I think we may have fallen into a trap. Living in a physical world has made it very easy for us to focus our attention on what we learn from our five senses. Dependance on input these senses provide has a monumental impact on how we think, feel, and make decisions.
We may believe that being a Christian makes us immune to this problem. Sadly, we’re just as vulnerable. How often are our thoughts or feelings toward another person determined solely on the behavior we see. Or the decisions we make based on what we hear and tangible results we can wrap our hands around.
This isn’t a new struggle. The Apostle Paul actually addressed it in his letters to the early churches. Based on what he wrote, they too were prone to live as though what’s most real and lasting is assessed through the senses, thoughts, and feelings.
Paul pushed back against this reasoning when he wrote the Corinthians and said, "So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are visible are temporal [just brief and fleeting], but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 AMP
Our attention shouldn’t be on what’s seen and visible where our senses, thoughts, and emotions rule but on that which is unseen and invisible. But what are the unseen and invisible things? It might help to ask who is unseen and invisible.
God is unseen and invisible (1 Timothy 1:17, Colossians 1:15). He is also Spirit (John 4:24) and the spiritual realm He inhabits is unseen and invisible. Looking into the unseen and invisible can feel like looking into a room full of smoke, mystical and vague. But thinking of God and relationship with Him is clear.
It also helps us to understand that being created in God’s image we’re spiritual creatures too (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Romans 8:16). It’s this part of our being that connects us to God in the unseen and invisible realm and makes our relationship with Him possible. Our spiritual core should be our starting point in thought, not the seen and visible inputs we receive.
Many of us as Christians have had a healthy fear surrounding the conversation of being spiritual. We’ve seen the destruction caused by spiritual deceptions such as the occult, new age, and eastern religions. But these distortions have kept us from tapping into our vital connection with God where we derive our power to live (Romans 8:11).
Also, the importance of the being spiritual is seen in Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians to keep their mind set on things above, not on things of the earth because that’s where Christ is (Colossians 3:1-2). But it’s not just where Christ is, we’re also seated there with Him spiritually (Ephesians 2:6). And that is more real and true than the air we breath and the sunshine we see.
So what does all this mean? Are we to be so heavenly minded we’re no earthy good? Could it be that we’ve become too earthly minded we’re no heavenly good? Are we trying to make it an either/or when what we’re needing to understand is that the heavenly and spiritual rules over the earthly and physical. And, for life to work in the earthly and physical, we must first find all we need in the heavenly and spiritual (2 Peter 1:3-4).
If I can encourage you in any way please don’t hesitate to contact me. As a ministry, we seek to equip Christians to live from above, where they’re seated together with Christ, while their living each day here below. A great starting place for this equipping is our web site (elmco.org). But we also have three levels of training as well as discipleship counseling. If you’d like to be equipped, we’d love to hear from you! Just give us call.
Live a life based on the Spirit by thinking about things related to the Spirit (Romans 8:5).
Mike Roncaglia, Executive Director