Thursday, September 20 , 2018, 12:41 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: How to Understand That Which We Cannot See

One of the stalwart members of our local Christian Business Men’s Connection team I’ve truly come to appreciate in recent years is Bob Burnham.

Bob retired from the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District a few years back, and he’s now able to get more involved in our team activities. Being blind doesn’t slow him down at all. He certainly loves the Lord, and he’s quick to carry on meaningful conversations with everyone he meets on his daily MTD bus trips as he travels around town.

He remains involved with several other local organizations in his spare time. He and his wife, Patty, even lead contemporary worship at a local church every Sunday morning. They live fruitful lives and inspire many they meet in their life encounters.

Yet, Bob has the same dilemma we all do. Let’s discuss that which we cannot see. There is a spiritual dimension that the Bible presents that most of us seldom consider in our daily business and personal affairs.

Our apparent destiny is to be spiritually blind from birth to death. In Psalm 82, a psalm of Asaph, we’re told in verse 5, “They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of earth are shaken.”

We are ignorant of the spiritual realm, and I imagine some of you may even snicker at any discussion on the topic.

Let me share a personal story from my early days in college. As a freshman, I was required to take a literature class that I nearly failed. The elderly professor was obviously passionate about literature and poetry, but I considered the class to be quite boring as an aspiring engineering student.

Word around campus expressed this professor would always convey what would be on his frequent tests with a gesture that went like this. He would first stand up, lift his leg on his chair and always say “Do you see?” Well, I didn’t see nor did I agree with his dissertation on much of the poems and prose covered in the class curriculum. I could not see what he saw!

So, how can we see that which cannot be seen? We really cannot, but we can have an inkling of angelic existence through reading God’s Word and witnessing their subtle, miraculous involvement in our lives and the lives of those around us. Frankly, I don’t believe in guardian angels and I know from scripture that we are not to worship these beings.

There are many instances of angelic encounters described in the Bible. In the gospels, we find angels ministering to Jesus in the desert. They are present at His birth, His death, His resurrection and His ascension.

Frequently we read of angels being used as messengers of God. We also read of angels caught in spiritual battles with their own kind, fallen angels whom we refer to as demons, followers of the Deceiver.

Angels were created by God to serve Him and to do His will in the spiritual realm. They were created to minister to our needs as servants of our Lord. Our Heavenly Father designed them for His purpose before the creation of the universe, with special powers and abilities that make the fictitious super heroes of Marvel Entertainment look like wimps.

There’s a spiritual battle that goes on around us, and God’s angelic army — ten thousands upon ten thousands — is there to protect us in a different dimension as we do His will here on earth. This spiritual battle takes place around us even though we cannot sense its existence.

We would be wise to realize that there truly is a spiritual realm, and there are spiritual battles continually being fought for the souls of the lost. As believers, we need not worry about our own souls, but we need to diligently pray for those God places in our path since their eternal future is at stake.

Satan wants to do everything he possibly can to take as many hostages with him as he possibly can. His tactics are to distract us from what is right and pure and tempt us with the things of this world and believe he does not even exist.

So, I plead with you to realize there truly is good and evil in this world and that things are not always as they appear. Even though we cannot see what is going on in the spiritual realm, we still need to pray for those who are unconvinced of God’s Reality and trust in the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength. The victory is certainly at hand!

Passages to Ponder

» Job 37:1-7

» 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

» John 12:39-43

» Hebrews 1:14

» Revelation 19:10

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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