#692: Unseen Things Above

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Reflections by the Pond
January 26, 2015

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!

Isaiah 31:1

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If we drill down to the root of humanity, shaving off every layer of paint and chrome and artifice to expose bare metal, we find that there are essentially two kinds of people: those who place their faith—their trust, their dependency, their hope—in those things that can be seen, and those who place their faith in things that are unseen. Some trust in the things of this earth, while others trust in things of the Spirit—not the many "spirits," but the one Spirit from above.

"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

John 4:24 nkjv

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During the waning days of Judah its kings were in the habit of reaching out for help to stronger nations such as Assyria and Egypt. Agreements would be made, treaties drawn up, so that in the event of an invasion the ally would come to Judah's defense. But through the prophet Isaiah the Lord made it clear to His rebellious people that they were trusting in the wrong thing. He told them that if they kept to this path of placing their faith only in what they could see, they would ultimately fall.

Now the Egyptians are men and not God,
And their horses are flesh and not spirit;
So the Lord will stretch out His hand,
And he who helps will stumble
And he who is helped will fall,
And all of them will come to an end together.

Isaiah 31:3

Oddly enough (he said ironically), things turned out just the way God said.

So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son became king in his place. The king of Egypt did not come out of his land again, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates.

2 Kings 24:6-7

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In one respect it is not surprising that we are inclined to place our trust in the things of this earth. After all, even believers are still flesh, with the soles of their feet still dirty from the soil of earth. And like gravitates toward like.

But this relational allegiance is irrevocably altered at the moment of conversion. At conversion we are changed not just from one religion to another (don't kid yourself that you had no religion before), but from a flesh-being to a spirit-being. This is what it means to be "born again."

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

John 3:5-6

On the other side of conversion, as a Christian it is now unnatural to trust the things of earth, the things of man, over the things of heaven, the things of God. For the believer's nature has been changed.

With our new nature—spirit-being—we now understand that the fierce, earthly engines of war, impressive as they may be, are nothing compared to the fierce might of the angel of the Lord to kill 185,000 Assyrians in one moment. We understand that the creative genius of man is as crude finger painting when compared to the Genius who created everything from the far-flung universe down to the wonder of a newborn child.

° ° °

Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever.

Psalms 146:3-6