We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7, NASB)
We tend to react
only to what seems real to us. And as humans, we interpret reality primarily by
what we can see. If it happens to be visible, it’s real. If not, it can’t be
But even science
tells us that our sight perceives only a fraction of reality. Many “lower” animals perceive the world very
adequately without the sight we experience. In fact, many of them sense vast
portions of reality we never notice in our heavy dependence on sight.
For example, many
animals live in a world of smell. They rely on it to find food, to find mates,
and to protect themselves. Some scientists believe that pigeons and salmon can
use scent to navigate great distances.
animals, including certain butterflies and birds, seem to find their way across
vast distances of unfamiliar territory simply by sensing the earth’s
platypus, and other species can sense electrical impulses in the bodies of
their prey. Rattlesnakes and their fellow pit vipers find their prey through an
organ that detects body heat. Bats can fly with incredible agility and
accuracy, even picking insects out of midair in the dark, using their built-in
Some animals and
plants can predict the weather as well as we can, or even better. They seem to know
of coming thunderstorms, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions, perhaps because
they can perceive electrical charges in the air, hear low-frequency vibrations,
or feel tiny tremors to which we are oblivious.
Even in the area of
sight, we are sometimes left far behind. Birds of prey can clearly see what is
almost invisible to us. And some insects see colors the human eye can’t
All this reminds us
that as physical beings, we humans operate on a heavily filtered version of
reality. Sight leaves us in the dark in many, many respects. And if we perceive
so little of what is real in a physical sense, imagine how little we perceive
of the realities that are not dependent on matter.
That brings us to
Hebrews 11. It talks about people who pleased God by trusting Him, despite the
way things looked around them. Noah spent many years building an ark, based
purely on God’s warnings about things not
yet seen (v.7, NASB). Moses overcame all the trials and difficulties of
leading Israel out of Egypt because he
endured, as seeing Him who is unseen (v.27, NASB).
All these saints
lived wisely and fruitfully by focusing on the reality of God’s presence.
Almighty God was always with them. They knew it was true, and they acted like
it, even though their eyes could not see Him.
I long to live that
way, knowing and trusting that reality, living in full response to His personal
presence with me. What a joy it would be to consistently act and react as seeing Him who is unseen (v.27,
I want to live and
serve that way, to pray and worship, to think and talk as being immediately
with Him always and forever.
Live in response to Sovereign God,
not in response to your childish fears.
Walk in the light of all He is,
not in the shadow of your own smallness.