As I approached High School Graduation in 19… (not important), I can remember being told, “…well, you’re going into the Real World now.” Except, I guess I didn’t. I say this because 5-years later when I was preparing to graduate from college, I was again told I was about to enter the Real World. And, again, I evidently escaped. I entered the Air Force where I spent the next 14 years. And yet again, as I prepared to migrate to civilian status, …yup, you guessed it. I was wished, “…good luck in the Real World.”
After giving it some thought, I think all those people who talked about “the Real World” weren’t talking about the real “Real World”. (Let me explain. Fair warning: this is going to get a bit complicated. But, if you hang with me, I think it could change the way you view your life and your surroundings …forever).
As a Christian, I believe that God lives in the Real World and created a Real World for man (mankind). But, the real world God created for man became the “fallen” or “broken” world (which we live in today). This happened when Adam and Eve exercised their free will, listened to Satan and ate the fruit God had specifically told them not to eat – thus ushering sin [evil] into God’s perfect creation.
I believe that there are two time and space dimensions – only one of which I can physically “see”– and, that’s the one I physically live in.
I believe the second dimension is spiritual and invisible (to us), BUT JUST AS REAL. And, as you read this, the spiritual dimension is torn by a war between God’s Kingdom of truth and light, and Satan’s domain of evil and deceit. Angels and demons are locked in combat right now; and to our great misfortune, the war is taking place right here on planet earth – unseen by us living in the dimension we call “life on Earth”. Further, this war is being fought over you and me. To God and His Angels, we are precious beyond measure. To Satan and his demons we are nothing more than pawns, and a way to attack God.
But, and this is critical, somehow I also live in this other dimension – in God’s Kingdom. I became a part of God’s Kingdom when I accepted Jesus as the Son of God, my personal Savior, and turned my life over to Him. (OK. That part about ‘turning my life over to Him’ is a work in progress, and very hard to do at times. But, I am working at it, and I get a lot of help from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.)
I’m going to guess that some, maybe many, who are reading this are now rolling their eyes and saying, “Hoo boy. He’s lost me. Sounds kinda’ spooky (or fanatical, or ultra religious, or just plain crazy).” I assure you, I’m none of those things; so please, stay with me just a bit longer.
I am talking about “faith”. And, I’m betting you believe in faith. Don’t scoff! A Biblical definition, believe it or not, reads, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT) So, if you believe life happened purely by chance, and that mankind descended from amphibians and through apes by the process of evolution, you are exhibiting “faith”. After all, the Theory of Evolution is not yet proven. But, you have faith that one day it will be (proven) beyond a doubt – and thus, become a scientific law. Others have faith that life will be discovered on other planets. And, basically, anyone (which is really everyone) who subscribes to any unproven theory is operating from a position of faith. So please, open your mind and read on. There’s not that much more.
I have fact based faith that God is real. That God created the Universe (and Planet Earth). I have fact based faith that God created life on Earth and populated the Earth with people. I believe the Bible was authored by God to serve as the Basic Instruction Book for Living on Earth. And because I believe that, I believe in the warfare that is occurring in the Spiritual Dimension. And, much, much, more.
Now comes, what may be, another difficult part. Believing this, is not enough. I also have to act on my beliefs. The Bible tells me how. In Matthew, chapter 6 Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. (I figure this model prayer must be pretty important. I’m pretty certain I need to understand it , and “take it to heart.”) In verse 10 Jesus is speaking . He prays, “…May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in Heaven.” Now, I ask, who is responsible for that? Well, only God can usher in His Kingdom on Earth; and, that will happen when God is ready. But, in the meantime, the second part about “…May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in Heaven” – what about that? Remember Jesus said this …but, He was teaching the disciples (and us, by extension) how to pray. And, until God does usher in His Kingdom on Earth, Jesus isn’t on earth. So, the way I see it, Jesus is telling us that when we pray, “…May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in Heaven” – it’s on us to make it happen!
In our broken-state one could argue whether or not we can fix anything. And, fixing it to God’s standard is an entirely different proposition. But, (and this is a BIG “but”) when we become Christians, we are no longer the broken people we once were. We become sons and daughters of the King – and citizens of Heaven; and we have the Holy Spirit living in us to help us and teach us God’s Truth. Jesus is telling us to spread pieces of God’s Kingdom every time and every where we have the opportunity! One hint: I’ve found it helpful to evaluate situations by asking, “Is this part of God’s Kingdom (the Real World), or is this part of the temporary fallen world? Will this course of action spread God’s Kingdom or will it reinforce Satan’s hand?”
Sounds pretty serious, right? IT IS. As Christians we become something like gate-keepers on a path between the unseen dimension (The Real World) and the visible dimension (the fallen, or broken, world). Our prayers and actions actually open the gate and spread God’s Kingdom in our own tiny corner of earth. It’s how we fight the war on God’s side – right here on Planet Earth. My pastor refers to it as being a “Cosmic Warrior”.
Here’s something else that’s serious – very serious. Don’t go into this battle unprepared. Check-out Ephesians 6: 10-18. Make no mistake, if you take this on, you will be fighting in a real war. You will be attacked. You may very well get bloodied. But, stand your ground. Know also, you are fighting on the winning side. You will receive the ultimate reward – eternity with God in His Kingdom. In the meantime, can you think of a better cause and calling?
See you in the real Real World. Look for me in the Veterans Hall.