All around us is a world that is out of whack, digressing from its intended purpose and spinning out of control. This world puts obstacles in our path. It tears us down with insults and gossip. It floods our hearts with fear, anxiety, and stress about what negatives the future may hold. It brings us to the brink of despair with its violence and hopelessness. But there is another, better way to live.
This world is part of something bigger than we can imagine–the Kingdom of God. Our eyes cannot see this Kingdom, and it has been misunderstood and misrepresented throughout the ages. Nevertheless, we were created to dwell in this Kingdom, to thrive and prosper in its wealth and beauty, to fulfill our ultimate destiny within its boundless realities.
This is the unseen realm.
Paul speaks of this spiritual reality often in his letters. Colossians 1:9,10 says, “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” (New Living Translation) We were made to live and function in the unseen realm, living by God’s will and understanding in such a way that we could honor and please Him, bearing fruit for His Kingdom. We were meant to know God better as we dwell with Him, and in turn, grow to be more like Him.
In Romans 12:2, Paul sums up our responsibility in living out God’s intended reality: allow God to transform us by changing our thoughts into His thoughts. This act of obedience results in our transformation, which in sequence, affects every area of our lives.
Rather than seeing a problem as an insurmountable obstacle, we can choose to see it as an opportunity to build our faith by relying on God’s guidance. Instead of gossiping and tearing each other down, we can choose to build up and encourage one another simply by asking God, “Father, how do you see this person?” When the world throws its headlines of fear and despair at us, we can choose to call out to Father for peace in the midst of chaos and strength to reach out and comfort others who are experiencing despair.
Living from the unseen realm means that we put our hope in God alone, not in the ways or ideas or resources of men. It means that we train ourselves to be acutely aware of things happening in the spiritual realm around us, not focusing on the world we can see with our physical eyes. It means walking in victory and fighting our battles against our true enemies in the spiritual realms, not other men. It means refusing to see others in any way other than the way the Lord sees them and, consequently, treating others only as the Lord asks us to treat them. It means living to please God and becoming more like Him in our thoughts so we can be changed into His likeness.
PRAYER: Father, prompt me to remember Your glorious unseen realm, the realities therein, and allow them to change me and how I relate to You and to others.
~ Cathy Schrock, writer
~ Danyelle Yoder, artist