Posts

Seeing In The Spirit Realm

Seeing In The Spirit Realm

With today’s world fascinated with the themes of Harry Potter, the demonic, the spirit-world, and imaginary heroes, the Church is being challenged in the very area that should be their strongest domain: the unseen world.

As Christians, we are promised in scripture an authority in the ‘spirit-world’ that is indisputable and limited only to the degree that we are under the authority of the risen Christ. And yet, incredibly, the vast bulk of Christians have abdicated that authority and choose to stand back and bemoan the darkness that is allowed to rule in that vacuum.

And then there is the issue of ‘quality of life’ which, for the true disciple of Jesus, is not about physical condition but about spiritual, mental, and emotional freedom that empowers us to represent Christ to this world. This, too, is an issue decided in the spirit realm.

Pause and ask yourself this question: “What would it look like to live in such a way that the physical, the tangible, and the things which are seen are no longer restrictions to experiencing the power of Father’s presence and experiencing the authority of His person?”

I believe that this is governed by what we see. Jesus only carried indescribable authority because of what He SAW His Father do. His miracles were because of what He SAW! So, what does it really mean to see in the spirit realm? Can you and I actually SEE what our Father is doing and then carry it out with boldness in this world of the tangible?

It all starts with understanding WHO God is and WHAT the nature of His world really looks like.

God Is Spirit

John 4:24 tells us that “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The word for ‘Spirit’ here is the Greek word ‘pneuma’ which means ‘a breath of air’, ‘that which is not tangible.’ What does that mean?

If you were to breathe out right now in a warm environment, what would you see? Nothing! Of course not. Even though our breath is real, it is not often tangible. But when the environment changes, such as on a cold frosty morning, we see a mist as we breathe out. The moisture in our breath (which was previously unnoticed) has been made discernible. The environment causes the unseen to become seen, the invisible to become visible.

In the same way, Father’s intention is that we would be so intimately close to His heart in the realm of the spirit, that we see Him with the inner eye of revelation and insight. Not to necessarily see in physical form with our human eyes (He is Spirit) but that the tangible manifestation of His presence, in our inner eye, would become a spiritual reality. For example, Isaiah “saw” the Lord on the throne, as a King high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1). He saw the intangible as if it were tangible because, in that moment, that was the element of God’s nature that God wanted Isaiah to get a renewed revelation about.

It is also true that at times God will choose to allow humanity to see a tangible demonstration in their physical world of that world that is His reality. The spirit world, which is the world of God’s reality, has no tangible form. But it can manifest in a human form or tangible substance in order to communicate God’s intention.

There are many examples in scripture of the presence of God becoming tangible:

  • For Moses and the Israelites, God’s presence appeared as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:21)
  • Angels, who have no tangible form in the spirit world, appeared to Abraham, Gideon, Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and others.
  • At the baptism of Jesus, Holy Spirit, the breath of God, omnipresent, appeared “in bodily form as a dove” a highly intentional representation of God’s communication. (Luke 3:22)

The Invisible Becoming Visible

In order to achieve God’s intention, the invisible can become visible. This is so that the human heart is able to receive the communication intended from the Father’s heart. There is always a highly intentional message as the purpose of the tangible manifestation of God’s presence. It is never to entertain or give His people ‘goose-bumps’!

On the day of Pentecost, Holy Spirit appeared over each person’s head as “a tongue of fire” before filling them with His supernatural power (Acts 2:1-3). The original text makes it clear that they were shaped as actual tongues but that the substance they appeared to be made of was fire. Holy Spirit positioned Himself upon the disciples’ heads in such a manner because they would then associate that automatically with being anointed. (They were most aware that the anointing oil or the anointing hands of the prophet was always laid upon the head.)

The fact that He manifested as fire was to remind them of the time that He manifested to Moses and Israel as a pillar of fire. The fire was a declaration of His presence and His power. The tongue was an explanation to them, that the supernatural phenomena they were about to experience of speaking in the languages of other nations, was the result of His anointing them with His power to do so.

Jesus was transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-3). Then Moses and Elijah materialised. These two no longer had physical bodies, and were now part of an unseen world, yet for the purpose of God’s intention, they manifested in human form! And they appeared in such a way that the disciples, who hadn’t a clue what they would have originally looked like, instantly recognised them.

