This has been a long week with multiple frustrations and so I found myself just staring at ceiling fans. I try to remember to just look up a few times every day, place my eyes on the Lord and not on what’s going on around me.
And sometimes it just doesn’t “feel” as if He’s there at all, sometimes it just feels like…. ceiling fans. So there I was in my house, staring at the ceiling fan, and at work, staring at the ceiling fan, and at church, sure enough I looked up and just got lost in the ceiling fan again…..
I’ve been walking with Lord long enough to know nothing is wasted, everything serves His purpose, and that even ceilings fans should be taking quite seriously. So finally I asked, “So, what’s with all the ceiling fans, Lord?”
Principalities and powers. Yep, that’s exactly what He said. “Principalities and powers, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I had a hard time understanding and then I began to catch on. Ceiling fans make wind and the Lord is a bit like the wind Himself, we can’t really see Him with our human eyes, but we can see His impact, the force, the results. We can see His love for us. We can’t actually see the wind itself, but we can see the trees bowing down. We can’t “see” the wind at all, but we can sure feel it blowing across our bodies.
Principalities and powers are like that too, spiritual forces are like that, too. We can’t see them, they aren’t physical and tangible in a material sense, but you sure can see the devastation they leave in their wake.
One of my frustrations in life is that we people can be such literalists, such materialists. So try talking to people, even Christians, about the spiritual realm and it just doesn’t exist. You know what “principalities and powers” are? Donald Trump. Democrats. The Federal Reserve. Predatory lending. The media. Social justice warriors.
Whatever flavor of ceiling fan you prefer, it doesn’t really matter, all those things are really just…..a bunch of ceiling fans.
I must be gentle here, merciful, because I too prefer the material, the clearly seen, the evident world all around us, and taking the time to acknowledge the spiritual realm can be really disconcerting. Also, kind of weird! I’m chuckling here, but that’s a real thing, “fear of the weird.” You bump into someone who is struggling with finances and spiritual warfare is often NOT the first thing that comes to mind. There are just a bajillion material things that we will often think of first. Guy’s lazy. Guy needs a better job. Guy has too much debt. Guy is irresponsible. Guy doesn’t follow the bible. Guy didn’t plan his life all perfect like I planned mine….
You know what the bible really tells us to do? Lay hands on him and pray something like, “May the Lord rebuke this darkness living in your finances. May you be healed in the name of Jesus. May He do a good work in your heart and reveal His overwhelming abundance, the riches of His grace.” Then you thank Him, as if it’s a done deal, because the promises of God are true.
And sometimes you do it again. And again. And again if needed. Pray without ceasing, often and always and everywhere. It is powerful to have someone show up and offer to pray for you.
Yeah, that’s kind of weird. It can feel awkward. We can have trouble finding the right words. We can feel silly. We can doubt it’s effectiveness.
Now obviously if someone is starving, you feed them. If they are cold, you give them a blanket or you help them find shelter. If you know of some resources, tell them. But sorely lacking in the world is enough Christians willing to engage in spiritual warfare, in prayer warfare, on behalf of others.
And we can’t actually do that, actually pray for one another, if we aren’t going to accept what the bible says about principalities and powers, about unseen evil in heavenly realms, and about the power of prayer.
So are my finances in shambles? Yes and no. I can tell you they have been way worse, but they are miles, light years better today then they once were. And that is the result of nothing but prayer, mostly being prayed over by others. Seriously, not once have I been helped by advice or criticism. Not once! In fact, I often make fun of those things. The advice I have always been given by well-meaning and kind-hearted people has often been so far off base as to be downright weird. So completely out of touch with my reality as to be totally useless.
So weird, I think I’ll just take the weirdness of spiritual warfare for 400, Alex! God bless those who actually do pray over others, trusting in the Lord’s power to heal what they don’t even understand. And that’s the key right there, so often we think we understand, we think we know what the problem is, and so often we will actually blame our brothers and sisters for their afflictions, long before we’ll even consider the possibility that there just might be unseen things, “principalities and powers, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It’s in the bible.