The Power of Your Unseen Life in a Seen World￼
by Bethany Murdock, BA on October 17th, 2022
If there was ever a time to grab the heart of God wholeheartedly, I believe NOW is that time! Obviously, there is never a time when we won’t need to lay hold of Jesus with all that we are. But right now, as we speak, these are significant days. These are days of acceleration in the Spirit. Truth be told, these are the days that so many of the believers who have gone before us prayed for. We are standing in their answer to those prayers . . . a very amazing thought for sure. Because the “baton” is in our hands, the stance of the people of God needs to be one of urgency about every area of our lives because the time really is short.
No matter what your journey looks like right now as you read this, God has the word “Assignment” over your life. If you are in business or ministry or raising a family, whether you are married or single, young or old, there is a God-given assignment for you. A plan and a beautiful purpose! God wants “All hands-on deck” and that means you and me. With this thought in mind, I believe we need to be praying, “What are You asking of me right now Lord? How can I serve and lead at the highest level possible in Your eyes? And for that matter, what do You consider ‘high level’?” After all, the Bible does ask the question, “What will it profit a man (or woman) if he (or she) gains the whole world, and loses his (or her) own soul?” Things are not always as they seem.
Truth in the Unseen
One of the loudest clarion calls going out across the earth from the people of God should be what David prayed in Psalm 51. He prayed, “Surely you desire truth . . . in the inmost place.” Who we are in the unseen world, in private, NOT visible to others or the public “us.” This is where God is asking for truth. It is here that Jesus wants the greatest access to our lives. The world insists we place our focus and energy on what is seen. As a result, whether we like it or not, this mentality can easily creep into our hearts, and the shift is never a good one when it does. In both the Old and the New Testaments, we see evidence that God is primarily looking at what people don’t consider important. We see this principle when Samuel was looking for a new king to anoint in place of Saul. Everybody, including Samuel, the prophet of God, got it wrong!
“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:6–7)
Things are not always as they seem. People are not always what they seem to be. We are not always who we seem to be. In the New Testament, we see God reminding us in 2 Corinthians to “Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Grabbing the heart of God for your life, business, marriage, home, and any relationship you have, is born out of understanding the way He thinks. We get used to placing the biggest value on the way things “look.” My friends, God does not want things that “look” good; He wants things that are Good. Thank God He doesn’t just look good; I am so thankful He is good!
Perhaps even as you are reading this, you realize your focus has shifted to the seen. Maybe you realize you value what you can see more than what you cannot, even yourself (not realizing the hidden life directly impacts the public life). So, if this has become the way you think, you may be experiencing insecurity, fear, striving (trying to keep things looking good), and probably some very real exhaustion. Why? Because at any moment, the “seen” can change. Don’t be discouraged if you are having this revelation about yourself. Jesus will help you make the shift.
The unseen can be the most stable or unstable part of who we are. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We have these trees here called nesting pines. They grow very tall, very fast. They look mighty, but as soon as a Nor’easter or tropical storm comes through, can you guess what tree falls first? The nesting pine. Why? It has extremely shallow roots. When push comes to shove, the deceiving height is no match for the winds and the storms because its unseen roots are so shallow. The seen was no match for what the tree lacked in the dark, unseen places.
Time with God
It is the unseen, your foundation, where the most important work takes place. What happens here will result in an easily destructible life or an indestructible life. Never mistake the unseen for the unimportant. It is actually the most important place to spend your time. What does that look like? Spending very real, daily time in the Word of God. Not just reading, but stopping to process it and asking God, “What are you saying to me today, Lord?” How do we know what God might want to change in us or what ideas He might want to download to us or in what ways He wants to encourage us if we never spend time with Him to listen to what He says? How will we ever truly execute in the “natural” world around us if we never prepare in the Spirit?
Without fail, focused time with Jesus always translates into lasting progress in our lives and our journeys. If you feel too busy to spend time with Jesus, then you are too busy not to spend time with Jesus. How can we work off an empty spirit? A crash is on the horizon if we let it go for too long. How else can I look after my unseen life? I can actively go after people who are further along than me and open myself up to them, allowing them to speak freely and honestly to me about what they are seeing in me. Maybe there are things I am blind to; maybe there are things I need to face honestly about myself. Invest in a coach or see a pastor or even a therapist if it’s warranted. It is worth the journey and that is why we are here. Oh . . . and those of us who do coach and lead others actually have an even greater responsibility to stay healthy in this unseen space. I have a coach myself and (take a deep breath) a therapist too! What I am able to give because of practicing what I preach here is of far greater value because of it. There is no shame in keeping watch over your own soul.
Jesus is the Goal
Be encouraged today, especially if you find yourself in a season where you feel hidden or unseen. You are not hidden or unseen to God. Jesus loves what He is doing in you in this place, and it is the most worthy place. The unseen is not a punishment. Because the seen is not the goal. Jesus is the goal and the prize we reach for. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing!”(James 1:4)
Thank Him for the work He is doing inside of you. It will be the making of you! If you are in a very visible and public place right now, humbly remember that it is temporary. The work you do in the unseen will take you beautifully into the seen and then right back into the unseen for more worthy work by God in you for the days to come. God does not use the seen and unseen as rewards and punishments. So, don’t let your heart value anything that is temporary over the priceless and eternal reward that comes from being found faithful. Be faithful in every season of your life. God is moving and He is using you. Remember and never forget, the goal is Jesus.
Bethany Murdock, BA, is a Master Life Coach certified through the International Christian Coaching Association (ICCI) and the American Association of Christian Counselors who regularly coaches individuals and couples. She is also an ICCI Board of Reference member. Bethany has been in ministry for over 20 years, has served as a Worship Pastor, and is ordained. She has been helping people grow and develop in both their personal lives, as well as their relationship with Christ. Her desire is to see people empowered through Jesus and to live their best life possible. Her areas of expertise include Life Coaching for Women, Marriage Coaching, Grief and Loss Coaching, Spiritual Development Coaching, and Leadership and Ministry Coaching. Bethany and her husband, Paul, reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia. See more at www.bethanylentzmurdock.com