Tag Archives: angels

The Unseen Realm

Big bang 2

   Imagine a place at the far reaches of the earth, a remote corner of the world where mansions are one-room straw huts; five-star restaurants seat people in the dirt around small cook-fires; and the latest irrigation technology means two pails of water carried from miles away. Imagine that higher education is a knowledge of the great stalking cats lurking in the bush or how to scent a storm before its burning pitchforks of lightning split the sky. And imagine that the greatest entertainment to be found is a fiery display of blazing stars wheeling across the heavens in the stillness of some dark midnight.  

   In such a place, glittering fifty-story high-rise buildings would be beyond imagination—and yet they exist. Grocery stores filled with bread and meat and fruits and vegetables and cakes and pies enough to feed an entire army would be unfathomable—and yet they exist. The technology to hear a voice from the other side of the world or to broadcast a picture from anywhere on earth would simply be a myth, a privilege limited to the gods—and yet it exists. In such a place, lights never go out when the sun goes down; commerce never completely halts anywhere on earth; and working and building and making money are second only to laughing and dancing and drinking—twenty-four hours a day, every day, forever.

   Somewhere on earth—perhaps in a few hidden places—the inhabitants are oblivious to even the concept an outside world; they are, as far as they know, the sole inhabitants of creation.

   Now—imagine us, in the center of our cosmos, as completely unaware of another dimension, another realm, as the people who populate the primitive universe are unaware of us. And imagine that this realm, this other plane of existence is, to us, as completely incomprehensible in terms of its supremacy as is ours to the primitives.

   Imagine that in this realm, the marble palaces of this earth are dingy in comparison to entire cities comprised of light; our most intricate satellites are obsolete because thought is the only vehicle needed to communicate; and travel, commerce and education—all gone—because one has only to speak and one knows, visits or sees whatever one wishes to know, visit or see—in the blink of an eye. Imagine that in this realm, there is no night—yet there are stars; there are no schools—yet there is always learning; and there is no rest—yet there is no fatigue. There is limitless energy, strategy, purpose and activity and yet there is no strife, panic or uncertainty.

   But this place is not some future heaven. This place is the spirit realm which exists, right now, just beyond a flimsy curtain of element. It exists, right now, in the very places we sit, stand and sleep. It is a realm populated with spirit beings who keep watch, who defend, who protect, and who strategize on our behalf. They stand, warriors of spirit, invisible—yet more real than we can conceive.

In realms unseen and incomprehensible.

   Imagine now that in this place, every possible outcome is already known and our greatest challenges are already being met—even though we don’t see. Imagine that in this place, answers to our petitions have been decreed and await release for some future moment—even though we don’t yet know. Imagine that solutions to our problems and resolutions of our crises have been pronounced and are being kept in invisible storehouses for delivery until the times of our challenges are fulfilled.

   You don’t have to imagine.

   The fact is, it’s all true. Wheels are turning in the spirit realm and circumstances aligning that we cannot see and therefore do not know. Judgments against unseen foes are being declared on our behalves—against even those enemies of whom we are not yet aware. Events are being planned, people strategically positioned and divine appointments decreed—even if our faith is wounded and bleeding.

   Still, angels are aligning, invisible messengers taking wing, and the whole spirit realm is on alert and positioned to deliver our rescues, our blessings and to assist us in the fulfillment of our destinies.

   Just believe.

 

 

 

 

 

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Who’s Driving the Dream?

hamster-wheel

Ever felt like that little hamster on the wheel, going around and around and around and going – nowhere? You might have. At any given point in time, how many people are trying to:

  • Compete with 100 other people for that one job opening?
  • Win a once-in-a-lifetime part in that play, musical, TV show or movie?
  • Fight for that academic scholarship against hundreds of other students?
  • Write that #1 Billboard hit song – along with 5000 other songwriters?
  • Grab the market share against your competitors for – whatever you’re selling?
  • Captivate that literary agent that 600 other writers are trying to get to first?
  • Battle for that one spot on the team against the best of the best?
  • Earn that job promotion that a dozen other people also want?
  • Build that platform – just to get noticed?
  • Grow that church or ministry – because that’s what’s expected?

Sometimes chasing our dreams can run the emotional gamut from frustrating to disheartening to depressing – even to hopeless. We work and work and work, only to find that our best seems not to be good enough. We’re in constant competition, hustling, burning the candle at both ends, enduring the grind – day after day, month after month, even year after year. Then comes the day that we simply have to admit it: we just can’t cut it. So what then?

Surrender.

When we reach the point where we despair of ever “making it” (because that’s what our culture tells us we have to do), then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate what it is we’re trying to do. Maybe we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves. Maybe we weren’t “meant to be” the next Bill Gates or Miss America or Stephen King or Paul Ryan or even Paul the Apostle. So then the question remains: If we don’t hit the pinnacle of whatever it is we do, does that mean we’ve “missed it” – “it” being our destiny? Just what were we meant to be anyway?

Faithful.

Over two thousand years ago, a young Jewish girl, a true “nobody”, was visited by the angel Gabrielle who gave her the choice of being the mother of the Messiah – or not. (It’s always about the choice.) Now, I’m certain that Mary counted the cost before she consented to become pregnant as a single woman – that never worked out well for unmarried Jewish girls. Unlike today, an unmarried pregnant woman in that culture was a huge scandal so it wasn’t difficult for Mary to imagine the disgrace and the consequences: at best, she would be shunned by everyone she knew, ridiculed by everyone she didn’t know, her betrothal to Joseph would be history, and she could look forward to life as an “old maid”. Worst case scenario: she would be stoned to death. Mary faced a capitol punishment for what was considered a very grievous crime in her day. Pretty sure that wasn’t her dream. Yet Mary’s response?

“’I am the Lord’s servant. May it be unto me as you have said’” (Luke 1:38).

If we can truly say those words, if we can accept whatever the scope of the destiny that the Lord has for us, then we’ll find peace in the midst of whatever happens with our dreams – or doesn’t happen. We’ll find perspective in the midst of the overwhelming odds of “making it”. We can let go of the competition, secure in the knowledge that, as long as we do our best, God will open the doors that need to be opened and light up the paths that we need to be on. We can get off the hamster wheel and stop pounding on closed doors. If we listen, we’ll hear the voice of the Lord give us one step at a time, one assignment at a time in their due seasons and, ultimately then, we’ll find that we have fulfilled the destiny assigned to us. It won’t be Stephen King’s destiny or Miss America’s or Bill Gates’, not even Paul the Apostle’s; those are their destinies, decreed from the beginning of time by the One who assigns destiny to each of us before we’re born.

Does this mean that we don’t work hard or that we give up because we’re not “the star” in our field? No. It means that we submit our desires and dreams and talents to the Lord and then watch what He does. If we’ll truly do that, then we’ll find that His dreams for us are far more fulfilling than our own visions could ever have been. Why? Because His destiny for us is filled with eternal purpose – purposes that, as Mary discovered, are way beyond anything we could ever come close to imagining.

And to be part of that eternal plan – isn’t that the truest dream come true?