The Bible has faith defined as the “evidence of things not seen”. Faith deals with “things not seen”. How can we live our daily lives on earth based on things we cannot see? This begins the exciting journey into discovering the mysteries of faith.
Faith Defined-two worlds
God Himself directly gave us a definition of faith in the book of Hebrews. And there is no better definition than it!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1 KJV)
The realm of operation of faith is in the realm of things which are not seen. A
A fundamental concepts in understnding faith is that there are two realms of life-the seen and the unseen world. God’s creature called man is a mystery. We are able to live in two different worlds a the same time, because man was created essentially a spirit being and lives in a body. He can relate with both the spirit world and the physical world.
Things that are seen
God gave us the senses of the body to be able to function on this earth. Our senses enable us to receive information from our environment. We detect physical reality by our natural senses. You know that your phone is in your hands because you can see it and feel it in your hands. God gave the senses for us to relate to our physical world this way.
The difficulty is that the world of the spirit, of which we are part of, cannot be detected by the physical senses the same way that natural things around us are detected. An angel can be standing by you and you will not know it because your senses cannot detect spiritual realities. There were millions of angels around Elisha and his servant but he servant could not see them. He was functioning purely with his human senses. Elisha had to pray for his eyes to be opened to “see” spiritual realities.
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Ki. 6:17 NAS )
If only we would all see the things of the spirit, all of our anxieties, fears and concerns in life will vanish.
When the scripture above talks of things “not see”, we should not limit it to the eyes only. The fundamental idea being communicated to us with this phrase is that those things cannot be perceived with our physical senses.
Faith Defined-things unseen
There is more to life than that which our physical eyes can see. Elisha’s servant above learned the lesson in an unusual way. He learned that though Elisha was alone, he was really not alone. There were thousands of angelic beings around him which he just could not see. That explains why Elisha was not moved at well, to the amazement of his servant. You see, when you walk in faith and see things others don’t see, they will not understand your actions.
A fundamental premise in faith is that there are realities in the spirit which we cannot see. You may be feeling sick in your body now, but the healing God has already given you is not “seen” or felt by your body. Once you can “see” that healing, your attitude towards the pain in your body changes. Because you have seen, like Elisha’s servant, that you are already healed!
Seeing the unseen
Though the realities of the spirit world are unseen to the natural eye( or the senses), they can however be “seen”. The bible describes Moses as “seeing the unseen”
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. (Heb. 11:27)
Moses saw Him Who is unseen. This “eye”, that sees the unseen, is not the natural eye. It is the eye of faith. It is a higher sense, than the 5 bodily senses. It is able to detect and see spiritual realities.
Faith Defined-The window to the unseen
God has given to us a means of “seeing” the unseen, since our physical senses cannot detect spiritual reality. How can you know what is existing spiritually, if you cannot use the senses( directly or aided by modern scientific progress) to see this realm of life? God’s Word is the mirror for us to see the realm of the spirit. Basically, God speaks to us and tells us what is existing in that realm. The Word of God therefore is the mirror or the window into the unseen realm of the spirit.
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. (Jas. 1:25 )
You know it is there because God said so. You now see how the trust factor starts coming in. You hold God so trustworthy, dependable and truthful that what He tells you, you take it as truth. To us, therefore, the unseen realities are the realities which God has told us in His Word. The Bible therefore is God’s Word describing to you the unseen realities of the spirit-about you, God, demons, and the events of your life.
Faith Defined-The eye of faith
Something happened to Elisha’s servant. His eyes were opened.
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Ki. 6:17 )
The eye of faith is the “spiritual sense organ of sight” that sees the realities of the spirit through the Word of God. It is not some strong spiritual event. It simply means God opens our spiritual understanding to be able to see and be convinced and assured of spiritual realities by the Word of God. The Spirit of God is the One who opens the eyes of the believer. That is why you need the Spirit as you read the scriptures.
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Eph. 1:17-18 NAS)
The Psalmist earnestly prayed this prayer, which should be our heart’s cry.
Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Thy law. (Ps. 119:18 NAS)
As you study and meditate on God’s Word, the Spirit opens our eyes to begin to see the realities of the spirit realm in the Word. You begin to know who you really are, and who God is. You begin to see what you have. Faith is triggered by the Word. The human spirit is activated by sight. When you see, something happens within you. You take a hold of it and bring it from the unseen to the seen world.
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