Is there a spiritual realm, an unseen dimension to what happens here on earth? Is spiritual warfare just our imagination? Does what we do spiritually make any difference to what happens here on earth?
Understanding the reality of an unseen dimension that affects what goes on here on earth jolts us out of religious complacency and a legalistic, religious Christianity.
For many years we were involved in a church plant in the East End of London in the UK. At that point in time, the area was not the gentrified place it has since become. It was a very run-down, neglected area of around 120,000 people, and 93% government housing. The unemployment rate, if I remember rightly, was about 17%. Within our church, (effectively a network of home groups) we had maybe 10 or 12 people who had been out of work for some considerable time with no prospect of employment.
As a fellowship we decided that this wasn't just a natural problem but it had a spiritual component to it. So in one particular gathering, we put all the people who were looking for a job in the center of the room, while the rest of us prayed for them. Someone suggested that we treat it like the battle of Jericho, so we actually marched round them 7 times, shouting praise to God the final time. Then we prayed for each person individually.
Were we crazy? It must have looked crazy to any outsider. But over the next few weeks, every one of those people found a job.
The spiritual realm is real! Understanding this helped set me free from legalism and a guilt-based religion.
More stories to come:
I'd love to hear some of your stories too.