Two Worlds of Reality 24April2020

The Two Worlds of Reality

At any given moment, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” (John Piper, DesiringGod.org)

It is true. In reality, the Christian abides in two worlds and is a citizen of two kingdoms at the same time. Navigating both worlds requires discipline and development because spiritual vision is not natural; it is supernatural. You must enlarge your vision to see beyond this world that lies beyond. Unfortunately for most, they are somewhat short-sighted, stumbling through life with limited vision. They only see and make accommodations for the one world that is most real to them. They perceive and relate to the demanding world of physical and visible reality. Therefore, they think in terms of comfort, daily substance, control, convenience, safety and security. When the world around them is disturbed, even interrupted, and they are deprived of those things that they treasure the most, or when they lose control of the portion that affects them, they become fearful, agitated, political, look for people to blame, even demanding. Truth is, they really want to call the police because their treasure was stolen! Imagine the absurdity of calling 911 to report that your peace of mind or comfortable lifestyle has been stolen!

The real problem behind the problem is a matter of sight, or actually the lack thereof. When we only see into one world and our treasure is embedded in that visible world, it is natural to feel violated and victimized when that treasure is taken away. Do you see the real problem? Really, do you see it? When our Treasure is above and beyond this world, we cannot be robbed of the peace and security that the other world temporarily provides. What we yearn for, in this world, actually abides in another world.

There are some, a minority unfortunately, who see the invisible and in so doing are able to feel safe in this world regardless of the whirl of clamoring circumstances around them. Stonewall Jackson saw that world. He once declared, “My religious beliefs teach me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death. I do not concern myself with that, but to be always ready whenever it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and all men would be equally brave.” What is the opposite of brave? Coward? Fear? Faint-hearted? Felt any of those emotions lately? If so, you might want to adjust your vision so you can see the invisible.

Edith Searell, missionary to China and martyred in the Boxer Rebellion, was one of the few. In one of her last letters she responded to an inquiry about her safety, specifically is one place safer that another; “…from the human standpoint all are equally unsafe, from the point of view of those whose lives are hid with Christ in God all are equally safe, ‘a mighty fortress is our God,’ and in Him we are all safe for time and eternity. Shall we murmur if we have less time than we expected?” (Marshall Broomhall, Martyred Missionaries of the China Inland Mission) The Scripture reference to “hid with Christ in God” is Colossians 3:3. Verse 2 says, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” Did you see that? She lived in one world but her affections was centered in another world. She recognized that time has to do with the visible world of “now.” Eternity deals with the invisible world of “forever.” When our focus is fixed on NOW, then we can’t see THEN! That’s a big problem!

John Bunyan grasped both worlds. When Christian and Faithful enter the City of Vanity they were encouraged by the words of Evangelist, “Believe steadfast concerning things that are invisible.” Circumstance soon become volatile and Faithful is attacked and killed. Bunyan pulls back the curtain to the invisible world, “Now I saw, that there stood behind the multitude a Chariot and a couple of horses waiting for Faithful, who (so soon as his enemies had dispatched him) was taken up into it and straightway was carried up into the clouds with the Sound of the Trumpet, the nearest way to the Celestial City.” (John Bunyan, Pilgrims Progress)

The Heroes of Faith recorded in Hebrews 11 saw the invisible world. Men like Abraham “endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (11:27) and because of this truth Jesus declared “Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:58) Yet, Abraham lived hundreds of years before Christ walked on the earth. Read this awesome chapter and you will be awe-struck with the fact that the named and unnamed men and women of courage and faith SAW something that enabled them to endure the dangers and difficulties of the visible world because they saw into the invisible world. We will always be disappointed when we seek the wrong treasure because once gained, that treasure cannot be held. The treasure of which I speak is much more than money; it is peace, safety, comfort, contentment, security.

Elisha saw the invisible, spiritual world of reality all around him but his servant could not see. “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.” (2 Kings 6:17)

Perhaps a prayer is in order: “Lord, open my eyes and help me to SEE the spiritual world that surrounds me and that I have access by virtue of my spiritual birth. Help me to SEE the reality of Your world of truth so that I may treasure You. Help me to SEE one, two, maybe three things out of the 10,000 things that You are doing in my life!”

Remember, Trust Jesus and wash your hands! Ldw 24April2020