as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthian 4:18
These are all things that have an eternal impact, but that are not necessarily seen. We may see the result of them, but we can not see a prayer. We may hear it. We may see it results when it is answered, but we can not see the prayer.
Right now, I can see how quickly jump to conclusions based on what we can see. We take the transient seen and completely miss the eternal unseen. We are quick to judge the actions of a person, but too often it is the unseen motivation driving the behavior that needs our attention.
I remember one time my teenagers came home from church excitedly telling me about an event coming up for church. It was to raise aware of homelessness, an area that is near and dear to my heart. They started telling me that they were going to “dress like homeless people” and sleep outside in boxes overnight. Having been homeless for a short period is my life, that comment about dressing like homeless people got all over me. I had really worked myself up by the time it rolled around for me to talk with the youth pastor.
I was seeing the transient comment made by a man that I greatly respect and love. A man that I trusted to pour into the lives of my children, something I do not take lightly. After sharing my heart, and hurt, with him about the comment and the stereotype and impact that it could have on the young people, I listened to his heart. His comment was made innocently, and his heart behind the event, what he wanted to accomplish was something that I could align. After he listened to my heart and viewpoint, I was able to release the feelings of negativity I had about the event.
I think so often the enemy tries to distract is with what we can see so that we do not turn our focus where it needs to be, to the unseen battle in the spiritual realm. We are loosing the eternal over the temporal.
When we are consumed with macro problems, like the political culture, our first defense as believers should not be to take up signs and form a mob. Our first response should be to fall on our knees in prayer before God. It should be to gather with other believers not to talk about everything related to the problem or speculate what God is going to do, but to seek the face of God and repent from our sins and anything that we have done to help create the problem.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made... 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
If we want God to do what only He can do, we have to do what He requires of us. He will take what He can see in the temporal:
Us Humbling Ourselves.
Us Seeking His Face.
Us turning from our sins.
Then He will work in the eternal by:
Hearing us from Heaven.
Healing our land.
Opening His eyes to us.
Being Attentive to our prayer.
One of the ladies in the Bible study I attend pointed out “We get so focused on the broken things, that we forget about the broken people.” It is so true, God’s primary mission is people; they must be our primary focus. We have to get past the things, and see the hurting, the broken, the need. We need to ask God to give us His eyes for those who we disagree with or oppose. We need to cover them in prayer until they are changed or God releases us from the burden.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:43-44
Prayer: Lord, I love you and I want to keep my focus on things that are eternal. Help me to see things with Your spiritual eyes and not be distracted by the temporal things. Let me seek you in the issues that I feel passionately about and follow your ways. Let me lift up those things and people in prayer that I feel persecute me personally or the values and morals that I believe in. In Christ’s holy name. Amen.