SHADOWS OF A HIGHER REALITY
ISA 59:9 So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
Was Isaiah right? Could it be that we live in the dark and are walking in deep shadows at this very moment? Could it be that this world we are so completely immersed in, and entranced by is more like an illusion, a dream- a world of shadows? Havent we all had dreams that we thought were so real? Then once we awaken, they disappear like shadows fleeing the light. If this is a world of shadows we are living in, then there must be a higher reality above us, which is casting these shadows we think are so real.
Now this higher reality is said to be above us, but it is not in the clouds. It is simply above our full awareness of it. Mankind is in the dark because we are nearly oblivious to the reality of God. We cant see this higher world, so we disregard it. We may catch glimpses of that heavenly kingdom, but it remains just out of reach for those believing in the deep shadows of the mundane world. Our darkness is within our minds caused by ignorance and deception. We live in this shadowy world with feelings of worry and despair, and yet, even in the utter darkness there is hope. Even the shadows speak of the higher reality. They whisper to us that the Truth will save us, and we should not fear.
What does it mean to be a shadow? A shadow is an image of something else. It is an impression of something that has substance- something that is real. While shadows may have no reality in and of themselves, they can serve a vital purpose especially if this is all we can see. These light-lacking images can teach and lead us to accept the higher reality they represent. This is their purpose- to help us understand and lead us like signs along the path to God.
This article is really a follow up to The Meaning of Life because this world is full of signs and wonders that our natural eyes can easily overlook. In this latest writing, I want to share many other examples of how this lower world with all its cosmology, physiology, theology, and even sociology shadow the higher, spiritual reality of Gods kingdom. As I began to consider the many truths sustaining these seemingly endless shadows surrounding us, I was simply overwhelmed. For this reason, all I can offer are fragments from a universe of shadows and symbols. Look around and you too will see the shadows of a higher reality telling us God is with us always. They remind us that God is calling us up from the darkness (ignorance and deception) of this world to his kingdom of Truth.
MT 4:16 The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
Jesus seemed to see our world in a whole different light than everyone else. He realized that this lower world was not his home. He agrees with Isaiah and says we are living in darkness (ignorance/deception). He goes on to say we are living in the land of the shadow of death. Have many considered what Jesus is saying here? He is not speaking of a physical death, but rather a spiritual death. When Jesus said to them, let the dead, bury the dead, he was addressing the spiritually dead. Let those who are spiritually dead worry about those who are physically dead. Let those who are spiritually aware follow Christ. Spirit like energy can never cease. However, it can be said that humanity is spiritually dead when it is unaware or uncaring of Gods will and kingdom. Those souls who so are completely attached to this lower world can sink into such darkness that the shadows can barely be seen. Yet, only one small light will give enough vision to make out many images. With that small light and the shadows it creates, one can start to discern the nature and will of God. Paul said that nature told men about God and that they are without excuse and so it is. If we seek God, we will find Him EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING and in EVERYONE.
Some would call such thinking nonsense because they rely completely on their five natural senses to tell them what is real and what is not. To them whatever can be known through our sensory organs is real and all else is imagined. Truth seekers know better. Truth seekers know that God cannot be directly seen with natural eyes; heard with our ears; tasted with our tongue; smelled with our nose; nor felt with our fingers. God is Spirit and beyond the reach of our natural perceptions. Even so, this world of the senses has been created through Gods power and will, so it innately carries the truths and patterns of Gods nature even into the shadows of the deepest, darkest hell we can create for ourselves. Yes, in the utter darkness there are virtually no shadows to discern, but it only takes a small light to give our hearts and minds a WAY to escape! As the light grows, the shadows that once were our only reality begin to fade until the LIGHT floods the earth like The Flood. When the shadows disappear, then a higher reality is all we will know.
COL 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Paul spoke of shadows several times in his writings. He also told us where to find reality- Christ. Being a Pharisee he knew his religion and the Scriptures inside and out, but his world was turned upside down when he came to know Christ! He once followed the shadows of his religion, but then received the reality of Christ! His heart and mind were opened so much by Jesus that Christ became more than the manifestation of a single man, but Christ became everybody and the reason for everything!
COL 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over ALL creation. 16 For by him ALL things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; ALL things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before ALL things, and in him ALL things hold together.
What a powerful passage! ALL things are created by and for Christ. That means you and me! Christ holds ALL things together. That means you and me! Christ sustains our very lives that we so often take for granted. Paul had to be literally floored when this revelation was given to him, as we all should be. We just dont get it. Christ IS before the man Jesus was! Christ is before all things. Jesus, the son of man, grew from an infant, gained stature, gained wisdom and favor with God. Christ didnt do these things- Jesus did. Something else Jesus did was to reveal Christ to the world!
The anointed Jesus (Christ) spoke to Paul, not the man of flesh. Christ Jesus spoke to his soul through his heart, or spirit. It is there where Christ begins his work in us. Pauls natural eyesight was taken from him, so that he may come to realize that he had been spiritually blind. Even with all his knowledge of the Scriptures, laws and observances he didnt know the reality of Christ. He lived in the shadows and failed to realize what they represent. Paul began to see that all that he once believed in was mere shadows of a higher reality being revealed to him. His eyes were opened to a new world, an eternal kingdom found in Christ. From the Father and through the Son and by the Holy Spirit, God is calling us back to this higher reality we call heaven. Do you hear God calling us? Do you hear Him in the wind? Do you see Him in the stars? Do you feel Him in your heart? He is in all things if we have they eyes to see.
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