Reaching into the realm of the Spirit
Many centuries ago, the writer to the Hebrews stated: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).
Think about that: “The things that are seen were not made of things which are seen.” Therefore, if the things that are seen were not made of things which are seen, what were they made of? Things which are unseen! The writer to the Hebrews is introducing his readers to the fundamental truth that everything originates in the realm of the Spirit.
If, for example, you were to place your hand under a powerful microscope, you would see that physical matter consisted of molecules; and as you looked deeper, you would see atoms, and then electrons, and then subatomic particles, and then sub-subatomic particles. Even more remarkably, you would see that there is light and space between each particle.
In other words, what you perceive from a distance to be a solid mass is actually a rhythmic dance of minute particles synchronised by an invisible energy field. Were you to put these tiny quantum subatomic particles into a particle accelerator and cause them to collide, trying to pinpoint the source of life, you would discover that there’s no particle at the source. Particles do not create more particles. The source is pure, unbounded energy vibrating so fast that it defies measurement and observation.
Quantum scientists tell us that if we could return to the foundations of the universe, before time and space, the heavens and the earth, or life as we know it, we would find a field of pure energy. We understand from a Biblical perspective that energy is life, and life is Spirit, and Spirit is God at work.
The Hebrew word ‘ruah’ is used 387 times in the Old Testament and is variously translated as wind, breath or spirit. It denotes the essential life-force that permeates creation and especially humankind. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63). God himself is referred to as ‘Spirit’ (John 4:24), and the ‘Father of spirits’ (Heb. 12:9) – that is, the Source of the life-force that pervades the universe.
Thus, statements such as ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Gen. 1:1) and ‘God is light’ (1 John 1:5) take on cosmic proportions. This in no way diminishes God’s personal presence or denies his divine nature; rather, it highlights the spiritual dynamic that forms the basis of physical matter. It’s another way of saying, “The things that are seen (matter) are made of or have their origins in things which are invisible (spirit).”
In the beginning Spirit existed before matter; in fact, Spirit always exists before matter or a physical manifestation of any kind. God revealed himself to Abraham as Yahweh Yireh, the One who looks ahead and makes provision before the need arises in the physical realm (Gen. 22:14). There is a spiritual solution to every problem, or, to put it another way, every solution originates in the spiritual realm. That is, in essence, what Paul was saying to the Philippian church: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). What is seen (the provision) comes from the realm of the unseen (Spirit).
Standing on the hill of the Lord
People have a tendency to look for answers in the same realm where the need exists. Let me say that again. People have a tendency to look for answers in the same realm where the need exists. And guess what: it doesn’t work! Where does money come from? The Spirit! Where does healing come from? The Spirit! Where does employment come from? The Spirit! Where does a husband or wife come from? The Spirit!
That’s why Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and the things you need will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). There is a realm beyond the body, a realm beyond matter, a realm beyond this time/space world — a river of life that originates at the very throne of God (Rev. 22). And if we will go to the Source, if we will plug into the realm of the Spirit, we will find the healing we need, the answer we seek, and the miracle we desire.
Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. (Exodus 17:8-13)
This story demonstrates the fact that the things that are seen come out of the realm of the unseen; victory on earth comes from our Father who is in heaven.
On the surface Moses’ actions appear rather incongruous. How could standing on the top of a hill and holding up a stick affect the outcome of a battle several kilometres away? The Bible talks about lifting our hands to God in prayer and worship. No doubt, as Moses lifted up the rod (the symbol of God’s authority in his life), he was engaging in fervent intercession on behalf of the people of Israel.
In some mysterious way, Moses’ worship and intercession on the top of the hill influenced the course of the battle in the valley below. In effect, Moses was reaching into the realm of the Spirit and touching the throne of God, the source of all healing and deliverance. And note this: Moses’ reaching into the realm of the Spirit produced physical outcomes on earth. It influenced the course of a battle and changed the destiny of a nation!
For this reason, Jesus said to his disciples, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:19). If you want to change the circumstances of your life or someone else’s life, what is the most powerful thing you can do? Stand on the hill of the Lord and pray! Reach into the realm of the Spirit by faith, because when you reach into the realm of the Spirit you are connecting with the Source of all power, the place where everything begins! It will have a far greater effect than rolling up one’s sleeves, jumping into the midst of the battle, throwing a few punches, and trying to make something happen.
