Most of us are likely aware that every moment of every day we have radio and TV signals constantly passing by and moving around us. While we cannot see them we do have scientific ways to measure them and know that they are part of the material world. There are also varying degrees of concern around how they affect our bodies.
In a similar manner we have all kinds of things happening around us in the immaterial realm, the spirit realm. For the most part we likely have less concern about this activity even though it has a greater effect on us.
We begin to understand the activity of the invisible realm by highlighting two different prophetic perspectives, looking at what Isaiah and Habakkuk saw as they gazed into the spirit realm. Isaiah preceded Habakkuk in terms of when they wrote (Isaiah roughly 760-695 BC, Habakkuk about 625 BC).
3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3 (NKJV)
14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 (NKJV)
The creatures around the throne see the whole earth as filled with His glory because they see from heaven’s perspective. Habakkuk saw that a time was coming when God’s glory would be revealed to all. This is the prophetic context revealing the nature of God’s kingdom. Jesus purchased our freedom and will return to set up His kingdom, a final removal of evil is assured but in the meantime we need to accept and know how to function in the already/not yet kingdom where evil is still present affecting our daily lives.
The effect of this conflict of kingdoms is evident in scripture. Paul knew the importance of this and let us see that we wrestle with spiritual forces in heavenly places that seek to convince us of our impotence and ineffectiveness in this battle (Eph. 6:12-13, Col. 1:13). Ephesians 6 informs us that we have protection in the battle when we put on His armour. Our primary weapon is the truth of scripture, the sword of the Spirit and our ability to wield it in the places of prayer and proclamation (Eph. 6:17-19).
Paul shows us the reality of the spiritual battle in his own life when he acknowledged being hindered by Satan.
18 Therefore we wanted to come to you – even I, Paul, time and again – but Satan hindered us. 1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NKJV)
Acts 17:1-9 lays out what happened at Thessalonica. We see opposition to the gospel arising in the form of people’s behaviour but Paul was conscious that their actions were initiated by Satan. He didn’t say he was hindered by people. There is angelic and demonic activity happening around us all the time and we see it manifest in the behaviour of people. Our primary tool to counter this is prayer and the proclamation of truth to people and to the heavenly realm surrounding us.
Let us do our part to see the earth filled with the knowledge of His glory as the waters cover the sea.