The Unseen Realm
By Cheryl Craft
It was a cold, dark, rainy night in Oslo, Norway. We had come to the country to preach and visit with our friends, the Tilleys. Laura, our daughter born with Downs Syndrome, was in her room and we checked on her periodically to make sure all was well. Somehow in between our checks, she left her room, went downstairs, and left the house. We didn’t hear her. After searching the house and all the places she might hide, we went outside. She was not in sight. My heart sank. How were we to find her? Was she safe? My next thought was to pray for divine intervention. We called the police to ask if anyone had seen her. It seems that someone had just called in and reported a little girl walking along the side of the road.
Brother Tilley and my husband hurriedly drove to the place where she was last seen. She was more than a mile from the house. They found her and brought her home. She was wet and trembling with cold. I drew a bath for her to help her warm up. As I prepared her to get in the bathtub, I said, “I am so glad we found you. Thank you, Jesus, for saving Laura!” Surprisingly she said. “Yes, thank you, Jesus.” Laura is nonverbal and to hear her make a complete sentence was amazing. But the amazement was not over, for as she spoke, I turned around and there stood an angel. As I thanked him for keeping Laura safe, he saluted me accepting my thanks and walked off. I will never forget that night for in that moment the supernatural realm opened to me.
I relate this story so that you might understand that the unseen realm of the supernatural is very near us. I think sometimes we have a picture in our minds that Heaven, the spiritual realm of God, is way out there past outer space. This picture creates a barrier and sets God far from us. We do know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, but we pray and act as though He is far away. This kind of limited and narrow thinking hinders our prayer and faith.
A song comes to mind: “He’s as Close as the Mention of His Name.” He is near, and we realize that when we develop a prayer life that sensitizes our spirits to His presence. When we develop a relationship with God through prayer, we enter a place where the working of the Spirit in and around us becomes the normal and not the unusual. God opens our spiritual eyes to see, and our spiritual ears to hear. Dreams and visions can come readily to us as we mature in the Spirit.
The Bible gives us many instances when the spiritual world was revealed to men and women. Samson’s mother received an angelic visitation announcing the birth of her son. We see Elisha and his servant surrounded by armies. The servant, fearing for their lives, brought the news to Elisha. He simply prayed asking God to open his servant’s eyes. That thin veil that separates the material world from the spiritual world parted and the servant saw the armies of the Lord surrounding them.
In the New Testament, I think of Jesus at His baptism. The heavens opened and a voice proclaimed who He was. There is also the time when Jesus appeared in the room with His disciples; He asked Thomas to touch His riven side and the nail prints in His hands. As Thomas touched the side and hands of Jesus, the veil parted and Thomas cried, “My Lord and my God!”
God draws near to us and opens the door to the supernatural as we hunger for Him and seek Him with great desire.
What can you do differently today to be with Jesus? Do you need to adjust your calendar to include daily prayer? How can you grow in spiritual awareness that the supernatural realm is near? The answer is to spend much time in the presence of the Lord where faith is nurtured and relationship with God established. By the authority of His name, we then can announce the good news of the gospel with miracles and signs following.
However, even with the occurrence of great miracles, walking in intimate relationship with Jesus is the greatest miracle of all. The songwriter sums it up with these words: “Just to walk with Him means everything to me. Just to feel His hand and know He’s leading me.” To walk with Him in the unseen realm is the joy of prayer.
Cheryl Craft and husband, George, served forty-five years as UPCI missionaries in the European/Middle Eastern region. They are now retired and continuing ministry in Christ Temple, Glendale, Arizona. Cheryl has written a book on prayer, Drawing Near to God, available in English, Serbian, and German languages. You may contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.