Seeing Beyond the Physical Realm


Today and in our daily meditations over the next few weeks, we begin to look at the topic of spiritual warfare. From our early education, we are taught only to believe in that which is physical—that there is no spiritual world, but this is a deception by our spiritual enemy, Satan. Just because we cannot see this spiritual world, doesn’t mean it is not there. Let me illustrate:


When I was young, I worked on the east coast of England with my father on his commercial fishing boat. We trawled the bottom of the seabed catching Dover soles, cod, plaice, and flounders, as well as anything else that got in our trawl nets. We couldn't see what we were catching until the net came to the surface. Unfortunately, because we were fishing on the seabed where two world wars were fought, our nets would come up occasionally with unexploded mines laid by the Germans, as well as bombs, airplane wings with massive cannons inside, and sunken ships that would tear up our nets. Some things in life can be unseen but deadly. Just because you may be unaware of something dangerous, it doesn't mean it cannot affect you. Electricity in a light plug is unseen, but stick your fingers in a live socket, and you will soon realize that there are powerful things that are unseen and dangerous. Natural gas is odorless and invisible, and if there is a lot of it in your house, it can utterly destroy your home. The gas companies add a horrible smell to it so that, when there's a leak, we'll smell it.


Throughout the Bible, we see that there is more to this world than that seen with the naked eye. There is a spiritual realm that is just as real as the world in which we live. This physical world is only temporary and passing, a shadow of things to come, and some things happen that are spiritual and unseen, but yet have consequences in the physical realm.


In the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, there is a story of a king reigning in Aram who was angry because his actions and intentions were somehow being made known to the armies of Israel. He could not understand how Israel knew everything he was doing and anything he plotted (2 Kings 6:8-10). He thought that he had a spy among his leaders. His problem was that Israel had a man of God, Elisha, who lived his life in such a way that he was able, by the Spirit of God, to know the very words that the King of Aram spoke in secret to his generals (2 Kings 6:11-12). Elisha was acutely aware of the unseen realms and had an intimate and powerful prayer life, which gave him this unique insight. When the King of Aram found out about Elisha's gift, he was so enraged that he sent his army to the town where Elisha lived, hoping to kill or capture him.


14Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15Whenthe servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. 16"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them" 17And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked (2 Kings 6:14-18 emphasis mine).


When Elisha's servant looked at the size of the army of Aram surrounding the city, he began to lose heart. Things looked hopeless when seen only from an earthly perspective. However, all was not as it seemed. There were spiritual forces of God around Elisha and Gehazi, his servant, which the young novice to the things of God was unaware. Elisha prayed for his servant's eyes to be opened to the unseen spiritual realm around them. All of a sudden, at the prayer of Elisha, he saw beyond this physical world to the reality of the spiritual forces of God previously hidden from him, and he saw angelic beings of God much more powerful than the army of Aram. He saw the troops of heaven protecting and surrounding the prophet of God, available to serve him in whatever way the prophet prayed. The enemies of Israel were defeated with one display of God's power at the prayer of Elisha. My prayer for you today is that your eyes may be opened to the reality of the unseen spiritual world and that over the next few days, we might explore what the Bible says about the spiritual realm. Keith Thomas.


This is shortened from an in-depth study found at the following link: The Unseen Realm