Christianity is about looking at the unseen; hearing God’s still, small voice; and then living out in this physical world, the invisible spiritual realities that we have seen and heard. That’s why Paul of Tarsus wrote: “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.”
I love to look beyond the physical world and to “behold the Lamb of God” — to spend time “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” I love to listen to words that are beyond the hearing of my natural ears — spiritual words that rise up in my heart and burn like fire.
I don’t think that we 21st century Christ-followers pay enough attention to looking at the invisible and to hearing God’s still, small voice. We’ve been trained to go through a mediator — to look at and listen to a human preacher. Many of us have never learned how to see the unseen and to hear God’s inner voice. We rely completely on outward stimuli for our faith and let it choke out God’s voice and visions. We allow the physical word to distract us (even in worship) and obscure the reality of the spiritual world.
We want worship to be cool, but God calls us to be fools for Christ and to let Him rule our life — to hear Him personally speak to us, to see His unseen Presence, and to obey Him 24/7/365. But how can we learn to hear and see Him through out the day, if we don’t know how to hear and see Him when we gather in His name?
True worship is when we set religion aside and let the living, resurrected Jesus arise and take over the meeting. Jesus put it this way: “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.” God wants worship that is real, honest, passionate, and that flows from the heart’s response to seeing and hearing Him.
God is not looking for mere spectators who will passively watch a man present a prearranged religious program. Paul of Tarsus said that Christ-followers should turn away from; “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
Religion is an outward form. However, personally seeing and hearing the living Jesus releases supernatural, life-changing power. It turns ordinary people into bold and daring witnesses for Christ. When ordered not to speak any more about Jesus, Peter and John replied: “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” That’s the kind of spiritual seeing and hearing we need in the 21st century.
There is no one so spiritually blind as the person who refuses to look and see. Will you?
(Need help seeing spiritually? Check out the book “Beyond Church” @ this link and/or visit The Salvation Army Berry Street where ordinary people show and tell what God has done — Sundays at 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.)