“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do forPhilippians 2:13
His good pleasure.”
The benchmark of true faith is seeing the Unseen. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Christians are exhorted to walk by faith, not by sight and repeatedly reminded that “the just shall live by their faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Because God is a Spirit, we cannot see Him, yet Moses is our example of someone who through faith was able to see Him who is invisible, (Heb. 11:27). The key to living the life of faith—the privilege of every blood-bought child of God—is to see the events of everyday life and understand that they involve the actions of Him “who moves behind the scenes and moves the scenes that He is behind.”
Though no man has seen God at any time, He is described in such way in Scripture so we that can easily relate to these things. He is “immortal, invisible, God only wise,” yet He is described in Scripture as having arms and hands, eyes and ears, and a mouth Whose voice speaks to His people. His heart also is ever toward His own and His thoughts are for good and not evil, to give us a future and a hope. Described this way, the Word helps us understand how God works in the life of the believer—every single day.
His Arm and His Hand
How does the Lord work in the life of the believer? Before salvation occurs, it is the arm of the Lord that reaches down to rescue and save us from sin. It is not shortened that it cannot save (Isa. 59:1), so therefore no one is beyond the reach of the outstretched hand of God. It was that way with Israel in Egypt (Ex. 6:6) and it is that way today. It was the hand of the Lord that was upon the early church that caused a great number to believe and to turn to the Lord (Acts 11:21). Then once we are enlightened, we are the object of His helping Hand which provides and protects us. Like David, we are also guided by the skillfulness of His hands (Ps. 78:72). It was the hand of the Lord that helped Elijah to outrun Ahab’s chariot (1 Kgs. 18:46), to strengthen Ezekiel in Babylon (Ezek. 3:14), and to enable Nehemiah to accomplish what he needed to do, (Neh. 2:18). How important it is that we see Him who is invisible and working in our midst with an arm that is mighty to save and hand that are there to help us and hold us in our journey of faith.
His Eyes and His Ears
In 1 Peter 3:12, we are told that the “eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer.” How marvelous is this that the God of all creation looks down upon the sons of men and has His eye upon us and upon every child of God. We are His special treasure and as someone has rightly said, “He loves us so much that He cannot take His eyes off us.” His eye is indeed on the righteous. If His eye is on the sparrow, I can know with all certainty that He watches over me. And if He is watching over me, then two things are true: I better make sure I order my life to make it well-pleasing to Him and secondly, I better stop worrying and fretting about life’s matters as if He is not there and unaware of my situation. We need to see Him who is invisible and make sure that our walk matches our talk and that there is a genuineness to our faith. It should challenge us to greater heights in our walk of faith, knowing that “the eyes of the Lord run to and from throughout the whole earth in order to show Himself strong on behalf of them whose hearts are perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9).
But His ears are also at work, bent to hear the cry of the righteous. Jehoshaphat was glad for that (2 Chron. 18:31) and so are we as we call out to the Lord in prayer for the need of the moment. How this truth should produce in us a passion for prayer, a sure resource as we come boldly to the throne of grace.
His Mouth and His Voice
One of the regular routines of God’s prophets in the Old Testament was to proclaim what they heard from the mouth of the Lord and unapologetically proclaim it far and wide. How easy it would be for us if God spoke in such audible tones today! It would help in our service for the Lord if we were able to hear the clear, clarion word from the Lord. But we can when we come to Him by faith, opening His Word and listening to His voice speak to our hearts. When we do, we will speak with the same conviction and confidence, “This saith the Lord” just as the Old Testament prophets thundered in their ministry for God. We need to be like the faithful servant Micaiah who standing before an unbelieving audience thundered: “as the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that will I speak” (2 Chron. 18:13). Further, the voice of the Lord gives clear direction in which way to go (Isa 30:21), speaking in that still small voice (1 Kgs. 19:12). It speaks through His Church (Rev. 1:12) and to His Church, right down to you and me. It shows us the path and the peace we so desperately need. “The Lord will speak peace to His people but let them not return to folly” (Ps. 85:8).
As we see Him who is invisible, we will understand more clearly the work of the Lord in the life of believer.