Jesus once called a group of onlookers hypocrites because they could discern the weather but couldn’t discern the times. It’s apparent why Jesus would prefer people to recognize the times (spiritual climate and seasons) over natural weather conditions—but it’s not quite so apparent why He would consider them hypocrites if they didn’t.
Many of us have thought that the ability to see into the spiritual realm is more the result of a special gift than a personal responsibility for everyone. Jesus addressed this charge to the Pharisees and Sadducees. The very fact that they, of all people, were required to see is evidence enough that everyone has been given this ability. They became blind to His domain because of their own corrupted hearts and were judged for their unfulfilled potentials. The born again experience enables us to see from the heart. A heart that doesn’t see is considered a hard heart. Faith was never intended simply to get us into the family. It is what makes the life in this family enjoyable. Faith sees. It brings His kingdom and its resources into focus. They are accessible by faith. Jesus commanded us to “Seek first the kingdom of God. . .” Paul said, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” He also stated, “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
The Bible clearly instructs us to turn our attention towards the invisible. This theme is repeated enough in scripture to make most of us from this Western culture quite nervous. We tend to prefer the material world. Yet, herein lies the secret to much of the supernatural realm that we want restored in the church. Jesus told us that He only did what He saw His Father do. Such an insight is vital for those who want more. The power of His actions (i.e. the mud in the eye of the blind) is rooted in His ability to see.
God is very committed to teaching us how to see. To make this possible He gave us the Holy Spirit as a tutor. The curriculum that He uses is quite varied. But the one class we all qualify for is the greatest of all Christian privileges—worship.
Learning how to see is not the purpose for our worship, but it is a wonderful by-product. Those who worship in spirit and truth learn to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. His realm is called the Kingdom of God. The throne of God, which becomes established upon the praises of His people, is the center of that kingdom. It’s in the environment of worship that we learn things that go way beyond what our intellect can embrace.
David was so affected by this that all His other exploits pale in comparison to his abandoned heart for God. We know that he learned to see into God’s realm because of statements like, “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Psalms 16:8). The Presence of God affected His seeing. He constantly practiced recognizing God’s Presence. He saw God daily, not with the natural eyes, but with the eyes of the heart.
The privilege of worship is a good beginning place for those unaccustomed to addressing some of these kinds of themes found in scripture. In worship we can learn to pay attention to this God-given gift—the ability to see with the heart. As we learn to worship with purity of heart, our eyes will continue to open. And we can expect to see what He wants us to see.