@robertkwendt || lead pastor
As I look out my window, I can see the trees sway.
When I walk outside, I can feel the wind blow.
When I listen during the still of night, I can hear the wind whistle.
Yet, I cannot physically see the wind. I can see the effect it leaves, but the wind itself cannot be seen.
This invisible reality impacts our visible reality all the time. We build bridges, buildings, and structures with the wind in mind. We make sure we're prepared for when it comes with force.
In the same way, there is an invisible spiritual reality that impacts our physical reality.
The key is to know it exists, where it comes from, and how to be prepared for when it stirs up some strength. Here are some things to note as we get started on this topic for the next six weeks.
there is an invisible reality that impacts our visible reality.
In writing to the Colossians, Paul says,
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." (Colossians 3:16 ESV)
Paul refers to God creating two realities. The first is that which is visible—the things we can see. The second is that which is invisible—the things we can't see.
In the visible realm are animals, trees, humans, etc. In the invisible realm exists a spiritual reality that we cannot see with our own eyes or by our own strength; yet it's still a reality to our daily lives. In fact, it impacts us more that we may often realize.
I remember when I was a kid, I would often color pictures of angels in Sunday school class. In fact, one year my dad and I made some giant wooden angels for our church's Christmas Walk.
In each instance, the angels I colored had wings, halos, and were either multi-colored or had lights shine on them in such a way as to portray a special glow.
There's not really any clear evidence that angels look this way, but that's often how we portray them. We do this because we have to try to represent an invisible reality with visible elements.
However, what's critical isn't what angels look like, but how they interact with us and impact our daily lives. What's even more important is how to understand a reality of angels who may seek to deceive and misguide us rather than help us. We call these angels 'demons.'
So how did this all come to be? How do we understand our interaction with angels?
1. in the beginning god created everything, and it was very good.
The very first chapter of the Bible ends with this verse:
"And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31 ESV)
A good God doesn't create bad things. He only creates good things.
This includes his creation of animals, humans, and even angels.
Yet, we look out at our world and we don't always see "good" things. We see that Jesus himself interacted with demons who are not "good." So, is there a disconnect with the first chapter in Genesis? Is the message confused, tangled, or full of holes? Did God actually create "not good" things?
These are all valid questions, but they assume something. They assume God is at fault. However, what if angels—the spiritual beings that God created—are the ones who actually made a choice to pursue a life apart from God? If this was the case, that would imply they chose to live opposite of a good God. And a life opposite of good is bad.
2. in god's goodness, he gave angels (and us) a choice.
Every parent dreams of their children growing up to become whatever they choose to become. Of course, parents want to see their children flourish, but they also don't want to put limits on them.
When I look at people who have really thrived in life, it's often in a world where they had to make some pretty big decisions. Sometimes it was even a lot of little decisions that led to a big outcome.
Without choices, life would be quite boring. It would be mundane. There wouldn't be freedom.
Like a parent who doesn't want to limit his or her child, God did not want to limit His creation. He didn't want to limit angels, and He didn't want to limit us as humans. So he gave us a choice.
He gave Adam and Eve a choice: a) to eat of the abundance of food he provided for them and to be okay with that, OR b) they had the option to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—gaining more insight, but facing the consequence of death. (See Genesis 2:15-17.)
He also gave angels a choice. They could either serve Him, or they could rebel and do their own thing. Like with the first humans, they also would have to suffer the consequence for their choice. And since they chose the latter, they were cast out of heaven forever. (See Jude 6.)
Both angels and humans were created to serve God. Both were also given a choice so they may be "free." In both instances, that freedom was used to rebel.
3. a civil war was created.
When a civil war takes place, one nation, team, or group becomes divided into two. The one side, for whatever reason, rebels and tries to claim its own territory or influence.
The details are not crystal clear, but what we do know is that some angels rebelled against God and, in so doing, declared a civil war of sorts. They wanted independence and control of what was God's.
War is a horrible thing. Yet, there is one thing that does come out of war each and every time: it creates unity around a common purpose and a common enemy.
In the spiritual civil war around us, there are two teams.
One team exists to oppose God and serve self.
The other team exists to glorify God and serve Him.
This is portrayed by one of the early followers of Jesus, a man named John. He wrote:
"Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8 ESV)
In this invisible, spiritual realm, there is a civil war taking place—and we are in the middle of it.
The invisible reality impacts our visible reality.
Over the next 5 weeks, we'll dive deeper into our role in the situation. And we'll examine how we can come out victorious.
But here's a preview. It ends well for those who submit to God and His ways knowing He is good.