The Eyes of Faith
This message is a spiritual pearl for me, and I am a bit conflicted about sharing it as the Lord warns us not to throw our pearls before swine, and this is the Internet. Yet, this is a word from Him meant to be shared. May it encourage someone to look beyond the natural and give them hope. We need to see the resources available beyond the veil of our perception of reality, beyond what is tangible. I will begin with some words from the Apostle Paul:
(2 Corinthians 12:2–4 NKJV) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
In short, the world around us is much like the movie "The Matrix." There is an entire unseen realm around us that is highly active, and sometimes, we get glimpses through tiny cracks of what lies beyond. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV).
Dreams, visions, angelic appearances, and revelations allow us to see into the spiritual realm and are more common in New Testament living than many think. The word "vision" alone occurs over 100 times in the Bible. Here are a few examples to establish that what I am about to tell you is on solid biblical ground:
• Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, had a vision of an angel (Luke 1:8–23)
• An angel appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26)
• Jesus’ transfiguration is described as a vision for the disciples (Matthew 17:9)
• The women who came to visit Jesus’ tomb had a vision of angels (Luke 24:22–24)
• Stephen saw a vision of Jesus at his death (Acts 7:55–56)
• Ananias experienced a vision telling him to go to Saul (Acts 9:10)
• Peter fell into a trance and had a vision of animals (Acts 10:17–19 and 11:5)
• Cornelius had a vision of an angel telling him to summon Peter (Acts 10:3)
• An angel released Peter from prison (Acts 12:9)
• John had so many visions on the Isle of Patmos he wrote a book (Revelation 1:1)
• Paul had a revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:6–11 and 26:12–20)
• Paul had a vision of a man asking him to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9–10)
• Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and encouraged him at Corinth (Acts 18:9–11)
• Paul had a vision of an angel before his ship was wrecked (Acts 27:23–25)
I often listen to the Bible at night when I can't sleep and, at times, fall into something like a spiritual dream state. Whether I am in the body or out of the body, I do not know. It's happened for decades. During this time, I've discussed Scriptures I was listening to with the Lord, received prophetic words that came to pass, visited other countries, prophesied in other languages, done spiritual warfare, raided occult rituals, rebuked storms, and met angels. Most of my songs come to me like this. I hear them first, then write them.
Now, keep in mind that these are just dreams and visions, and I am not saying that I go around talking with angels all day, ok? My feet are on the ground, but, as we saw above, it is biblical to have experiences like this. A few nights ago, during a time like this, I was listening to what Jesus said to the Laodicean church, and something stood out to me:
(Revelation 3:15–18 NKJV) “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
"anoint your eyes with eye salve" especially caught my attention, so I began to ask the Lord about it. The Laodicieans thought they could see but were blind. It suddenly occurred to me that what if I was like them? Jesus has an eye salve that can cure spiritual blindness. I need that! So, in the vision, I began pleading with the Lord to give me some of this eye salve. I begged Him to open my eyes, to help me see. Then I heard a song begin to play called "The Eyes of Faith." "Lord, help me see through the eyes of faith, and learn to rest in Your amazing grace." It was beautiful. I remember it sounding so crisp.
Then He took me through the Bible, showing me places where people thought they could see but were actually blind and why it mattered. You don't know what you don't know until He shows you. It started all the way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve:
(Genesis 3:6–8 NKJV) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Something bad happened here. Eve saw the fruit and that it was even pleasant to look at. Then they ate it, and their eyes were opened. What eyes opened? But also, what eyes closed... Because now, they only heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden. Apparently, there are two sets of eyes mentioned here: the natural and the spiritual.
When Hagar took her son and fled from Sarah, she wandered in the wilderness until she ran out of water. When her son Ismael was about to die of thirst, she placed him under a bush, walked a bowshot away, sat down, and wept so she wouldn't have to watch his slow death. Then something miraculous happened:
(Genesis 21:19 NKJV) Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.
There was plenty of water that she desperately needed, but Hagar couldn't see it until the Lord opened her eyes—the eyes of faith.
In the Book of Numbers, there is a strange story about a prophet named Balaam who got into an argument with an ass. He was on his way to pronounce a curse on the camp of the Israelites for a bribe when his donkey lay down in the road and wouldn't budge. So Balaam began to beat her with his staff. The donkey spoke up and asked him why he was hitting her. Somehow, Balaam ignored the fact that a hoofed mammal was speaking fluent Hebrew and told her that he wished he had a sword in his hand so he could kill her. Then he learned that the talking donkey had saved his life:
(Numbers 22:31 NKJV) Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.
Balaam could see the donkey, but he didn't see the Angel standing right in the road, prepared to chop him in two until the Lord opened his eyes, eyes that could see into the spirit realm and see angels.
The King of Syria was at war with Israel and would set up ambushes for their army, but the prophet Elisha would warn the King of Israel each time, and they would avoid the area. This happened several times, and he began to believe that one of his officers was a traitor.
(2 Kings 6:11–12 NKJV) Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
The king became so upset with the prophet Elisha that he sent an army to hunt him down. They tracked him to the city of Dothan and surrounded it during the night.
(2 Kings 6:14–17 NKJV) Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
So the servant, with his physical eyes, saw a great enemy army with horses and chariots surrounding their city. While the prophet Elisha saw the army of the Lord was even larger, and they had brought chariots of fire with them. Which man was scared and which was not? And can you see why? One man could see what the other couldn't until the Lord opened his eyes as well.
After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, two of His disciples, Cleopas and another, were walking the road to Emmaus, which is about seven miles from Jerusalem. Jesus came alongside them, walking the same road, and they began talking. They didn't recognize Him, but they really hit it off, so they invited Jesus to stay at their house. What can I say, but to know Him is to love Him?
(Luke 24:27–31 NKJV) And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
So Jesus can be right in front of you, walking beside you, at your dinner table, speaking to you, and you may not see Him. We have covered examples where the things people desperately needed were right in front of them, but they couldn't see it until their eyes were opened. Times when there was imminent danger in the road ahead, but the man was too busy arguing with an ass to notice because he was blind. Instances where things around them looked terrifying, even though they were surrounded by an army of angels and completely safe. We need to see beyond the veil.
(Hebrews 11:1–3 NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
We understand now that the visible world is composed of invisible atoms, bound together by unseen fundamental forces. In simple terms, the floor beneath you is solid because God wills it. Water can become just as solid if it needs to, which is why Jesus and Peter could walk across it - by faith. The atoms comprising a pile of trash could be rearranged to become a stack of gold, which may explain why a fish Peter caught suddenly had a gold coin in its mouth (Matthew 17:27).
We live in a world where anything is possible to those who can see through the eyes of faith. I finally understand this verse:
(Mark 11:22–24 NKJV) So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
If you can see it through the eyes of faith, you can have it. You can pray this with me if you like:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, oh please, please, please give me some of Your eye salve and open my eyes to see. I want to know when You are near. I want to experience more of You in my life. You promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7 NKJV). Lord, I ask You to open my eyes. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org