What Is the Spiritual Realm?

October 9th, 2012

The Bible tells us that “faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see” (Hebrews 11:1 CEB). It also says, “We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 CEB).

It appears that the old saying “seeing is believing” just doesn’t cut it in the kingdom of God.

There’s a reality that’s visible, and one that’s invisible. In the physical world, there are three spatial dimensions that you can see. (Time is sometimes referred to as the fourth dimension, but it’s somewhat different from the others.) Some theories in physics suggest that there could be ten or more spatial dimensions.

I believe the spiritual realm could possibly be found in some of these hidden dimensions. But that’s just conjecture. The point is, there’s a lot going on out there that you just can’t see. Somewhere you’ll find angels, demons, and the souls and spirits of people who have died. Some of those entities seem to be able to interact with our world as well as their own, in some cases simultaneously. Could it be possible that the spiritual realm exists parallel to the physical? Are there invisible dimensions right here along with the ones we can see? If so, that would explain a lot.

Human beings also have visible and invisible components. The Bible refers to each of us having a body, a soul, and a spirit. The visible part (the body) is fairly easy to understand, but the invisible part consists of both the soul and the spirit. It’s not easy to tell where the dividing line is between the two. (Hebrews 4:12 seems to make this point.) I generally think of the soul as consisting of things like the intellect, will, and emotions. The spirit, on the other hand, is the part of us that’s equipped to perceive and interact with the spiritual realm, and to commune with God himself. Perhaps it also includes things like conscience or intuition.

The point to all this is that a discussion of spiritual and supernatural topics should start with the understanding that humans are both physical and spiritual beings. We live between two worlds, and we’re caught in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. The challenge for the church is to teach believers how to navigate all these intersections.

Question: Why is it so hard to believe in things we can’t see?

Over the next several weeks in the Supernatural October series, I’ll be blogging about topics like ghosts, demons, exorcism, spiritual warfare, death, Hell, witchcraft, Satanism, the occult, psychics, vampires, and Halloween. If you have any ideas or experiences you’d like to share, send a message to feedback@ministrymatters.com.

Read additional posts from this series.

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