THE TRANSPARENT LIFE
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
INVISIBLE MEN AND WOMEN
To be invisible is to be unseen. Only that which is unseen can truly give God the glory. If I am getting the glory, and not God, then I am still visible. The Flesh, the self-life, abhors invisibility. The Flesh despises being invisible. The flesh thrives on being seen. People in our Churches want to be seen- to be visible. They sing, testify, play an instrument, preach, pray, and fast so that they will be seen of men. This is fleshly!
Matthew 6:1, 5,
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Why do you do what you do? Would you do the same if no one were watching? A preacher friend asked me on the phone the other night about a preacher that used to be in our Church, he asked, “How is he doing? Is he still in Church?” My answer was, “No!” Why? Why did he not make it? The answer is simple, “PRIDE”. When he realized he was going to have to “do the first works over” and just be a Church Member, he got out. He did not want to be an Invisible Christian. He wanted to be a Visible Preacher on the platform.
There are many people that will not come to our Churches because they want a Position and we will not give them one. One lady visited our Church when her church closed down. The Power of God was falling in our Church. She stood up and testified, “Ya’ll pray for me. I’m looking for a good Church to go to, one where I can be used.” She wanted to be Visible. She did not join our Church. She was too proud to learn to be Invisible. God cannot use you till you first learn to be invisible!
I like to call the Wednesday night service the “Invisible Service”. Why? Because this is the hardest service for people to be faithful to – it takes the most effort. For this reason only the faithful attend this service. It is the one service a week that is invisible to the half-hearted. Only those truly invisible know the value of this service.
THE INVISIBLE MEMBERS OF THE BODY
There are parts of my Body that are of the greatest importance but they are never seen. They are invisible! Who would doubt the importance of the Heart, Liver, and Kidney? They are never seen yet you and I could not live without them.
Everyone wants the visible ministries! You let them feel the Call of God on their lives and, Pastor, they are going to want your Pulpit! Why? Because it is highly visible.
What is wrong with being a Church Member? What is wrong with sitting on a Pew? What is wrong with being an invisible member of the Church? What is wrong with being a Heart, Lung, or Kidney? No member is unimportant. All have great value.
GOD ONLY SEES THE INVISIBLE
Jesus is the greatest example of a life lived for another. He lived his life to please his Father. Jesus’ Will was invisible. His own desires and thoughts were invisible. Only His Father’s will and desires were visible. Jesus took on a Visible Form but only those that saw past the visible became his followers. They followed him because they saw the Invisible in Him.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
All the Pharisees could see was Jesus’ birthplace, lineage, hometown, and family. They could never really see who Jesus really was.
FAITH SEES THE INVISIBLE
It takes special equipment to see (and hear) the Invisible. There are spectrums of light and color that our eyes cannot see. There are sounds that our ears cannot pick up (Dogs hear at levels that we cannot hear). Faith is the eyes of the spiritual man. Faith sees the invisible things of God.
You will never be able to see this invisible God without faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God”, we might add also that it will be impossible to see this God. Faith makes it possible to view the invisible realms of God.
Once we found the Lord a whole new invisible world opened up to us. Our eyes, our ears, our senses were opened up to us. Now we realized there is more to life than just the tangible things that are readily observable.
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”. It is the new set of eyes that we receive at the New Birth that can see the invisible realm of God. The old Adamic eyes cannot see this Kingdom – only the new eyes of the New Birth.
GOD CAN ONLY USE US WHEN WE BECOME INVISIBLE
As long as we love the praises of men our effectiveness is diminished. Our effectiveness is diminished because of our visibility. It was only when Abraham’s ability to produce a Son had faded away to Invisibility that God gave Abraham a Son.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
The illegitimate offspring of Abraham and Hagar was produced while Abraham was still Visible and they have had problems with him ever since. The Tares in our Churches today are the by-products of our Visibility.
Joseph was in prison for 20 years. God was simply waiting for him to fade away so that he could use him. Moses was on the backside of the desert for 40 years. Moses left Egypt Visible but he returned Invisible! God is waiting for us to fade away so that he can use us.