Awesome! But there is always a Kingdom purpose. His manifestations are not for entertainment.

The purpose of this was so the disciples could see that Jesus was building His new Kingdom on the foundation of the law and the prophets. The Old Testament and New Testament were in perfect harmony. He was building the future with a redemption that did not disannul His Old Testament Covenant but, rather, fulfilled it.

In 2 Kings 6:8-17, we read that Elisha has been a trouble to the King of Syria, and a great army of horses and chariots and men has been sent against the city of Dothan where Elisha is. Elisha’s servant only sees the human situation and is intimidated by the suggestion of overwhelming odds. Yet Elisha says, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha cried out for the servant’s eyes to be opened. And when this prayer was answered, the servant saw what Elisha already saw – a spiritual army of horses and chariots, surrounding Elisha. What Elisha saw in the spiritual was the source of his courage and boldness, his peace and certainty, in the midst of seeming disaster.

The Kingdom Purpose 

Father desires that each of us would see with greater clarity into the spirit realm in moments when He wishes to reveal His purpose to us. That we would see a spiritual reality, a spirit world, coexistent with the reality of our natural sight, but dependent on the illumination of the Holy Spirit to become apparent.

As Father purposes to initiate on the Earth, He first accomplishes that task in the spirit-world, knowing that is the realm in which it must be first established prior to physical manifestation and outworking on the Earth. He then chooses an adopted son or daughter to “see” Him achieving that purpose (by way of Holy Spirit revelation to their hearts) so that they can achieve it in this tangible world in obedience to that which He has shown them. He doesn’t want us think of this as ‘spooky’, but rather completely normal for one that has truly been born of His Spirit and, therefore, invited to see through His eyes.

Our boldness and faith in the face of challenges doesn’t come from our disposition; it comes from what we are seeing in the spirit realm. We need eyes to see what already exists in the realm of the spirit but is invisible to the natural eye. How that is revealed to us will be, most often, unique and different from someone else’s experience. Father, knowing our uniqueness, wants to show us that world in a manner that will communicate meaningfully to us, as an individual, in our humanity.

As our love for our Father intensifies and our surrender becomes unconditional, we will find such Divine encounters more and more becoming our reality. As we do, our confidence and authority and the miracles that flow from that authority, will increasingly represent Jesus to this desperately needy world.

It starts with a fervent cry, “Open our eyes, Lord, so that we may see what YOU see!”

Restoring The Flow

The Lord wants to bring a word of comfort and restoration today. He is restoring the flow of the oil of the Spirit.

Psalms 34:18 (NIV) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

It seems almost daily that I am hearing about more people going through challenges in every possible area. Whether or not difficulties are increasing, I’m not sure – but the past few years have certainly been extremely tough for many.

Let’s get real. There are times as believers when we feel on fire, full of passion and life, and energised about God’s kingdom and His purposes. Then there are other seasons when we feel dry, discouraged or hurting. That abundant life can seem unattainable, and our joy can get squashed.

The wonderful news is that the same mighty God who rules with great power and justice also tenderly gathers up His family when they need care. I was recently drawn to this scripture in Isaiah:

Isaiah 42:3a (NIV) A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.

This scripture gives us an image of a smouldering wick – an oil lamp in which only an ember or slight glow remains. The verse speaks of one whose zeal might be waning, yet it highlights the tenderness of Jesus, the Good Shepherd caring for His flock. Jesus does not cast aside those who are bruised or struggling. Our Father speaks to us as His loved children, those he cares for deeply.

The Lord gives us insight into His intention in the spiritual realm through what we can understand in the natural or physical realm. If we look at a candle, we tend to see the wick as the part that is burning. But in fact, it is the candle wax that provides the fuel. This is the same principle as an oil lamp. The wick is soaked in the oil, and as the oil draws up the wick, the oil burns at the end of the wick.

In an oil lamp, the wick can burn out too fast – because the wick itself is being used as fuel, rather than the oil. And if a wick is too long or too short, the flame will smoulder or go out. A poorly trimmed wick will result in a flame which is dim or smoky. A wick must be close to the oil and well soaked in order to burn. And of course, an oil lamp needs to regularly have the oil topped up.

The Lord is gently leading you today to lighten the load and to remain close to the source. God doesn’t need us trying to add more fuel in the natural. We don’t need to strive or do things by natural efforts – we need the Spirit of God to pour out fresh oil. Father wants to lead us to rivers of living water, that we would receive life for ourselves, and that we would overflow with that living water to others. He is restoring the flow.

