cut down the trees for the forest, drag them back to the building site, trim them and saw them into boards and planks and timbers, then plane them and nail them all together. All that would need to be done in his spare time because he still had to work and provide for his family!
Again, Noah chose to let God define his reality for him. He had never seen rain, nor a flood, nor had he built a boat. But yet he answered God's call to do just that!
Are you willing to be uncomfortable in order to please God? Will you allow God to redefine reality for you?
Third - He Continued To Serve God Even When It Didn't Make Sense - "by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith"
So Noah had now committed a century of his life to build something he had never built to prepare for something he had never seen when he wasn't sure when it would happen.
Every day for 100 years Noah cut trees and sawed timbers and hammered nails. I am sure he got thousands of splinters and hit his thumb with the hammer hundreds of times. No doubt he got faint from the hot sun and stiff in the cold winds. Progress seemed slow and the work tedious I am sure. And all the while he was completing this task, neighbors were mocking and cursing and ridiculing him.
Are you only obedient to God when it makes sense to you?
Do you only serve him when you see how it benefits you?
Noah saved his family and preserved the human race because he believed what God said more than he believed what he saw. He didn't allow his life to be shaped by the reality he understood but was defined by a great reality - one that is eternal!
What is most real to you? Is it what you see or is it what He says?
Have you made the shift from Seen to Unseen?