Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Reality Of The Invisible

Just because something is invisible doesn't mean it's not real.  Take your cell phone for example. You can make calls, get on line, and send text messages, yet you cannot see what makes it work - the invisible signals that are all around you. Obviously, these signals are real yet invisible.

Likewise, we cannot see air, therefore, we cannot actually see wind. Yet we see the evidence of the wind - the clouds drifting, the trees moving, and the flags waving. Wind itself, moving air, is invisible, but wind is sure scientifically real.

Not only is there an invisible scientific reality, but there is an invisible spiritual reality as well. And perhaps the invisible spiritual reality is actually the 'real' reality, the permanent reality. Jesus teaches that the physical is only temporary. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Luke 21:33)

The invisible existed before the visible! "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void." (Genesis 1:1-2a NKJV) This verse tells us that God existed before He created the earth - that the spiritual realm existed before the physical realm - and that before He created the earth, it was "void". Void means blank - nothingness - empty space. In other words, God created the earth, as well as all physical matter, out of nothing!  Now that is really incredible.......He didn't create anything physical out of pre-existing matter! He had to first create matter itself - out of nothing! Wow! 

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Hebrews 11:3)  Did you catch that amazing statement? "What is seen was not made out of what was visible."

I'm always amused on how scientists try to explain how matter was created to begin with. Regardless of their theories and assumptions, it's still impossible how something could come into existence from absolutely nothing. It's even more mind-boggling to think how there could even be such a thing as 'absolutely nothing'. But that's where God comes in. He's the one who can do the impossible.

It's only through the eternal, spiritual God that the physical realm came into being - only through His design and command. He existed before the physical realm. But don't think about it too deeply because you will not be able to totally grasp it. Our brains are not capable and you may go into tilt mode! It's heavy duty stuff and too hard for humans to completely comprehend. 

Sometimes man thinks he is so smart that he can explain all this, but as God said to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone?" (Job 38:4-6)  Haha - I love it when God is sarcastic. 

I really think that there are some things we will never be able to understand and figure out. Some things are just meant to remain mysterious. That's where belief and faith come in. This is especially true when it comes to the invisible spiritual realm. That's because faith is precisely that....believing in something invisible. 

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)

God is looking for those with such faith - those who believe without physically seeing. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

What's nice is that although we may not physically see the spiritual realm, we certainly can see the evidence that it exists and that God exists. Such evidence is found in things like answered prayer, or seeing God's providence at work in your life, or simply being in awe of the creation that is all around us.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the physical that we forget about the spiritual. But remember, we are created by God as eternal spiritual beings, and that means we are eternal spiritual beings right now! It's just that we, as spiritual beings, have a temporary physical body. When we die, our spirit-being continues to live. The Apostle Peter, nearing the end of his life, knew that to be true. He referred to his physical body as a temporary 'tent' or covering. 

"I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me." (2 Peter 1:13-14)

Peter knew very well what Jesus taught...the promise of eternal life - life after death - resurrection from the dead through Christ and the hope of heaven in the presence of God along with all those who are in Christ. 

It makes you think - if there is a spiritual reality that exists beyond this physical reality, and if we are eternal spiritual beings temporarily existing in physical bodies, then we better look beyond our physical realm and look at things from a spiritual viewpoint. And we should ask ourselves, who is God? What is His plan? What are His promises? And what are His expectations of us?

The New Testament reveals it all. 

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