The Kingdom of God is an unseen realm.
“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3 NIV
Every born-again child of God is invited to facing reality in this unseen kingdom.
What does facing reality really mean? And I also ask, “whose reality am I facing?”
For over 14 years I worked in community development. My job was to imagine a better future and create a plan for the community to accomplish it. If we cannot imagine or envision a different reality than what darkness shows us then there is not much scope for dreaming or achieving.
In my job with communities I told stories of what they could be because they couldn’t imagine what they had never seen. I found other cities that had been transformed—cities like theirs—and as I shared the ideas, the residents began to have a vision for a different future. A future with hope in it. They could see a new reality.
Every once in awhile people will tell me I need to face reality, by which they mean I must see and be overwhelmed by the darkness as they are. I must become miserable or hopeless or angry because surely any halfway intelligent person can’t look at the world and not fear.
But throughout the Bible we hear God telling His children, His followers, to fear not. To trust and be at peace for He is with them. Every person who met God saw a different reality than the rest of the crowd.
Noah built a boat in a land where some scholars say there had never been rain.
David put a stone in his slingshot imagining, believing in a God who was with him. A God that no one else could see. And truly no one else saw a reality in which David was victorious. But God did.
When people say I must face reality they point to governments, crime, inflation, or some broken local system; some freedom no longer available; some future without hope. I heard someone say that fear is simply imagining a future without God in it. It’s like faith pointed in the wrong direction. Fear is having more belief in the darkness than in the light.
THE RENEWED MIND
“The renewed mind reflects the reality of another world.” I think Bill Johnson said that.
Everything, every single thing, in our ‘real’ world was born from an unseen world. The earth formed, stars created and named, our very breath given by a God we cannot see. By a spiritual Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
There is only One who created everything. Every amazing thing from atoms to the Milky Way – from fish that glow in the dark to our complex human bodies. Every system in creation was designed, given, and is upheld by the God we seek. By the God who loves us.
Out of this unseen realm comes a reality stronger than death. A love that cannot die. Cannot be silenced. Beauty that never ends…every book I will ever write, every vision I will ever see, every plan I will ever need comes from an unseen realm.
This reality with things I can see and touch, things with mass and form is the fragile one. The unseen reality of my Heavenly Father, of my God, is the substantial one. The one that cannot be destroyed. Its elements are eternal. The space-time continuum does not exist in His reality. Only in ours. He made it for us-for our world, a place with scientific restraints where we could begin to know Him. To have relationship with Him. Exploring the boundaries of who He is and who we are and what He’s given us in creation: naming animals, discovering hundreds of ways to employ a peanut – ways God knew when He created the little legume. Hundreds of ways that are designed into every realm of life. Ways He has always wanted to share with us.
THE CALL OF LIFE
My biggest challenge is in thinking I can manage this life and its reality without Him or that I’m on my own and supposed to do it all myself. Not understanding that His heart’s intention was always to unfold it all with me. To share the mysteries of His reality with His children. To let us stand on the mountains and hear how He flung the stars into space. To wander the desert with Him and see springs come alive under our feet. To experience real life. The true life in our Father, our God, that never ends.
His reality always produces life. Everything it touches rises up in answer to the call of life. A life so big, so thick it pulls us into eternity when we choose it. When we choose Jesus we encounter a reality that is full of life and light and beauty. A reality not dependent upon how I am treated, what people say, or what the circumstances around me are doing. The anchor of my reality is held fast in an unseen world.
And yet we look at one another and say, “Be real, darkness is winning.”
I’m not willing to face that reality. I don’t believe in it.
In fact, I choose to not be part of the darkness – to not spread the darkness. I choose to be a seeker of light. God is in everything in creation. Every single creature, every single one of us. We cannot keep Him out or stop Him. He can be found. He wants to be found by us.
In God’s reality you and I are alive and free. We have each become all He dreamed we would. In this reality, where He calls us, woos us with His faithfulness, we bow to our Warrior-King-Savior who fights for us, not the dark thief who only enslaves us with lies. When we face God’s reality, we hardly even see the liar because the light of Jesus is so bright.
Only God knows what is real. Reality is not what we observe or experience or believe to be true based on the only facts we can see. Reality is what God knows to be true. Reality is something I will never see if I don’t ask God to show me what it looks like to Him.
We, God’s children, God’s artists, writers, and poets are the storytellers of His reality. Painting, writing, dreaming, sharing the the glory and hope of the unseen realm with those whose hearts are longing for a place, a future….a God who loves. It is an adventure to face God’s reality. A joyous exploration of real life.
Heavenly Father, what do you want us to know about being connected to your Heavenly realm? to your reality? Where, how, and to whom should we go and share Your future and hope and reality for them?
TEACHING: LIVING IN HEAVEN NOW Bill Johnson
WORSHIP: HOLY FOREVER Jenn Johnson