One World, Two Realms
The Bible teaches that our world is more than what we see with our natural eyes; there are two distinct realms—the spiritual and the natural.
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In our first session, we identified God's original design for humanity, and we looked at what was lost because of the Fall. How did God design us to live? How does he want us to operate? What is the world supposed to look like? In our second session, we talked about the fundamentals of transformative living. Transformation is made possible by the cross, by Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. We also identified two fundamental principles of Christian living. The first one: God works through a human-divine cooperation. What does it mean? We described it like this: God does what only God can do when humans do what they are responsible to do. If we want to live free, we can't be passive. Numerous biblical examples reinforce the point, but we'll only look at one.
When Israel fled Egypt under God's promise, they were chased by Pharaoh's armies because Pharaoh realized that he didn't want to lose his slaves. As Israel continued their journey, they were quickly trapped with no way forward. They saw nothing in front of them but desert. To the right was a treacherous mountain range, on the left was the Red Sea, and behind them was Pharaoh's army. The Israelites started complaining to Moses: "Did you bring us out here to die?" Moses said no, but also started to lose hope. Pretty soon he started whining to God. He said to God, "Did you bring us out here just to kill us?" And God basically said, "Don't whine, Moses. I already told you what you're supposed to be doing. What's in your hand? Take your staff and hold it out over the sea." So Moses held his staff out over the sea, the wind parted the waters, and the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea on dry ground.
Could Moses part the waters by himself, with his own power? No, only God could do that. Was God going to do it before Moses extended his staff over the Red Sea? No, God did what only God could do when Moses did what he was responsible to do. That's human-divine cooperation.
The second principle about living free that we talked about was spiritual transactions. When we align ourselves with God's truth and make declaration to that truth, a spiritual transaction takes place.
Our world has two realms
We're going to talk about the practical way in which spiritual transactions take place. To begin, let's discuss the concept of "one world, two realms." The world that we live in has two realms. There is the natural realm, with which we are very familiar—our five senses help us navigate this natural realm. But our world also has an invisible, spiritual realm. Unfortunately, most of western culture denies this reality. However, we need to realize that this world does have two realms, and that both realms interact with one another and influence one another on a daily basis. The book of Job is one of the most pronounced biblical accounts that helps us to understand this reality. Listen to Job 1:13-19:
Mike Riches is pastor of Harborview Christian Fellowship in Gig Harbor, Washington, director of the Sycamore Commission, and author of Living Free.