When you read words that are effective in describing something, you can picture it in your imagination. “See ye the word of the LORD” (Jeremiah 2:31). This “seeing” is not simply letters on a page. God is asking us to see the story—His history with us—realities our physical eyes cannot see.
Recall Moses’ story, summarized in Hebrews 11:27. He “endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” He had evidence for God, but he had not yet seen God, and thus it was “by faith” he saw Him, and endured the coming diversions of his mission. Those evidences that come to us from the past—others’ stories and our own—give us the picture of God that we need.
Paul described it. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12). Why is it a fight? Because we are all immersed in a “big fight”—what we call the great controversy that began over rejecting the evidence. The word “fight” actually comes from the idea of being led together for a contest. One might think he can avoid the fight by going off on his own. But the conflict is especially internal! (Romans 7:17-20). The angels also had the same basic challenge at a different level. There were things they could not “see,” so they had to “see… the word of the LORD.”
There were things they could not “see,” so they had to “see… the word of the LORD.”
However, there is a picture, a part of the story that can draw us into and through the unavoidable fight in a way to assure victory, so we can “lay hold on eternal life.” “Let the mind’s eye be directed to ‘the Lamb of God…’” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 250). Again, “The glory of God is to be kept before the mind’s eye…” (Review and Herald, May 17, 1898). The picture for faith to see continually is the one God Himself has projected in Christ throughout Scripture.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). We are able to walk by faith because we can see what we need to. “All who sincerely believe that the living oracles of God mean just what they say, will act that faith” (Review and Herald, May 17, 1898).
In His word, God conveys the pictures we need to see, His faith working by love, in practical settings, extremely varied. As we dwell on these pictures of what He’s like and how He functions, and we agree, we are empowered to respond in kind—”from faith to faith”—literally “out of faith into faith” (Roman 1:17). We then will “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). Praise God for His faith revealed through His Word!
Fred Bischoff became involved in Adventist history while working as a preventive medicine physician in southern California for Kaiser Permanente and serving on the clinical faculty, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Loma Linda University. He found his greatest joy in exploring and explaining "the simplicity that is in Christ" in relation to history and prophecy, which culminate in the Adventist mission.