Don’t Believe Everything You See – Especially in the Days to Come

Why do we think that seeing is believing?

It’s an even more ridiculous notion in this day of Photoshop, graphic arts, and movie magic but the concept persists. We see it played out on a national level every day.

We’ve known for weeks that ISIS is beheading people but seeing a video of individuals beheaded sends the horror home, inspiring us to demand a response.

The public knew for months that an NFL player slugged his girlfriend. We’d even seen him drag her unconscious body off an elevator, but it wasn’t until we saw the footage of the actual punch that our outrage translated into action.

Why do we insist on seeing things with our own eyes before we react with conviction? What’s so special about seeing?

If anything would negate the saying that seeing is believing, it’s the work of illusionists. I’ve been intrigued by several magic acts on TV talent shows lately. They’re so adept at distraction and sleight of hand, we can never believe what we see – or think we see. Even when we’re watching closely knowing their intent is to distract, it can be close to impossible to perceive the deceptive moves they pull.

It’s their art. It’s hours of study and practice. It’s commitment to the craft combined with talent that allows them to fool us before our very eyes.

And yet, we insist on seeing for ourselves. In an age of instant video and livestream news, we grasp at the false comfort that somehow making ourselves eyewitnesses to global events will make us wiser, better at judging, or immune to trickery.

As if our enemy were not a master illusionist, skilled in the art of deception, having studied and practiced for as long as we’ve walked this earth. As if his commitment to craft combined with perverted talent didn’t make him capable of fooling us before our very eyes.

Our reliance on seeing is a dangerous practice. Especially as we approach the age of the strong delusion.

Paul warns us in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

A time will come when God will give the world what it wants. As humanity increasingly rejects the truth, refuses to acknowledge or seek the truth, oppresses the truth with our disobedience, He will send us the delusion we crave.

It will be a particularly dangerous time for those who rely on seeing to believe.

Jesus loved Thomas and indulged the disciple’s need to touch Jesus’ wounds, to see for himself but He spoke these words over Thomas: “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Right now you’re asking, if we can’t believe our very eyes, then how do we believe? On what do we rely if not our sight? Wouldn’t it be foolish to deny what we witness against all testimony?

Remember that the world is currently under the influence of a master illusionist invested in our wholesale deception.

We are wise, right now, to learn to live by the Holy Spirit.

Paul knew this when he wrote: “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:4-7

We walk by faith, not by sight.

There is a reality greater than what we can see. We know and understand this reality through the power of the Holy Spirit. Study God’s Word. Put it into practice. Don’t just believe IN God, but BELIEVE GOD when He speaks. Trust what He says not what the master illusionist tries to make you believe by flooding the headlines with fear, false teaching, and faithlessness.

The deceiver would have us believe that he is a worthy match for God. He terrorizes our sight to sway us to believe this. He twists our perception of God, of ourselves, and of His power. The truth is that Jesus has already defeated Satan, that his reign has an end, and that God is greater than all our fear.

Walking by faith, not by sight, isn’t a mystical notion, it’s a Biblical practice. Noah saw dry skies and built an ark. Abraham saw a barren wife but believed God for future generations. Daniel saw captivity but believed God for freedom. His three friends saw a fiery furnace but believed God for protection. Jesus saw a murderous crowd and a cross – He saw death – but He believed His Father for life.

What do you believe beyond what you see?

Where do you see the risks of living by sight and not by faith? What do you understand about our times from God’s word? How do you practice living by faith?

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    The Conversation

  1. Betsy Ryan says:

    Good one…

  2. Bruce Brady says:

    Lori, you’ve nailed it. The world view, Satan’s plan, is to see is to believe. God is very clear about how we are to “see.” We are simply to know and trust Him, and He will lead us safely. Thank you for expressing this so beautifully, so profoundly. God bless you and all your readers.

    Also, I love your blog. It’s a masterful use of the written word, graphics and video.

  3. Maxine D says:

    So very true – and the enemy would have us believe that this physical world is all there is, too. Praise God we know otherwise, but we must remain vigilant and bathed in His Word so we are not deceived.

  4. Jane says:

    We must meet the present emergency with a spirit of optimism. This is no time for repining, no time for looking backward, no time for self-pity or defeated complaining. We are on the winning side & we cannot lose. “Lo, I am with you alway.” (Matthew 28:20) makes ultimate defeat impossible.
    Surely the days are evil & the times are waxing late, but the true Christian is not caught unawares. He has been forewarned of just such times as these and has been expecting them. Present events only confirm the long-range wisdom of Jesus Christ & prove the authenticity of the prophetic Word. So the believer actually turns defeat into victory & draws strength from the knowledge that the Lord in whom he trusts has foretold events & is in full command of the situation.
    Let us beware allowing our spiritual comforts to rise & fall with world news or the changing political & economic situation. We who lean upon Jesus & trust in the watchful love of a heavenly Father are not dependent upon those things for our peace.
    ~Of God and Men,
    A.W. Tozer