He must increase, but I must decrease
We are opaque. Instead of being invisible we are opaque. The lions could not find Daniel because he was invisible. He was invisible to his own ambitions. The 3 Hebrew Children went through the fire but did not burn. Fire can’t burn Invisible Men.
When God needed a King for Israel he chose the invisible son of Jesse. David was the eighth son of Jesse. He was invisible and was not even invited to the meeting. He so far down the list of important people that no one even bothered to invite him to the meeting. For all intents and purposes, in the home of Jesse, he was invisible. It was just this kind of man that God needed to fill the office of the King.
1 Samuel 16:10-12
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
The followers of Jesus must be invisible. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Mathew 16:24).” What was Jesus saying? If I deny myself then I am making my self (flesh) invisible. I asked my self the question, “If I make my flesh invisible and pick up my cross, what is going to be seen?” ONLY THE CROSS!
We are fading in and out. I have spent the last 21 years pastoring Pentecostal Lighthouse Church (in 2009) and I asked myself the question, “What am I doing here?” I am learning to be invisible!
Jesus spent 3.5 years teaching His disciples to be Invisible. God will use us as soon as we learn to be invisible. On the day of Pentecost 120 Invisible people came out of the Upper Room. God chose David the eighth son, the Invisible son, to be the King of Israel. God will only choose the invisible to do his work.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 hat no flesh should glory in his presence.
THE INVISIBLE GOD WILL ONLY BE VISIBLE TO THE WORLD WHEN THE CHURCH IS INVISIBLE
The world can’t see God because all that they can see is us! We have had seasons when we faded away and we saw great things done. Revivals where God moved and miracles occurred, but after the revival we began to reappear and everything went back to the way it used to be.
When Isaiah was Invisible he saw the Lord (Isaiah 6). God sent an Invisible man to declare Himself to the people. When we are invisible the world is going to see Jesus. The only thing that is visible to the world is us! They see our Doctrines, our Parties, Dinners, Conventions, Campmeetings, Revivals, our Buildings, even our Standards, but they don’t see our Invisible God.
Gideon cried out, “Where are the miracles of our fathers?” The miracles were invisible because God was invisible! The miracles are in the Invisible God! They will only be seen when he is seen! And God will never be seen when all people can see is us!
PRAYER: THE MEANS TO INVISIBILITY
Leonard Ravenhill once said, “The secret to praying is praying in secret.” It is the secret prayer closet that causes the flesh to fade away. This is why the flesh resists prayer so vehemently. The flesh hates prayer. Prayer breaks down our flesh. The more we pray the more our flesh is going to fade.
A person of high visibility is a person the never prays. The ones that work unselfishly and lovingly, with no thought of temporal reward or the praises of men, are the ones that are fading to invisibility. They are the ones that are praying.
You show me a proud man and I will show you a man that does not pray. Prayer will never allow the high-visibility sin of pride to rule in our lives. Prayer will demand invisibility.
THE TRANSPARENT LIFE
A transparent life is one that does not hinder a view of God. God is seen when the vessel becomes transparent.
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Glass comes in many different varieties. Stained glass, frosted glass, but the best is clear glass. Clear glass allows the contents of the container to be seen. The transparent life is the one that is dead to all self-interest, dead to all self-promotion. This is the life that is “hid with Christ in God”.
Look at verse one (1): “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” We are told to seek the things that are above. The things that are above are invisible!
Look at verse two (2): “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” We are told to place our affection on the invisible.
Look at verse three (3): “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” This is the place of invisibility! It is the place where all self-life, self-will, self-promotion is dead. It is a hidden secret place! Only spiritual people can see into that place!
Look at verse four (4): “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Many people think that this is talking about the rapture. This is talking about much more than that! This is simply saying when we become invisible then Christ will become visible! Christ will not be seen until people can no longer see us! The Rapture is going to occur but not until we fade away!
Enoch faded away until he was Raptured! The rapture was the culmination of years of Enoch walking with God. The Rapture will be the ultimate “Disappearing Act”. But never forget this one thing: Only those who have already started to fade will disappear in this great Rapture.