By Pastor J.D. Link
2Cor 4:18 says, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2Co 5:7 also says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” From these two verses, we can clearly see that we are to look on the unseen, eternal realm; and walk by faith. Why? Because the things seen are only temporary, but the unseen is eternal. The natural realm is temporary – the spiritual realm is eternal.
There are two realities. The temporary, physical reality; and the eternal, spiritual reality. They are both real, but they are not equal. The spiritual is greater than the natural, because the spiritual made the natural. Heb 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The unseen, spiritual made the seen, physical. The Creator is greater than the created (Heb 3:3); the painter than the painting; the builder than the building. The spiritual made the natural.
What our minds focus on will produce either death or life. Rom 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” How is one to be spiritually minded? A great example is Abraham (Rom 4:16-25). The eternal God, who is Spirit, called Abram “Abraham”, which means father of many nations; although Abram was old and childless. Abram exalted God’s Word (spiritual), above these natural facts. He believed God. He didn’t consider the natural circumstances (himself 100, and his wife 90), but only God’s Word. He remained strong in faith, and against (natural) hope, he (spiritually) hoped (vs.18). He was fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able to perform (vs. 21). Then he saw the promise come to pass.
Now, lest anyone say, “Well, that was Abraham. He was a great Bible character. That isn’t for me today.”; it tells us these things were written for us as well, and that God will do the same through us if we believe (vs. 23-24). God is no respecter of persons (Act 10:34). We can all walk in the faith of Abraham. We can see the promises of God come to pass in our lives against all natural reason. God is looking to show Himself strong on the behalf of them whose hearts are perfect towards Him (2Ch 16:9).
The two realities, both spiritual and natural, are indeed realities. A Bible believing Christian does not deny the physical. It is a reality. However, we know there is a greater, spiritual reality. We understand that the physical is temporary and subject to change, while God (who is Spirit) is eternal and not subject to change. Therefore, we boldly proclaim the eternal reality over the natural reality of our circumstances. This is called faith. This is what Abraham did.
For instance, if fear and anxiety are trying to torment my mind, I proclaim God’s Word about fear and anxiety (Isa 41:10, 2Tim 1:7, 1Jn 4:18, Mt 6:25-32, Philp 4:6, 1Pt 5:7). I declare His eternal Word. His truth is greater than my circumstances. Yes, my circumstances are real, but God’s Word is more real. This is the spiritual reality, and is greater than my natural reality. By exalting His Word, I gain the victory over the natural. Therefore, I walk in peace – the peace Jesus gave me (Jn 14:27).
Here are some immutable facts that will help establish us on this truth: 1. God is a Spirit
(Joh 4:24). 2. God is eternal (Deu 33:27). 3. God is truth (Ps 31:5). 4. God’s Word is spirit (Joh 6:63). 5. God’s Word is eternal (Psa 119:89, 1Pt 1:25). 6. God’s Word is truth (Joh 17:17). Every physical thing will one day be consumed with fire (2Pt 3:10); but God’s Word will endure forever (Mk 13:31). It is spiritual, eternal truth; because it proceeds from the spiritual, eternal God of all truth. The Word will endure forever, because God endures forever; and He and His Word are one (Jn 1:1).
These facts prove the spiritual is much greater and more real than the physical. This is why Jesus said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). Yes, we must eat to physically survive; but we are to live by God’s Word. His Word is spirit and life. His Word is where we find truth, peace, joy, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, grace, hope, and every good and perfect gift from God.
We often say, “Let’s be real” about this or that. Well, it depends on what reality you’re speaking of. Is it the natural reality of present circumstance; or the spiritual reality of God’s Word? If the natural reality is your reality, then God’s Word will have little effect in your life. However, if your reality is the spiritual reality, you will see the promises of God come to pass in your life, like our father in the faith, Abraham. Selah.