fbpx

H: 9/29/19: “Seen to Unseen”

Shift 1: From ME to You

Shift 2: From SLAVE to CHILD

And now…

Shift 3: From Seen to Unseen

Remember there’s a FINAL EXAM at the end of your life and you want to make sure you studied the right material!

Ornithology Final Exam (I already gave this at Haleiwa)

Student taking an Ornithology class in college. (Study of birds)

Studies real hard for the final exam.

On the day of the final, the professor unveils the pictures of just the LEGS and the FEET of birds.

The directions are to identify the bird just by the legs and the feet.

Frustrated the student storms out of the room.

“Come back here, young man, and finish your exam!” says the professor.

“No way! This test is not fair!” cries the young man as he again starts to leave.

“Come back here and tell me your name!” says the professor.

The young man lifts up both his pant legs and says, “You tell me!” hahaha!

Make sure you study the right thing!

2 Kings 6: Arameans are attacking Israel.

But every time the Arameans tried to lay a trap for the Israeli Army, the Prophet Elisha would have a word of knowledge and tell the king of Israel, “Don’t go over there the Arameans are setting a trap for you.”

Finally, the king of the Arameans yelled at his men, “Which one of you is the traitor!?”

“It’s not us, my lord! The Prophet Elisha is telling the Israelis everything–even things you say in the privacy of your own bedroom!”

“Well, don’t just stand there, bring me his head!”

So the Arameans surrounded Elisha.

Elisha’s servant woke up that morning, walked outside, and panicked!

They were completely surrounded by the Arameans!

Elisha said, “Calm yourself. The Lord has them outnumbered and surrounded.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire” (2 Kings 6:17 NLT).

1. ENGAGE THE UNSEEN WORLD.

The servant’s eyes were “opened” to “see” the unseen world of the spirit.

How did he do that?

We will see how in the story of Moses. Did you ever ask yourself how Israel got set free from 400 years of slavery in Egypt? It started with Moses working as a shepherd in the wilderness. He saw a bush on fire but the bush itself was not being consumed. “I need to check this out,” he said to himself.

Now read this…

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied (Exodus 3:4 NLT).

Did you catch that? The Lord SAW Moses stopping to take a look at this God Thing. When the Lord saw this God called his name, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses replied, “Here I am.” In the Hebrew that’s the word “Hineny.”

Hineny is found many times in the Scriptures: Moses, Jacob, Samuel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jesus all said “hineny” to the Father. What has it come to mean to the Jewish people?

הנני

HINENY (Hebrew): “I am here with my whole heart to be radically obedient to You.”

How many of you have ever found yourself awake in the wee hours of the night and you can’t go back to sleep? Maybe you need to go bathroom, or maybe God is calling you to stay with Him for a while to pray! (Or both.)

If this happens, your response is, “Hineny, I am here.”

This is potentially a HUGE invitation from the Father who’s about to give you a download.

This is how

  • Jacob became Israel
  • Moses became the Deliverer of Israel
  • Isaiah and Ezekiel became prophets
  • Jesus fulfilled His assignment as Messiah of all mankind.

They all started with “HINENY.”

It starts with GOD catching our attention. (Like free property in Mililani Mauka.)

Then you STOP and stare at this amazing God Thing.

Then God calls your name.

Then you say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

Last week you saw Danette’s amazing testimony, how she overcame suffering, disease, fear, being mauled by pitbulls only to love Jesus more than ever.

Danette is a burning bush!

The week before that you heard how God intervened in Marc and Becky’s lives to save their marriage!

Their marriage is a burning bush!

Take a moment and stop and reflect on what you are seeing and hearing.

And listen for how God might call your name as you stop.

And when He does, what do you say?

“Hineny.”

Can you see how every truly amazing thing comes from the UNSEEN WORLD?!

You just need to ENGAGE THE UNSEEN WORLD.

So in order to pass our final exam what is our main focus as we engage the unseen world?

2. EXCEL IN LOVE FOR OUR UNSEEN GOD.

God is spirit, unseen, but when do we “see” Him?

When Jesus entered Jerusalem all the people shouted “hosanna” and welcomed their Messiah. But the Pharisees didn’t recognize Him. They were experts in the bible! But as the Messiah was riding on a donkey down main street Jerusalem, they yelled out their window, “Hey Jesus, would you keep it down please? We’re trying to have a bible study on the coming of the Messiah!” LOL

How many of us think we would recognize our Messiah if He appeared before us?

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love” (1 John 4:8 NIV).

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT).

God isn’t just “loving.” God IS love. His very essence is love. So if we do anything  without love, then that is NOT a God Thing. But if we do it with all the love in our hearts, that is a God Thing.

God chose to place His Spirit in the heart of every believer.

Where is God located on the earth?

In the believer to your right and to your left!

Remember I asked you if you would recognize the Messiah if He appeared before you?

Well, His Spirit lives in every believer in this room.

And if there are some who are still in the “pre-Christian” phase of life, Jesus DIED so that one day He could be with them.

In other words, both believers and unbelievers are the most precious to God.

So when you honor the persons around you, you honor God.

When you love the people in your life, you love God.

If you don’t love or honor them, then you don’t love or honor…who?

You’ll say, but Mike, you have no idea what people are like!

They don’t deserve to be loved much less honored!

Loving and honoring someone doesn’t mean you agree with everything they do or say.

But because of–here it is–the value that GOD places on each person, we will regard each person with love, honor, and dignity. So when you have a conversation with someone you don’t agree with, it is with respect, gentleness, and reverence.

