The Path of Life: “Seen”

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Worship:  Vision



Some things are so beautiful they have to be seen to really know them.

The Northern Lights are like that. My father saw them in Alaska in WW2 and he told me about them. I was fascinated. Over the years films and pictures failed to help me see them. A few years ago while teaching in Alaska inside the Arctic Circle, I stood on a frigid hillside outside of Kotzebue, Alaska while the heavens danced over my head and the verse repeated in my heart: “The heavens are telling the glory of God…”

Now I can say I have seen the Northern Lights—I have experienced them for myself.

When something has been “seen,” this often means more than a visual recognition of it. We use the word to also mean “understanding,” as in “I have seen the light!

How many eyes do we have?

  • the mind’s eye,
  •  the eyes of the heart,
  • the eye for beauty, and
  • the eyes of our understanding.

In a biblical sense, all three parts of our humanity have their own kind of vision:

  • the eyes of the body see the reality of creation,
  •  the eyes of soul see patterns of human behavior, the intricacies of mathematics and logic, and wide-screen technicolor movies of our imagination, and
  • the eyes of the spirit, the God-conscious part of us, see the throne of God.

With these eyes we perceive the world, we understand what is observable in life, and we obtain by the Holy Spirit an inner vision of the world beyond our senses and our minds

A Work of the Spirit

This wonderful gift of inner vision is the work of the Holy Spirit. It happens when we worship God. As we give God the glory due His name, He enables the eyes of our spirit to see Jesus. To see Jesus is to be changed. To behold Him, to contemplate Him, is to be changed from glory to glory. This is a Bible promise and it really does happen.

On this Lord’s Day when it is time to sing to the Lord, let’s give it all we’ve got! There is nothing greater to save our energy for. What other activity can open the eyes of our heart? Is there another One we can behold and be changed into His likeness?

When we have seen the Lord with the eyes of our own spirit, then we will know Him as never before because, like those dancing streams of light I saw in the Arctic sky, we will have gone beyond the testimony of others or even the high definition photos others have taken. We will have seen for ourselves that God is good and His mercy endures even to our generation


Psalm 63 NIV
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God’s name will praise him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Psalm 34:8 NKJV
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Isaiah 6:5 NIV
“…my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 9:2 NIV
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

John 1:14 NIV
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 14:9 NIV
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

John 20:18 NIV
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
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.

Songs of Spiritual Vision

Open My Eyes that I May See
Words and Music: Clara H. Scott

1. Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

2. Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear;
and while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

3. Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord
Words and Music: Michael W. Smith
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You. I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up
Shinning in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Holy, Holy, Holy.
We cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
You are Holy, Holy, Holy.
I want to see You.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2016 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

The Path of Life: "Seen"

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