Sabbath Meditation #36 – Focusing on the Unseen
by Kelly McDonald, Jr.
“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” (2 Cor. 4:18).
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).
As we have reviewed in previous meditations, the Sabbath was first established as a memorial of Creation (click here to read more about this). It reminds us of creation and the God who made it all. However, the seen world was made from that which is unseen (Hebrews 11:3).
As humans, it is easy to trust in our human effort and the works of our hands. We can see the effects that our labor has on the material world.
Unlike the works of our hands, the Sabbath is unseen. The God who made all things is also unseen to the carnal human eye. You cannot see rest in the way that you can see the works of your hands. To the carnal mind, refraining from our work and labor does not appear to produce anything. This is why we worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Spiritual things must be discerned spiritually (I Cor. 2:9-16).
There is an unseen realm which is vitally important to our physical and spiritual lives; it involves focusing on the unseen God. He wants us to feel accomplished in rest through Him on the seventh day instead of feeling accomplished through the process and results of human labor. Our accomplishments are not the end goal of life – we do not want to put our trust in human effort. There are things in life we need that cannot be earned by work – such as rest and the spiritual connection to God. The unseen God provides that for us.
Colossians 3:2 reminds us to set our affections or desires on heavenly things rather than things which are limited solely to the earth. If we were to literally translate this verse, it would read: “Keep on setting your affection on things above (more and more), not on things on the earth.” Life can get mundane and we can get bogged down by the cares of this age, we must continually remind ourselves to focus on the things above. It is a continual process, not a one-time event. The Sabbath gives us this opportunity on a weekly basis.
In our humanness, it is harder to trust in what we cannot see – including what it will do in us and for us – than it is to trust what we can do on our own. We are called to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). The Sabbath teaches us that there is something greater than what our hands can produce with our own human effort. The Sabbath calls us to set aside self and focus on the unseen spiritual realm where God presently dwells. The Sabbath is a reminder to focus on the things which are unseen.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President – www.biblesabbath.org