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Longing For Things Unseen

2 Corinthians 4:18 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.

“Would you like to buy your father’s e-bike?” mum asked me as we scanned one of Dad’s final purchases before he passed away.

The shiny, hardly-been-ridden, blue and white bike looked inviting. I hadn’t sat on a bike for over 15 years, but was ready to give it a go. Did I need it? Probably not, but I quickly dismissed this thought and with much bravado and little common sense, jumped aboard, and fumbled along, wobbling back and forth before managing to balance.

“This is fun!” I boasted to my husband who was dubious about his wife whizzing past him at almost 20 kilometers an hour. But my moment of exhilaration came to an abrupt end when instead of clutching the brake I inadvertently accelerated instead and went crashing into the gutter. Off I tumbled and down the bike went on the pavement. Thankfully, no damage done to either the bike or myself. I picked myself up laughing, but my dear husband was not amused.

“I think you can do without that, Jennifer” he said gravely.

But it took some time to dismiss the idea from my mind. I like shiny gadgets. Things that tickle my fancy and I had set my mind on having this bike to zip around on. No matter that I didn’t need it or was probably too frail to use it. Dad bought it when he turned 86, so what was stopping me?!

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

I want to set my mind on things above, where thieves, moths and rust won’t destroy them. But it’s hard isn’t it? In that glorious moment of riding the bicycle, I had forgotten that the things of this world are transient and never bring lasting happiness. I needed to remind myself (again) that living with less of the pleasures in this world (especially the ones we don’t need) is dying to self so that we have more room for Christ and seeking first His Kingdom.

There is a cost of discipleship (or there ought to be) and it is not acquiring more. It’s beneficial to remind ourselves in those moments of being tempted over the unnecessary, that we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we will carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7). Instead, Christ calls His disciples to focus on things unseen. He admonishes us to abandon the cycle of acquiring worldly pursuits into a greater calling of eternal significance.

Ephesians 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know what is the hope of his calling and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

As believers we’ve been given the Holy Spirit who longs to guide us into a perspective that far exceeds the perspective of this world. He enlightens the eyes of our hearts to see more than the physical world. And the Spirit of God gives us a longing for more than the seen and transient things as we ask Him to increase our longing for what Christ longs to see bear fruit in our lives. And that is not having more stuff. We must allow Christ’s Spirit to reveal to us what is most real, worthwhile and important and to stir up with a hope for those things alone.

For Further Reflection

Let’s meditate on the importance of looking to that which is unseen. Allow scripture to fill your heart with a longing to live for Heaven (2 Corinthians 4:18, Hebrews 11:1-2, Hebrews 11:7).

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any pursuits which are solely fleeting and temporary. Write down any ways in which you have not been looking to the unseen enough and seek God’s counsel and forgiveness.

What is truly worthy of your affection? Cast off all pursuits and passions which tie you down to this world, and ask the Spirit to guide you into a lifestyle of seeking the kingdom of God above all else.

Ask the Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your heart that you might experience all God has for you today (Ephesians 1:18-20).

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Thank you, Jennifer, for this thought-provoking message.
    Our eyes should seek things above and realize all else is vanity.

    I loved your story and glad you weren’t hurt by your fall!
    God Bless~

  2. the thought of heaven is what keeps me going

  3. In your pursuit of getting back on a bike and perhaps envisioning a childhood memory of what it was like, the Lord was bringing you around to see the most important issues that count in life. This article was a result of this experience. Very good article.
    I watch our grandchildren riding bikes but at my age, a fall wouldn’t be worth the risk Grateful you weren’t harmed. I did smile at your attempts.

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