Putting one’s intention into the realm of the Spirit
We often think that prayer is a case of “O God, please do this … please do that … please do something else, Amen.” Such prayer can be quite laborious and ritualistic. Yet Paul exhorts us to “pray at all times with all kinds of prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18). In my opinion, Paul is referring to the constant projection of one’s faith and desire into the invisible world — something that I like to call ‘putting one’s intention into the realm of the Spirit’.
Let me give you an example: I’ve never really cared much about cars; as long as a vehicle gets me safely from A to B, that’s what matters as far as I’m concerned. However, when I was a teenager, I had one desire and that was to own a car with mag-wheels. (If you weren’t alive in the 60’s and 70’s, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about!) I couldn’t afford it at the time, so I resigned myself to dreaming about what would never be. But I held the desire in my heart, and without realising it, I was projecting that intention into the realm of the Spirit.
It’s important to note that never once did I get down on my knees and ask God for a car with mag-wheels. If the truth be told, I thought that God wouldn’t listen to that kind of prayer.
Anyway, fast-forward several years, and Heather and I needed to buy a new car to accommodate our growing family. We decided to buy a Ford station-wagon and I went down to the dealership to collect the car. The salesman said to me, “Wait here while I bring your car around.” The next thing I knew, this bright, shiny, burgundy car was parked in front of me with (you guessed it), mag-wheels! I couldn’t believe it! I was more excited about the wheels than anything else in the car. In fact, they could have kept the car and just given me the wheels and I would have been happy!
Isn’t that amazing? I always wanted a car with mag-wheels, and without asking for it, I received it. But now I understand that all those years I was, in fact, asking for a car with mag-wheels. Because the desire that is in one’s heart is an intention that one puts into the realm of the Spirit. It’s like Moses, standing on the top of the hill with the rod in his hand, reaching into the realm of the Spirit, presenting a petition before the throne of God. Eventually it comes to pass, because what we put into the realm of the Spirit determines our destiny on earth.
If, like Job, we keep putting fear into the realm of the Spirit, that is what will come upon us (Job 3:25). But if we keep putting into the Spirit the dreams and desires that God has given us, that is what we will experience, though it may take years to be manifested. And in that sense, we create our own destiny or life experience through the desires and intentions that we put into the realm of the Spirit, day after day.
Let me give you another example: when I was single I used to go into the Melbourne CBD once a week and have lunch with my sister. One of the places I loved to visit was the Victorian Arts Centre on St Kilda Road. I loved the atmosphere, the theatres, the lush carpet, the costume displays etc. I would just walk around and soak it in, and I remember thinking to myself, “I’d love to work here.” But never once did I fall to my knees and pray, “Dear God, let me work at the Arts Centre.” It was just a thought or an intention that I held in my heart and that I unconsciously projected into the Spirit realm.
Fast-forward about twenty years, and we had just returned to live in Melbourne after a rather arduous time of ministry in New South Wales. I was burnt out, disillusioned, and generally fed-up with the politics of church life. I looked in the newspaper, and strangely enough, BHP wasn’t advertising for preachers. So I decided to reinvent myself, and I applied for a position with a company that specialised in corporate security. The manager was ex-army, a veteran of the first Gulf War, who had a particular disdain for religious fanatics who, in his estimation, were weak, fearful and unreliable. He scrutinised my resume which read, “Preacher, preacher, preacher.” I saw the gleam of battle in his eye as he no doubt thought, “I’m going to have fun with this one.” Ironically, he turned out to be a great friend and mentor, but that’s another story.
Unbeknown to me, this company held the security contract for, you guessed it, the Victorian Arts Centre on St Kilda Road. And within a matter of months I found myself deployed at the very site at which I had dreamed of working some twenty years earlier. Was it a coincidence … random chance … or the manifestation of an intention that had been projected into the realm of the Spirit?
My message to you is this: if you will take the desires of your heart, the dreams of your soul, and hold them as an intention before God, they will surely come to pass. Whether it is the desire to get married and have children, or the dream of a new career, or a calling to Christian ministry, or the salvation of a loved one, understand this: you have within your hands the power of creation and manifestation.
You don’t have to get down on your knees, flail your arms around, hit your head against the wall, and wail “O God, please, O God, please.” Like Moses, just stand on the top of the hill and hold the rod of God in your hand. Keep holding that dream or desire as an intention before the throne of God. Though it tarries, wait for it. Don’t give up, for as truly as God lives, his glory will be revealed in your life on earth!