Spirit Fighter Recon – Tips From the Field for Helping Kids Fight the Spiritual Battle
The following also appears in the June edition of Christian Fiction Online Magazine here.
Spirit Fighter Recon: Tips from the field for helping kids fight the spiritual battle
1. An invisible, spiritual realm exists.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” -Ephesians 6:12, NIV
As I sat down outside my favorite local coffee shop with a spiral notebook in hand, ready to jot down some notes and outline this blog entry (yes, I still use what I believe they used to call ‘pen and paper’ occasionally), a gust of wind scuttled through the patio, which was fitted in the narrow space between two brick buildings. It almost blew the notebook off the metal table, and my drink onto the pavement. I slapped my hand down on the pages quickly, and rescued my precious beverage from almost-certain peril, and was reminded once again of the reality that compels me to write:
There is an invisible world that exists, and in that world, a battle is raging.
My book, Spirit Fighter, is about this one enormous idea – that life is about more than just what we see. That there is a world, behind the world, as if you could reach out your hand and poke a hole in the landscape in front of you, peel it back, and expose this invisible land.
If this sounds a little out there, consider this – it is impossible to read the Scriptures and come away with a different understanding of the world than this. The Bible is full of wonderful stories about how life is about more than what we can see with our eyes, and touch with our hands. Full of stories about an invisible God making Himself known to us.
And yet, we – and our kids – tend to live as if all that exists is what is right in front of us. Often we give little thought to the place where the important, life-changing things are happening.
In Spirit Fighter lingo, this place is called the Hidden Realm.
Jonah and Eliza, being part angel, are able to physically see this place, even enter into it – and with amazement and horror, their eyes are opened to the battle raging.
We don’t have this ability (we would jump at the chance to have it, but I’m doubtful as to whether we’d really like it) – but we do have the capacity to sense it. It’s like the wind. We can’t see it, but there are times when we can feel its presence. We can feel it rushing around us. These are the times in life when we are overwhelmed with the sense that there is something more. More to life. More that hangs in the balance. It often whispers in our ear, “Your heart is right, there really is more to all of this.”
Jesus confirms the existence of this spiritual world, over and over again. In fact, he speaks with the authority of One who has been there and seen it.
In short, He has perspective.
My goal with Spirit Fighter – and with this post, and those that follow – is to challenge you to have a new perspective. To adopt the view that says that 90% of life is actually being played out behind the scenes. And because of this, even the little things in our lives matter. Decisions we make can impact not only this world, but the other.
And by the way, if this is true, which world is more real, anyway? The one we can see, smell, and touch, or the spiritual realm? Does that sound like an idea right out of the movie The Matrix? Not really. It’s a much older concept, gleaned from the pages of the Scriptures themselves.
Which world are you living in? Are you living in light of the reality of the Hidden Realm, or only in what you can see with your eyes? Do your kids know that a spiritual world exists? If you’ve neglected it, consider the possibility that the most important things happening in your life just might be invisible right now.
And for those of you who find your hearts longing more and more for this world Jesus spoke of, know that one day, you too will be able to look behind the curtain, and really see.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
-Jesus, in Matthew 10:26, NIV