Each of us experiences this world through our five senses–touch, taste, smell, hearing and seeing. It’s how God created us. But, he didn’t stop there. He also created us with spiritual eyes and spiritual ears, to see and hear things that are spiritually discerned.
One of the phrases that Jesus used often was “He who has ears, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15). Was he saying that lots of people back then didn’t ears? No. He was calling upon people to open up their spiritual ears, to hear what God was saying to them.
In my own battle with fear, I often find myself focusing on life through my natural senses, and very little on my spiritual senses. Too often, I let what I feel or what I see determine what I believe. But, that’s backwards. I need to let what I believe determine how I feel and even what I see, spiritually.
Let me explain it this way: there is a difference between facts and truth. Facts are what you experience naturally, with your five senses. But, truth happens a deeper level, at a spiritual level. And very often, truth must be seen with spiritual eyes. Let me give you some examples:
- The fact is I feel depressed. I feel too weak to do anything because I feel so weighed down. The truth is I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
- The fact is I feel so alone in this struggle with fear and panic. The truth is you are never alone. God promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
- The fact is you just lost your job, and you have bills to pay. The truth is if you seek first the Kingdom of God, he’ll provide for all your needs (Matthew 6:33).
- The fact is you feel powerless to overcome these struggles in your life. You feel powerless to pray, to read the Bible, to spend time with God. The truth is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of you (Ephesians 1:19, 20).
The challenge for us is that from birth we’ve been taught to only trust in our natural senses. We’ve been programmed to only interpret life through what we experience here on earth, but Jesus has come to reprogram us. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed (molded) by this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We must reprogram our thinking to focus on truth so that it can supersede the facts of our situation.
When we focus on facts, we focus on the carnal (natural) things of this world. But, when we focus on truth, we focus on the spiritual things of God. There is peace when we are spiritually minded, but there is fear, depression, and anxiety when we are naturally minded. Romans 8:6 makes this clear: “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” If you want life and peace, then you must become spiritually minded.
Yes, we live in this natural world, and everyday we are faced with natural things. It’s how life happens. Jesus did not come to take away our natural life. He came to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10) by empowering us to interpret things differently, spiritually. We must have spiritual eyes to see truth, and when we do, the natural things in our life will become less important. That’s why Colossians 3:2 encourages us to, “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
In Matthew 14, Jesus was with a multitude of people who came to him for prayer and healing. It was getting late, and his disciples asked Jesus to send the multitude away so they can go eat. Jesus said, “You give them something to eat,” but all they had were five loaves and two fish. Jesus asked them to bring him the little food they had and then asked all the people to sit down. Now listen carefully to what Jesus did. “He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained” (Matthew 14:19-20).
This phrase “looking up to heaven” is very interesting. The original Greek word for “looking up” is anablepo. It literally means “recovery of sight”. It was used when Jesus healed blind people, and they “recovered their sight”, or they anablepo. When Jesus was with this multitude of people, the fact was there was not enough food to feed them. The disciples could see that. But Jesus saw the truth. He “anablepo to heaven” or he “recovered his heavenly sight”. It was then that he blessed the food and the miracle took place.
These past few weeks, it has been my prayer that God will help me “anablepo to heaven”, that he will help me recover my heavenly sight, so that I may have spiritual eyes to see the truth, and not just the facts.
Prayer: “Father, open my spiritual eyes to see the truth of who you are and who I am in Christ.”