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Trillions of subatomic energy particles streak across space and dive into the atmosphere. Their scintillating wake revitalizes the air, illuminates my window, and massages vital warmth into cell tissues as they pass through my body. I cannot sense this process any more than I can discern which gases comprise my breath-concoction or count the microorganisms between my fingertips and keyboard. Invisible dimensions surround, fill, and impact my life at all times.

The symbiotic and causal effects of unseen physical things upon human life remains a matter of confidence among scientists and common folk alike. No one disputes the wind’s power or a mold spore’s destructive potential. The most plausible explanation for doubts regarding unseen spiritual occurrences is their existence. The evidence of supernatural activity stacks stretches far beyond records held in Tornado Alley.

The spiritual dimension surrounds, permeates, and exceeds the physical realm. Our interaction with unseen forces will affect us before, during, and long after mortal life. The symbiotic relationship between humans and the unseen remains true, whether we accept or deny its existence. Like the wind or an ion, the unseen forces of God and His enemies impact us at all levels. God can comfort a lonely widow or work a miraculous healing that goes viral on YouTube. Demons annoy some folks with mechanical failures while inspiring murder among others. The battle rages within our minutiae and throughout world events at every moment. God wields sovereign authority with ultimate power, but Satan fights on despite a guaranteed defeat. The enemy purports to devour or wound the highest possible number of people, causing grief to the Lord.

Though supernatural beings work outside the limitations of tangibility, our spiritual activities affect the battle’s tide. Ephesians 6:10-18 lists tactical measures which protect us and further the cause of God’s Kingdom. Join me in the coming weeks to explore each of these in greater depth. Let’s stand firm together as we face this new year and the future glory of God’s Kingdom far beyond it.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

Wallpapers-Beach

Dust laden rays settle over our summer’s final weeks. As dusk falls upon our warmest season, a crisp breeze lurks on the horizon. Pumpkin and spice scents creep nearer as the tropical colors fade to a dull amber wash. 

Last month’s warm ocean waves lapping at my ankles now recede into memory. Beach chairs positioned at the surf’s edge soon lose the wavetips’ gentle kisses. Waters will abandon or overwhelm a stationary person.

Seasons turn like the tide. 

As we approach transitions from one season of life to the next, heart position takes on a critical role. We can remain anchored in regret, allow the new tide to overwhelm us, or get up and remove our chairs.

New seasons require fresh mindsets. Perhaps a summer of quiet reflection has ended, and the time has come to take a brisk autumnal adventure. Where will you position your heart and mind for the coming phase in your life? 

“You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” – Acts 22:15-16

Several months ago, I discussed a certain tree with my son. Thin clusters of leaves struggled for air between clumps of moss.
“Did it even bloom this spring?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Hope there’s nothing wrong with it. I love the spray of tiny flowers across the lawn when it blooms.”

As summer dawned, my husband yanked the grey shrouds away from its branches. Rain drenched its boughs and trickled into the earth to quench its roots. Sunbeams renewed the once-veiled tresses. Life blushed green throughout the treetop, and buds exploded in celebration. Blooms carpeted our lawn from mid-summer to the season’s twilight. I now gaze on a lush canopy of flowers and leaves to adorn our home, with no end to its productivity in sight.

My soul has seen such inactive seasons. Wintry doldrums appeared where spring called for flowering. Parasitic issues choked my spirit, but I remained impotent to escape them on my own. The Gardener, Owner of my home and life, came to my rescue. Christ helped me remove the hindrances keeping me in an untimely season of lifelessness.

I am now free to drink Living Water and glorious light through my mind and heart down to the roots of my soul. I look forward to a lengthy time of flowering, to carpet the neighborhood and spangle the crosswinds to faraway lands.
For in Christ, blooming season remains limitless.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”(John 15:1-5).

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32).

My day seems to have slipped away with little evidence of productivity. I began with great hopes of accomplishment, praying for the will of God to fall afresh upon the earth and for His Spirit to sweep me along in accord with it all. Within a couple of hours, all clients cancelled. I thought I’d redeem the day by making progress on my novel…but the mouse and keyboard proved unresponsive. Halfway through reorganizing the guest room closet to find extra computer components, my cell phone rang downstairs. Happy to offer a small modicum of help to the caller, I paced the first floor of my home and noticed neglected housekeeping tasks. As the call ended, a buzzer drew my attention from rearranging clutter. The laundry phenomenon remained–the chore which can never be finished–yet I persevered in the quest for an empty hamper. I decided to sort the mail before starting on my writing. By the time I had tucked the important documents into their places, I needed to leave home. A quick stop on the way to the prayer center put me behind. One son needed to go to an appointment. Once home, my other son requested pizza. I left again, returning to make another twenty minute stab at the impossible laundry mission. News, thirty minutes with my husband, and the night has fallen. I stare at my blank day and wonder what God thinks of how we spend time.

Time cannot affect the infinite God. His eternal nature and ways exist beyond its limitations. We might have enjoyed the same boundless life, if we hadn’t brought the entropy and agony of age upon ourselves by choosing sin in the Garden of Eden. The Almighty Father planned to resolve our fatal curse in the moment we caused it. He loved us enough to send His Son to lay aside infinity, dwell in hour-bound flesh, and bear our burden to His own torturous death.

Jesus understands a life lived in time, though He exists beyond its bounds in His glorified form. I look to His life, desperate to find out how He would evaluate my use of time. Some days, Jesus fed, healed, or taught thousands. Other days, He talked with a handful of His friends. For forty days, Jesus fasted in the wilderness with no human companions. The gospel seems devoid of quantitative measures to declare Jesus’ time well spent. No productivity quotients appear in His ministry, and He models no consistent formula for scheduling a day.

Isaiah 55:8

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

While the world demands accomplished tasks, earned income, and tidy lists, God measures time by how we give it away. The moments I spent in prayer, worship, and sharing His love and kindness with others provided a more beautiful measure of eternal living than those when I found myself distracted by untidiness. Even the brief kisses to my husband and smiles at my sons lasted with un-ticked, un-tocked quality.

Maybe I’ll ignore the laundry, just for tomorrow, and use a few extra moments to see where the Spirit sweeps my soul.

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