Ever feel like you were invisible?

Years ago, there was a popular television show called “The Invisible Man.” Each week the audience was treated to a fanciful narrative describing humorous anecdotes from the life of a man who actually lived his life in secret, or invisible. From this perspective, numerous jokes arose illustrating the life of an invisible person. Why did the invisible man flunk math at school? It was because he couldn’t count on his fingers! How many children does the invisible man have? None. He’s not “apparent!” How do you know if have just walked into an invisible man? You start to hear a voice saying, “Watch where you are going!” These silly questions and answers illuminate an altogether more significant concern. What if a person were to feel like they were actually invisible?

Paul, the Apostle, wrote to Timothy about one who is invisible, and it isn’t you or me. He emphasizes the invisible nature of God in 1 Timothy 1:17: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (NKJV). It is a reality of course that God is “Spirit” and His being is invisible to the naked eye. But, is this always the case? Is God always invisible?

In context, we understand that an important distinction between our perception of being invisible to others, and God’s invisible nature, must be made. Are we invisible? Of course not! Is God invisible? Absolutely! But if God’s nature is invisible, how can anyone ever see Him, or more importantly, develop faith in Him?

Here’s the theological underpinning of how our invisible God becomes quite visible:

From the very onset, there is with Paul an acknowledgement that he was a real jerk when he came to know Christ. However, God, according to Paul, “enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (NKJV). In the text he goes on to own his own “junk” revealing a greater work of grace on his life. “Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (vs. 13-14).

Hence, Paul’s ignorance and unbelief caused his very visible traits, which in turn, ignited the grace of God. Where there is sin, there is a Savior. And, though our sins are very visible, our invisible God becomes extravagantly observable in the gifting of His grace. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (vs. 15-16).

So, where does this leave us? We are not invisible, far from it. Our actions through ignorance or in willful sin, betray us every time. This is when God “shakes” His invisible nature and becomes visible in the redemption of our souls. He doesn’t overlook our sin, He forgives it by grace. In doing so, all eyes are directed at Him. It is no wonder we become like a “city that is set on a hill [which] cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14b, NKKV). I am visible. You are visible. And, most importantly, in the right circumstance, God is visible! This can only happen, of course, when we allow God to transform our lives revealing His, dare I say it, “visible” nature!

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