Today I am writing from a place of pain and disappointment. Not a place I want to be. I would much rather be in a place of joy and victory. Nevertheless, I can always find my faith at work, because God is always working even when I don’t see or feel it.
Where is my pain? My pain is physical. I have had sciatic nerve pain for about a week now. Where is my disappointment? My disappointment is in circumstances. Our offer for the property was rejected.
As I sit here thinking about my life and what I want to understand better, I have decided to take a look at what influences me. Let’s figure this out.
1. The Physical/Natural Realm
The scripture that comes to mind for this is:
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:45b (NLT)
We live in a world where we are influenced by rainy days and sunny days. There is both beauty and destruction in the natural realm. We cannot control the path of a hurricane or the tides of the ocean.
Another scripture that comes to mind is:
For the natural realm can only give birth to the things that are natural. John 3:6a (TPT)
There are physical factors about me that are beyond my control. My eyes are brown, my skin is light, and I am 5’5”. My physical body is also affected by time and gravity. Yes?
2. The Realm of Choices
When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they invited into our world the opportunity for both good and bad consequences for our actions. Before that there was only good. Often times the choices we make not only affect us personally, but they affect those around us. For instance, someone decides to drive after drinking and they crash into another vehicle. Their choice just changed or ended someone else’s life. Did God or the devil cause this accident? No. It was someone’s choice to drive. Their free-will.
These are two scriptures that came to mind for this:
Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! Deuteronomy 11:26 (NLT)
Do not be deceived…for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7
As I sit in my chair every day and eat dessert every night, I have reaped the consequences of being overweight. Did the devil make me do it? No. It was all me.
Speaking of the devil…
3. The Realm of the Fallen Spirits
People are sometimes confused or ignorant of this realm. They either contribute things to the actions of the devil that don’t belong, or they don’t believe the realm exists. There is a common misunderstanding that every bad thing that happens to us is because we are under attack by the enemy. That may indeed be true at times, but as you see there are other influences that bring about negative consequences.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but…against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
We are called to stand firm in our faith and resist this kind of influence.
Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith… 1 Peter 5:8-9a (ESV))
If you are attributing every bad thing to this realm, you may be shirking your responsibility in the matter. Still, we are to remain diligent.
Last and best:
4. The Realm of the Holy Spirit
This is the Kingdom of God and encompasses God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our connection.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my (Jesus) representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit is our Advocate, also translated Comforter. He teaches us, and reminds us of what the truth is in every situation. He also empowers us.
…I (Jesus) will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven. Luke 24:49 (NLT)
While we occupy this planet, we are connected with God and joined together as one, by the power of God residing in us, through the Holy Spirit. His influence comes through faith in what Jesus accomplished on our behalf. We only need to ask.
All this does not negate that God is Sovereign over all things. These four realms are connected to the experience of this life. How we think. How we act. How we make choices. Knowing what influence we are under helps us make decisions on how to act.
When I find myself walking in the realm of the physical/natural world in my pain, I can invite the Holy Spirit to bring me back to his realm. With him I can find comfort. I could just as easily travel to the realm of choices and take a pill for my pain or travel into the depths of allowing the enemy to fill me with negative thoughts as the accuser and father of lies. Free-will gives us choices. What we do with those choices contributes to a full range of consequences. For ourselves and those around us.
Whew! I think I gave myself a headache trying to sort through all this. Lol. I hope you’ve gained at least a little bit of insight from my musings. May God bless your day.