The apostle Paul encourages us to be more focused on eternal things, then on the temporary. Why? “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Paul deliberately expresses a paradox here when he talks about looking at the things that are not seen. How can you look at things that are not seen? The answer is, of course, that we contact the eternal, not by our physical senses, but by faith. We contact the temporary by our senses; we contact the eternal by our faith.
A little farther on in the same epistle, Paul says that as Christians “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV). In other words, we are not primarily influenced by the temporary things of this world that we contact with our senses. Instead, we walk by faith. We are directed, governed, controlled, and motivated by the things of the unseen world, which are eternal things.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul gives another extremely important and related revelation, that the eternal is revealed to us in the mirror of God’s Word. In the New Testament, the Word of God is often compared to a mirror. We are told that this mirror does not show us our natural, physical body or outward appearance, but it shows us the unseen, eternal things—our spiritual nature and the things of the spiritual world.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)
Again, the same principle is brought out. It is only while we look in the mirror of God’s Word and see the eternal and the glory that God has prepared for us, that the Holy Spirit works on us to transform us into the likeness of that glory. If we take our eyes off the eternal, the Holy Spirit can no longer perform His transforming work in us. This is because Jesus is Lord of both the eternal and the temporal. He will bless us in both realms, but only if we keep our priorities right. If our priorities are wrong, then we miss the blessing of the Lord, and the Spirit of God is not able to work on us.
Father, I want to look in that mirror of your Word. In that I see the eternal truth that I cannot observe with my natural senses. As I do that, Your Spirit works in me and I am continually changing into the image of Your Son. Thank you that I may see your glory in that mirror. Amen!
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