Ps 63:2   I have contemplated you with pleasure in the sanctuary IN ORDER to see your power and glory.

If ‘seeing were believing’, then all those who witnessed Jesus’ miracles would have become followers.  And no one would have crucified Jesus, because they would have all believed Jesus.

Actually the above conclusion is false. Observing actions or hearing words does not necessarily cause new knowledge. Faith must be mixed in with raw data.  Some bystanders in 33 AD were powerless to arrive at truth even with eyes wide open. Then there is the category, one far worse, in which people are blinded by a motive hostile to truth.  Into this group fell some Romans, some Jews and most of the Jewish leadership.  These people could actually see and believe that Jesus was who he says he was.  Yet they were not believers.   This should not surprise us.  After all, even the demons believe that Jesus is the son of God.  When a person unequivocally acknowledges the truth of Christianity, he has gotten as far as Satan!  A crucial successive step requires a grateful reliance on this truth.

Yet, no one is off the hook for their lack of saving faith. Everyone SEES evidence for God, even if they don’t draw the right conclusions.   Paul, as well as the psalmists, tells us that.  Natural theology connects the many signs, the major clues all around us in nature, to the existence of God.  But what Christ has done for us, however, cannot be deduced from the natural world.  For that we need the spirit-empowered Gospel preached to us.  We need the ‘grammar’ or facts of this news but packaged in a way by the Holy Spirit that pierces our cold hearts to awaken us.  Once we are awakened and with new baby spiritual eyes we actually see Jesus’ rescue plan for us, the news becomes glorious.  The saving step of sinking into this truth, of grabbing hold of the rescue line thrown to us is a ‘no-brainer’ at this point.

But, this kind of seeing doesn’t end with the new birth.  Every day, we must follow Paul’s exhortation to renovate or renew our minds and thus strengthen our transformation from dead worldling to living child of God.   The verb ‘renew’ sounds like extending one’s subscription to a news magazine or paying for another year of a Barnes & Noble membership.  That’s why I like the translation ‘renovate’ for the Greek word – anakainōsis  ….be transformed by the renovating of your mind. # 342 (Romans 12:2)

It’s the same word in Titus 3:5“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal (making new, renovation of our whole self )of the Holy Spirit.

God has transplanted us OUT of the Kingdom of Darkness (Col 1:13) and into the Kingdom (or Garden) of Light and set us growing in new dirt. He is the master gardener and we need to feed on Holy Spirit Sap (no disrespect intended).  Here is how we can do this, daily. ‘ “Not by might, nor by (our own) power, but by my spirit” says  the Lord’ Zechariah 4:6

Think of a sunflower.  It lifts its yellow blooming head toward the power source and grows strong, exulting in the glorious rays.  So too we must look to Jesus, to gain (in)sight and thus power.   Then we can be like the psalmist who returns to God often to align his priorities with Truth and be infused with inner strength not his own.  This is the first and constant work of being a believer.