The Look Upwards

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

Faith looks upwards. It opens our eyes to an invisible world, that is, it’s fully convinced of the existence of invisible, spiritual and heavenly things and gives us certainty about it. After Paul contrasted the great and eternal glory waiting for us with the present and time-limited trials and needs, he said: “As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). Faith is therefore not aligned to a visible but an invisible world: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

The most important thing is that faith has the living God in view. The Psalmist said: “To you I lift up my eyes, o you who are enthroned in the heavens!” (Ps. 123:1). That’s the language of faith, enjoying fellowship or intimacy with God, knowing He’s always with us. Jesus Christ lived here on earth in the consciousness of this and said prophetically: “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Ps. 16:8).

When we have God before our eyes, we receive courage to persevere in trials without giving up. Moses had the difficult task to appear before Pharaoh several times and announce God’s judgment to this powerful ruler. What gave him the strength to do so? The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews gives the answer: “He endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27). Because he had the great and invisible “I AM” before his eyes, he needn’t fear the visible king.

Elijah also stayed before God in faith. Suddenly he appears before evil King Ahab, announced judgment and says: “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” (1 Ki. 17:1).

We see a similar courage with Stephen in Acts 7. While the enraged Jews stand before him gnashing their teeth, he intently gazes into heaven, sees the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. Fearlessly he testifies of his beloved Lord and thus becomes a tremendous example for a large army of Christians, who over the centuries have been encouraged by his boldness of his faith.

Samuel Lamb was a man of faith who consciously lived in the invisible yet experienceable presence of God. Twenty years of detention camps and brain washing didn’t harm this Chinese Christian’s faith. Through his deep trust, he made a significant contribution to the underground church in China. In his biography we read the following impressive testimony when he was just in prison:


It was at this time that Samuel Lamb became so fully aware of the Presence [1].He turned to look, almost expecting to see someone. He saw nothing, but in not seeing, he became all the more aware. He thought he heard the Presence say, “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways”.

Though the Presence startled him, he felt he could almost reach out and touch the reality. He had been aware of the Presence before in his life—but never so markedly as now.

Samuel began singing softly:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!

There was a Presence. Not some fancied phantasm but a tangible entity more visible to his spiritual eyes than to his physical eyes.


The Presence reminded him, “Are not all angels ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Praise the Lord of Lords. Exalted be his name forever and ever! This awareness would follow Samuel through the tense times awaiting him.

(Bold as a Lamb, Ken Anderson, Zondervan Publishing House)


How can you always put the Lord before you in your everyday life so that you don’t waver when opposition comes? What can help you to keep your eyes open to the invisible world? When was the last time you confessed your Lord to unbelievers? How can you overcome fear of men?


[1] Note author: This is how he always called the comforting and encouraging awareness of the greatness of the Lord.


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