Bigger Realities

I was out preaching in a small town with two of the brothers and we sat in the hotel room sharing from God’s Word. One of the brothers talked about the necessity of believers to keep their joy springing in these last days, noting that we must cast our cares on God because He cares for us. But then I asked, “What happens when we cast these cares and it seems like they are not going away? What about those times when nothing appears to change and, if anything, it even gets worse? How do we go through these situations as believers?” I’ll share with you what God laid in my heart.

 

We all go through unpleasant situations at several points in our lives; at those points, to deny the reality of the things we are passing through would be sheer escapism. God does not expect us to deny that the pains we feel are real, He doesn’t expect us to live in self-deceit, nor does He expect us to bury our heads in the sand and hope that everything disappears. God’s design for us to keep our joy in the midst of pressing present realities is that we be focused on what I call “bigger realities”. It is by focusing on bigger realities that our joy wells up in the midst of pressing realities. Why was Paul able to call all the awful things he passed through “light afflictions”? Because there was a bigger reality of the glory that is to be revealed. We must learn to see beyond pressing realities to bigger realities.

 

It is a reality that you lost your job, but a bigger reality is that the owner of this earth is your Father and He can give you anything in it He chooses to. It is a reality that one’s spouse passed away, but a bigger reality is that, if saved, he or she is in a far better place than we are. It is a reality that you don’t have the things you wished you had, but a bigger reality is that the Lord is your Shepherd and you shall not want. It is a reality that your name is not on the promotion list, but a bigger reality is that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! For every reality we experience, there is a corresponding bigger reality—infinitely bigger than all of our felt realities. What we are to do is to keep reinforcing these bigger realities by the Truth of God’s Word, till they become more real to us than our felt realities. By focusing on these bigger realities our joy stays intact in the storms of life, because we have succeeded in unhooking it from felt realities and anchoring it to bigger realities. Just like Moses who endured as seeing Him Who is invisible, we also endure and overcome the most trying times by seeing the bigger realities—which are invisible.

A proper understanding of this principle will prove helpful in every aspect of our Christian walk. Take for instance the matter of temptation. Indeed we cannot deny the reality of sin’s invitations; if there was nothing inviting in sin then no one will commit it; even the Bible talks about the pleasures of sin. So we don’t overcome temptation to sin by denying the reality of its invitation or pleasure; we overcome it by focusing on bigger realities. That which seems glorious or attractive loses its glory and attraction by reason of the glory that far exceeds it. It is a fact that telling a lie might help you escape the punishment, but a bigger reality is that all liars shall have their place in the lake of fire. It is a reality that you can falsify some records at work like others are doing and make some extra millions, but a bigger reality is that you have been blessed with all that you need for life and godliness and as a result you don’t need to cut corners to be rich. This is how Jesus overcame satan’s temptations in the wilderness; He confronted him with bigger realities. It was true that Jesus was hungry and needed bread more than ever before, but a bigger reality was that man shall not live by bread alone. Jesus was conscious of the bigger realities in the midst of the devil’s invitations. It is a lack of this consciousness that causes the people of the world to sell their souls for the things of the world; they can’t see anything bigger than the things around them; silver or gold is their biggest reality, and so they give themselves to its pursuit at all cost. If they could see something bigger, they wouldn’t go half the length they go in pursuit of something so small.

A focus on bigger realities will also affect the way we relate with people. I remember many years ago a dear sister did something she knew she ought not to have done, and she expected me, in response, to flare up in anger. Noticing however that my reaction was contrary to her expectation, she proceeded to ask if I wasn’t angry; to this I responded that I had something bigger to be angry about! And of course I did; over 2.7 billion people are heading for hell at supersonic speed—without ever having heard of Christ! That is something bigger to be angry about! The reason many people are investing so much energy into anger over what people say or do to them is because they have nothing bigger to be angry about. That your wife burnt your favourite shirt is true, but if you have bigger realities to be angry about you will hardly find it in you to lose your cool over such petty things. Imagine a home where everyone is jointly focused and preoccupied with bigger realities; what do you think will cause a fight in such a home, the evening news? By no means! Much of the strife we see around result from people’s preoccupation with little things. For those who are preoccupied with bigger realities, such trivialities will have no grip on them.

Finally, a focus on bigger realities will give us the confidence we need to face life fearlessly. There are three levels of reality; the first level is the physical world we see around us with all the things in it; everybody lives in this level. The other two levels are spiritual, not visible to the physical eyes and not accessible by all. The first spiritual level of reality is superior to the physical, as a matter of fact, much in the physical is influenced and controlled by it. It is from this level that the devil and his demons operate. The people of the world who have come to understand that the physical plane cannot sustain itself have ended up seeking and finding access into this reality. All through the Bible, we notice that heathen kings always had magicians around them; I call this the “King-magician complex”. All the Pharaohs had their magicians, Nebuchadnezzar had his magicians, the proconsul in the Book of Acts had his magician. Kings all through the Bible had their magicians. Now the question is this, Why would kings, with all their power and authority, surround themselves with magicians? You see, something tells them that the physical cannot sustain itself, and if they must last on their thrones, they must have a bigger reality than the physical backing them, so they find people who have access into this second level of reality, and from there they get their protection, counsel and power.

The third level of reality, however, is the highest level of reality. It is superior to, and rules over all other levels. This is where Christ is seated far above principalities and powers. It is the greatest reality of all, and it is only accessible to the sons of God. This is the reality from which we are to operate. When we realize that we are seated with Christ in this reality, we will begin to walk as gods on the face of the earth; our confidence will rise above all the threats around us. David understood this reality, that’s why he said to Goliath, “I come against you in the Name of the Lord.” In the physical, David was no match for Goliath, but there was a bigger reality, and that was David’s superior advantage. Goliath was a reality—a very big one at that—but “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear” was a far bigger reality to David. The problem with the army of Saul was that Goliath was the biggest reality they saw. You see, when the challenges and problems around you are the biggest reality you see, your knees will knock whenever they show up.

You are terrified by pressing present realities if you can’t see a greater reality that is also present. We see the same thing with Elisha’s attendant; when he saw the Aramean army surrounding them he went into panic mode! But Elisha on the other hand remained calm; Elisha could see a bigger reality. It took the opening of the eye of his servant to see that reality, and only then did his fears dissipate and his confidence rise. This is the level of reality from which we are to operate as believers. Lazarus in the tomb was a reality, but to Jesus “I know You always hear Me” was a bigger reality! The famine in Israel was a reality but for the man who was connected to Jehovah, “By this time tomorrow” was a bigger reality! The cripple who was lame from birth was a reality, but to Peter and John “Rise up and walk” was a bigger reality. That the adulterous woman should be stoned was a reality, but for Jesus “Go and sin no more” was a bigger reality!

What are your present realities? For every felt reality, there is a corresponding bigger reality. Reinforce these realities with the Truth of God’s Word, and confront your present reality with these far greater realities. Your victory is certain!