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Mature in Faith's Spiritual Vision

How do Christians see the invisible?

by Andy Davis on February 27, 2024

walk by faith not by sight
"By faith Moses … endured as seeing him who is invisible." Hebrews 11:27


Maturing Christians develop a strong sense of the reality of invisible, spiritual truths-past, present, and future. Essential to Christian maturity is a development of the spiritual eyesight necessary to flourish in the invisible spiritual realms that surround us constantly. Faith is directly compared to eyesight when Paul says, “We walk by faith not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). By saying this, he is acknowledging that faith is a kind of sight, but it functions in a different realm. In the physical realm, light bounces off material objects and enters our magnificent eyes, the organs of sight. The complexities of sight that follow are beyond my ability to comprehend or to describe here. But it is by our sight that we glean a huge percentage of the information we require to live and move in this world… some estimate as much as 80% of all that we know comes by sight. Faith operates in a way that is very similar to physical sight; it only operates in the spiritual realms of biblical truth. By faith we perceive realities revealed in scripture: past, present, and future. All of them invisible to the eye, but visible to our faith.

In Ephesians 1:18, Paul prays, “May the eyes of your heart be enlightened in order that you may know the hope of your calling, the riches of your glorious inheritance in the saints, and God’s incomparably great power toward believers.” What does he mean by the “eyes of our hearts?” I believe it refers to our faith… by faith alone can we “see” invisible realities, past, present, and future.

"A mature Christian sees these truths vividly, knowing without the least shadow of a doubt that they all happened."

Past realities: all the history of the universe, visible and invisible, as recorded in scripture. This includes the creation of the heavens and the earth, and all the events that have unfolded in the heavenly and earthly realms since then. We cannot see any past event ever. The moment is gone. But we can “see” them with the eyes of faith. This is especially vital when it comes to the events of Jesus Christ—his life, his death, and his resurrection. By faith alone we see Christ born of the virgin, living a sinless life, and doing astonishing miracles. By faith alone we see Christ crucified for our sins. By faith alone we see Christ risen and the tomb empty. A mature Christian sees these truths vividly, knowing without the least shadow of a doubt that they all happened.

Present realities: God enthroned, Christ at his right hand, the Holy Spirit actively doing his work in the world, angels, demons, and departed souls in heaven or hell. All these present realities the mature Christian sees clearly by faith, vividly experiencing them throughout the day. It is by a faithless blindness that we sin. It is by a vivid and constant sense of the presence of the holy God that we don’t.

Future realities: the rest of history as promised by prophecies, including the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth, the Antichrist, the Second Coming of Christ, Judgment Day, etc. And beyond that, eternity as carefully described by scripture—heaven as a world of love illuminated by God’s glory, hell as a place of eternal conscious torment. The mature Christian can “see” all these future realities vividly by faith in the Word of God… and they constantly shape the way that Christian lives every moment of life.

Tags: heaven, faith, sanctification