Revelation 7:17 (NIV) For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

John 7:38 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

If you are feeling bruised or broken, the Lord’s desire is to refresh you and strengthen you. For those of you who feel like your spiritual passion has been waning or your flame is smouldering, the Lord’s desire is to breathe new life into you. He has the power to restore the flow of oil and to rekindle your flame.

The Spirit of God is hovering over you, and His desire is to comfort you. The Lord is present to restore hope for your disappointments and hurts. The Father is here to remove guilt – for those who have been far away, as well as those who have been soaking in the oil yet wondering why you don’t feel connected to the Lord. The Spirit is present to breathe life and fresh oil into your reservoir.

When that wick is smouldering, there are two ways that ember can come back to flame. Firstly, some gentle blowing can bring that ember back to life. Take time to allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to refresh you and minister to you today. His breath gives life. Secondly, another source of flame can also help spark and nurture the fire. God created us for relationship, and there is a beautiful strengthening that occurs when another believer comes alongside us to encourage us, pray with us, and comfort us.

If you are feeling thirsty or dry, then the Lord has fresh rivers of living water for you. If you are feeling like you have been trying to constantly add more fuel, then Father invites you to soak in His presence and receive some fresh oil. And if you need someone to stand with you, then reach out for prayer and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to restore the flow.

 


MORE BLOG POSTS

Abba Father

Abba Father

The word ‘father’ brings to mind different meanings and memories for each person. For some, a father evokes positive or happy thoughts. For others, the memories of a father may be difficult—for any number of reasons. But what is our perception of God the Father?

I believe that it is God’s desire that everyone receive a personal revelation of God, not only as our awesome God (and He is) but as our warm, loving, caring Father!  A Father that wants us to talk with Him daily. A Father that desires us to live a life of intimacy and deep affection with Him; a life that will embolden us to become men and women of significance in our world.  The scripture describes our loving Father in this way:

Romans 8:15 (NKJV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption and by Him (the Spirit) we cry Abba Father!

This phrase ‘Abba Father’ is a term of endearment or affection. The Passion Translation of this scripture describes God as our ‘Beloved Father’.

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul writes that when we become believers, we move from slavery to sonship. The word ‘sons’ used throughout this chapter is not a reference to an exclusively male invitation, but a reference to the nature of the relationship that God offers: that of full, total adoption. This spiritual adoption is available for each person, both male and female.

Galatians 4:6-7 (NIV) Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

God is indicating the type of the relationship that He intends us to have with Him by talking about the tradition of the day. It was the custom of full adoption, in which an adopted person took on all the rights, privileges and authority of his new ‘father’ as his rightful heir. It was an awesome moment in a person’s life when whatever limitations previously part of their life were replaced by their whole new identity of power and authority granted to them by their father. With that full adoption moment came an amazing new life with freedom and potential never dreamed of previously.

When we have a personal revelation of true fatherhood, we have the security of knowing that:

  • We are totally loved
  • We are unconditionally accepted—and never have to strive for that acceptance again
  • We are a recipient of the Father’s provision
  • The authority of the Father now fully rests on us as His heir
  • Father is guiding the steps of our lives
  • Father is always and only motivated for our good
  • Father is the all-powerful Creator of Heaven and Earth—and He is greater than all of life’s opposition.

Friends, the marks of one living with a revelation of having God as our personal, intimate, affectionate Father is SECURITY! An impregnable, unshakeable security. We can go through life totally assured of His love and acceptance. 1 John 4:18 declares, “Perfect love casts out all fear!” The revelation of God as my affectionate, protecting Father conquers all fear. My intimacy with the Father is what empowers me.

When we are secure, we don’t compare ourselves with others or become intimidated by others. A revelation of Abba Father dares us to dream impossible dreams because our God is not restricted to our humanity. We become capable of bold initiatives because our driving force is to please Him and bring Him honour. It is never too late to experience a new and intimate relationship with Father.

Spiritual sonship is God’s intention for all of us! Father gives an invitation to enter in to such a relationship. He now offers you a life of far greater intimacy and potential than you have previously known or dreamed of. Ask Him today for a revelation of His heart and get to know Him as your personal, affectionate Abba Father.