Because the Spirit of the Lord dwells in every believer.

And the Spirit of the Lord DESIRES to be with every person.

Take your eyes off the temporary things of this world–money, power, status, etc.–and focus on the most eternal thing there is…LOVE. Because God is love.

Consider this: before the heavens and the earth were created the Father loved the Son who loved the Spirit who loved the Father…Love existed BEFORE this physical universe did.

So when we love each other that is NOT something from this world.

That comes from the UNSEEN world.

EXCEL in love for God and you will shift from what is SEEN to what is UNSEEN.

And your love for other people will go to another level.

3. GROW IN YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE UNSEEN.

“We walk by faith not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV).

How many of us were there when our kids took their first steps?

Such a proud moment when Marky, Rachael, and Caleb took their first steps!

Get out the video camera!

It took Mark an entire YEAR to learn how to just stand upright.

Equilibrium established! He did it!

But obviously he couldn’t stop there.

Next he had to learn how to walk.

In order to do this he needed to upset the equilibrium that took him a YEAR to learn in order to take his first step.

At first he fell…a LOT.

But eventually he learned how to sacrifice equilibrium, regain it, sacrifice it again, regain.

You and I don’t think twice about this.

We call it “walking.”

Walking by faith is just like that.

First, we learn to STAND in Christ.

Next, we learn to WALK by FAITH in Christ.

Moses and the Burning Bush

“I am here”

BUT is he ready to do what God asked him to do?

NO!

Send Aaron!

How will I know this is really you, God?

(How many of us have asked that question?)

Do you know what God said?

“You will know this is Me when you bring My people to this mountain to worship Me.”

What? By then it will all be over!

But that means I will need to………………WALK BY FAITH (exactly).

Write in your notes…

Faith is living in ADVANCE what you will only understand in REVERSE.

Paul put it this way:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.”

Our church is in a multi-million dollar building project. Anybody see a building yet?

We are ALL walking by faith not by sight.

Some might be thinking, “I’m not going to give toward the building until I actually see it!”

Then you completely miss the purpose for which God gave us this project!

To teach you to live in advance what you will only understand in reverse.

Do you know when we first cast a vision for this facility? 15 years ago.

“TOO RISKY!” some might say.

But what you call risk, God calls FAITH.

Sometimes don’t you wish you could take a peak at what is actually in God’s final exam?

Maybe some of us think that God will measure by how many sermons we listen to, how many church services we attend, or how much bible we know.

Did you know that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never had a Bible?

In fact most people in the NEW TESTAMENT didn’t own a copy of the Bible.

That’s why they loved going to synagogue on the Sabbath–because only there someone read the Bible to them all day long.

Don’t get me wrong, we totally want you to learn as much from God’s word as you can.

(Go to Pastor Earl’s class on Wednesday!)

But listen…

  • INFORMATION alone makes you a Pharisee (proud of how much Bible you know).
  • INSPIRATION makes you a fanatic, but 3 hours later your enthusiasm dies down.
  • What we want is…INCARNATION–your whole LIFE (family, work, school) all devoted to Christ, filled with faith, hope, and love.
  • And this leads to…TRANSFORMATION–others catch on fire because of the fire in you!

Instead, grow in your EXPERIENCE of hearing the voice of God and WALKING BY FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE.

Mike, how do I do this?

Instead of trying to reach as many people as possible all over the world, see if you can love the person DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU with all the love in your heart!

Love and honor your WIFE with all your heart.

Love and respect your PARENTS with all your heart.

Grow in your EXPERIENCE of how to love, honor, and respect those you totally disagree with.

If you’re a Democrat learn how to love and respect Donald Trump. Pray for him!

If you’re a Republican learn how to have a loving conversation with a Democrat. Pray for them!

The next time a JW or a Mormon comes to your door, learn to love, honor, and respect them.

Learn to live by FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE in the UNSEEN VALUES OF THE KINGDOM rather than the VALUES OF THE CULTURE WE SEE.

Let’s stand for closing prayer.

Personal Example

Herman from PacRim

Honestly, would you be able to love someone like Herman?

Accept him before he was acceptable?

Believe in him before he fully believed in himself?

Love him before he was lovable?

In the Christ you can! But it will require you to live by…FAITH, not by sight.

Do you feel a little more prepared for life’s final exam?

Grow in your EXPERIENCE of the unseen–so you can do GOD THINGS.

EXCEL in your LOVE for our unseen God because God IS love.

ENGAGE the unseen world as Moses did so you live in advance what you will only understand in reverse.

Like Elisha we pray, “Lord, open our eyes and let us see” the unseen world.

And you too will have made one of the most significant SHIFTS of your life–from the seen to the unseen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION

1. By FAITH highlight the main thing the Father spoke to you about the shift from seen to unseen.

2. How will you need to SHIFT your focus for life’s final exam?

3. What does the Hebrew word “HINENY” mean? And how does this help us ENGAGE the unseen world?

4. Why do we need to EXCEL in love in order to shift from seen to unseen?

5. How can you grow in your EXPERIENCE of walking by faith (rather than just accumulating more knowledge)?

6. Do you have any questions about this SHIFT? Who will you ask?

7. How will you respond in obedience to what the Father is revealing to you today?

×Note: To download, click the button. If it doesn't work, right click, then click "Save Link As." Download only works if media is stored within this site. Download Video
Download Audio
Download PDF

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top