God’s children live in two worlds at the same time, namely the natural and the spiritual—the visible and the invisible. Both of these two worlds are very real. Born-again believers have access to the spiritual world where God reigns with power and glory, while they live natural lives on earth.
We should never forget that we were born of the Spirit, and that we are spirit beings first of all. (See John 3:6) This is no small matter! The Scriptures clearly indicate the true meaning of God’s intentions with us—His offspring—but leaves it to us to discover it by diligently and prayerfully searching for it. The new creation man and woman are awesome beings because the Holy Spirit lives in them, enabling them to do the works that Jesus did, (John 14:12) limited only by a mind that has not been transformed by the implanted Word of God. Please read James 1:21-25 & 2 Corinthians 3:18
The earth is subject to change and decay, but the spiritual world is eternal, and therefore more powerful—and it is our world! The brokenness of the natural world may impact us in some way, but it can’t defeat us since we know that it is not our home, and we have our eyes fixed on the unseen.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
Our position in the spiritual world is comes with supernatural abilities that far supersede the natural, such as:
- spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9) vs the limited understanding of the human mind;
- the unconditional love of God (Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 13) vs the limited and conditional love of man;
- faith that can see the unseen (John 20:29; Hebrews 11:1) vs faith that only sees what is visible to the natural eye;
- authority over the works of the devil (Luke 9:1,2; Acts 19:11,12)
- gifts of the Holy Spirit to do the works that Jesus did (1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 14:12)
- knowledge of future events that might impact our lives (John 16:3; Acts 21:10-11; Acts 11:28)
The spiritual world is populated with both evil spirits and angels of God, and they are engaged in a war for our souls. The attacks that we experience down here are manifestations of that battle, but because we put our trust in the Lord, the struggle always ends in our favour. God’s mighty angels serve us and fights on our behalf:
Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Psalm 103:0,21
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
Daniel found this out when an angel from the Lord (probably Gabriel) appeared to him while he was praying, telling him that he was sent to bring him understanding about his people and the last days, and that the prince of Persia (an evil spiritual ruler) withstood him for 21 days. Michael, another angel, assisted him in that battle (See Daniel 10:21). Many such battles are taking place all that time, and we would do well to trust the Lord to do what has to be done to bring victory to us. He did promise to never leave or forsake us, but unbelief on our part might give our enemy the victory. Faith in God and His promises to us is both the substance and evidence of the (yet) unseen fulfilled promise, because God cannot lie.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
You can touch the answer to your prayer—the substance of your hope—in faith, and rejoice in it before it becomes reality in the natural.
The spiritual man knows how to discern between natural and spiritual challenges, and how to deal with them effectively. No wonder that God uses the foolish of the world to put to shame the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians :13-16
We have the mind of Christ! How does Jesus think? The answer to this question is in the gospels: see how He approached adversity, answered questions, and lived in a hostile world. Note that He was never anxious about anything, no matter how tough the situations that He found Himself in. See also how He faced the ultimate challenge of His life on earth:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2
We endure and overcome by doing what Jesus did: He looked beyond the horrors of the cross, and saw with joy how sinners come back to the Father. Yes, we existed in that place called “in the Spirit,” and He saw us!
The spiritual attacks that we endure are mostly aimed at the mind; what we see, hear and feel can derail our walk if we focus on the brokenness of our world. Strongholds form when we dwell on thoughts that exclude Christ, and our place in Him. (Ephesians 2:4-7) We are seated with Him in heavenly places, and this is not some ordinary, earthly position! Not only are we seated there, we were also given the assignment to deliver a message of defeat to the principalities and powers who now rule from the lower heavens above us:
…to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places… Ephesians 3:10
We do not wage war against our enemy from a position of weakness, but of overpowering strength because our weapons are not of this world; they are mighty in God to pull down strongholds! The blood of Jesus and the Word of God are weapons that instill terror in the heart of the devil and his cohorts. Add to that unwavering faith in God and His love for us that shields us against the arrows of the enemy. However, taking up these weapons in a ritualistic way will render them weak and carnal, but when handled with revelation knowledge, they wreak havoc in the camp of our adversary.
Abraham could see the yet unseen, and it helped him to overcome the couple’s inability to have children. God promised this man of faith that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed, pointing to Jesus who would be born of his seed. He lived about 18 centuries before Jesus was born, but look at this:
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” John 8:56
This old centenarian looked past his age, and the barrenness that stigmatized them as a couple, fixed his eyes on what he could see in the Spirit, and proved nature wrong when Isaac was born. It is, as Oral Roberts once said, “If you can see the invisible, you can do the impossible.”
Moses received an instruction from God to confront a stubborn and hostile pharaoh to demand of him to let God’s people go, a dangerous task since he was a runaway prince that embarrassed the royal palace. However, he boldly spoke to pharaoh because he discovered that place called “in the Spirit,” and locked his eyes on what he saw:
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27
How can you fear the wrath of an earthly king if you can see the King of kings?
There is an interesting story in the Old Testament of a prophet’s servant who became fearful when he saw that they were surrounded by the enemy. His eyes were focused on the natural, not realizing that if you walk with God there is a heavenly host at your side:
And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Kings 6:15-17
There is a place in the Spirit where things are different from what you can see on earth, and you have access to it. All things are complete in that world called “in the Spirit,” and God reveals it to those who take the time to seek His face. John even saw the grand finale of life on earth as we know it when he was “in the Spirit” on the island of Patmos, and recorded it in the book of Revelation. It is all finished “in the Spirit,” and we are watching it unfold in the natural. It will happen exactly as he saw it!
What will God show you in the Spirit? Have you been to that secret place of intimate fellowship with God? Your world is bigger than you thought; you are seated in a place that is higher than your enemy, and Jesus Himself intercedes for you. The struggle that destroys your hope is the Lord’s battle. Step into that place of rest; approach God as Paul also advises us to do:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7