Invisible worlds, part 3
Do you know the Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” It’s a favorite of mine. Written in October of 1962 by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker, it begins,
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see? – way up in the sky, little lamb?
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite”
The song beckons us to see something special, the birth of the King of kings. The song also calls people to pray for peace everywhere in honor of the Christ child. It was written during the Cuban missile crisis, a time of deep national anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear attack.
The song’s power, though, lies in its searching questions. Can you recall what the questions sound like when sung?
… “Do you see what I see?” “Do you hear what I hear?”
In part 2 of this series, I wrote about how we might begin seeing God. In the sermon on the mount Jesus taught how important it is for us to have a wholehearted, childlike, and persistent approach to God if we want to truly “see” Him and know Him.
On God’s side of things, the Holy Spirit plays a huge role in our “seeing” or “hearing” God. It is akin to the “night wind” speaking to the “little lamb.”
“When the Advocate comes,” Jesus said, “he will testify on my behalf” (John 15:26). “I will send Him to you (John 16:7).” “I still have many things to say to you (v. 12).” Because our spiritual senses are so weak and dim, the Father and the Son make the Holy Spirit available to believers to help us receive messages from God.
In the wind of the Holy Spirit’s training, we develop spiritual senses or sensitivity. We learn to sense more. Did you know, for instance, that the Holy Spirit can teach you to sense when to stop to pray? It’s true; but, of course, praying has to be something you want to do. The Holy Spirit can also help you sense God’s particular presence in worship. But again, it has to be something you hunger to experience. The Holy Spirit can also show you which sins you are to confess to God. But having a clean record with God has to be something you deeply desire.
Some religious people only want ideas and thoughts about God, and not a relationship with God directly, because God is Spirit, and we have to relate to Him spiritually. But Jesus isn’t a philosopher, and He isn’t a symbol of love. He is an actual Person of the Godhead who lives right now and forever. Oh, yes, he was born in a stable, he lived and taught and ministered and died, and rose from the dead in Israel around 30 A.D. But He is available to us now by and through the Holy Spirit.
“Do you see what I see?” the Spirit asks. “Do you hear what I hear?”
“Well, do you?” If you don’t, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Begin to worship, let your worship turn to adoration, and let the Spirit show you God. And the peace of God will soon come as well, which we need in these days filled with anxious news of shootings and bigotry and terrorists.
And the next time someone says, “I sensed that God was there in a special way,” or “I felt God nudge me to talk to him,” or “the Lord told me…” don’t write them off as a religious nut. They haven’t lost their senses, they’ve probably actually gained some.