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The unseen realm of the spirit has much more going on in it than most people ever realize; it is teeming with powerful activity. Even so, Christians fail to give it much thought. Why is that?

Primarily because the seen realm—the natural realm—constantly clamors for our attention. Our natural senses are continually assaulted with stimuli from that realm. It is no wonder that the spiritual realm is so often neglected. The noise of the natural realm drowns it out.

The good news is, we can make a conscious decision to tune out the clamor of the natural realm—what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell—and tune into the supernatural realm as revealed to us through the Word of God.

We can train ourselves to be more responsive to the unseen realm than we are to that which is seen.

Actually, everyone responds to the spiritual realm in one way or another, whether they realize it or not. Let's examine four kinds of typical responses to spiritual things as seen in the account from 2 Kings 6:8-17, and briefly consider an example of each because we see the same responses today.

If you are unfamiliar with this passage, read it in its entirety.

Spiritual Realm? What Spiritual Realm?—The Response Of Denial
The first type of response I want you to notice is that of the King of Syria. His response is basically that of denial. He acts as if the spiritual realm doesn't exist. When he has a problem, he doesn't even consider the possibility that the unseen realm may be the root of his problem.

He simply assumes a natural explanation. He assumes that Israel has learned about his battle plans because someone in his camp is a spy.

Because he denies the existence of the spiritual realm, he immediately turns to a natural solution. He lashes out in anger at those closest to him and accuses them. In his mind, they are the only natural and obvious reason for the failure of his battle plans.

I see that pattern repeated again and again in people today. Because they don't understand that their problem originates outside the natural realm, they don't even look to the unseen realm to see how their problem might be solved. Instead, they respond by getting frustrated and angry.

They usually lash out at those around them, especially the people who are closest to them. For these natural-minded people, there is no other explanation for the difficulty they are facing. Therefore, they respond this way over and over again.

The second response is similar to the first, and we see an example of it in Elisha's servant. He was similar to the Syrian King in that he didn't give the unseen realm credit for the problem. But the servant's reaction was different.

Unlike the King who lashed out in anger, the servant allowed fear to rise up in him. He wanted to flee the situation. He saw the great Syrian army and realized there was no natural hope for his survival or for the survival of his master, Elisha.

"Let's Go Get Him, Guys!"—You Can't Apply A Natural Solution To A Spiritual Problem
The third example of a person's reaction to the unseen realm can be seen in the King of Syria after he learned that something was indeed happening in an unseen realm. His servant was able to convince him that his problem wasn't a natural one but rather that God was showing a prophet in Israel the King's plans.

When the King began to understand that his problem was supernatural, he became aware of another realm of reality. When he sent out his army to capture Elisha, he acknowledged the possibility of the spiritual realm.

Personally, however, it strikes me as funny that the King of Syria thought he could catch Elisha. He had already been told that Elisha could hear what he was saying in his bedroom.

What made him think he could sneak up on Elisha now? Didn't it occur to the King that Elisha could hear the plans he was making for his capture?

Be that as it may, the King did finally acknowledge the unseen realm. But he responded to his spiritual problem by applying a natural solution. He said to his soldiers, "If Elisha can hear in the spirit, then let's go get him!"

This is the mistake many Christians make today. For years, they have been taught about the two different realms, and most would affirm their belief in those two realms. They know that the Bible says we war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).

There is more to life than what meets the eye, and most Christians realize this. They see that the real challenges in their lives come from the unseen realm. But like the King of Syria, they are still trying to meet those challenges by applying strictly natural solutions.

If they run out of money, they say, "Let's go get another loan at the bank." If they get sick, they say, "Let's go to a doctor and get some help." If they run into trouble, they say, "Let's figure this out rationally."

Let me assure you, I don't have any problem with people who borrow money from the bank or go to doctors and use medicine. None of these practices are wrong in themselves. In fact, they all have a place in our lives as we grow in God. However, I don't believe they are God's best way for us.

Don't Panic; Pray!—Prayer Is The Best Response
The fourth response, Elisha's, is obviously the correct response to a spiritual problem. Consider the way he dealt with this potentially life-threatening situation. He relied totally on the resources and power of the unseen realm.

He based his decision-making process upon what was happening in the spiritual realm instead of what was happening in the natural realm. And this time, Elisha wanted his servant to have the benefit of understanding that higher realm, so he said, "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see" (2 Kings 6:17).

Now this is what I want you to notice. When it was necessary for the servant to see that which was unseen—for him to give earnest heed and pay close attention to the realm of the unseen—Elisha prayed.

It was prayer that opened up the servant's awareness and enabled him to see into that realm. The servant panicked, but Elisha prayed!

Prayer has been involved in every example of angelic intervention we have seen so far. Prayer is what opens you to the reality of the unseen realm. If you aren't a person who prays, you will never experience the reality of the spirit realm.

I encourage you to pray often, and experience the supernatural realm for yourself!

Source: Angels At Your Service by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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