I remember when I first saw the blockbuster movie, “The Matrix” back in 1999. I was blown away by the original story and the ground breaking special effects. Now, almost two decades since its release, I still think about a phrase Morpheus tells Neo when he first pulls his consciousness out of the matrix. He says, “welcome to the real world”. When I consider that phrase, I’m reminded that we are in somewhat of a matrix; a world that isn’t as real as the one we will see after we die. The real world is the heavenly realm. Ephesians makes reference to it, and we can also find a story in second Kings that fleshes it out. In second kings chapter 6 verse 17, it says:
“And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
In the story, the servant was afraid because he saw an army of Arameans soldiers surrounding them, preparing to attack. Elisha wasn’t afraid because he knew that God would protect him. He says to the servant, “Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” When God opened the servant’s eyes so that he could see the army of God, it was almost as if God were saying “welcome to the real world”. Like Elisha, I believe that believers should always keep in mind that there is a world more real than the one we are currently living in; a spiritual realm that we can’t yet see, but we will one day. So, remember that God is at work within this spiritual realm, and even when we can’t see it with our own eyes, we should have faith.
One day our eyes will be fully opened as if we are being told, “welcome to the real world”. Until then, we get to play in this physical realm where we are locked within these physical bodies and can only see with our physical eyes. We are limited by the laws of science, nature and time as we exist in the here and now. But we should never forget about the spiritual world, because Ephesians tells us that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood people that we can see in this physical world, but it is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. If we don’t believe there is a spiritual world then what do we do with a portion of scripture like this? I encourage you to give it some thought.