One of my favorite places to visit in Los Angeles is the Magic Castle. It is an iconic venue that sits mysteriously lit at night on a hill in Hollywood. You can only get into the Castle if you have an invitation from a magician who is a member and has performed there. The castle house is designed on several levels with a dinner club and then small intimate rooms to perform magic and with one big room for large-scale Vegas style magic shows. There are lots of people getting cut in half and disappearing in there! Throughout the night the castle has roaming magicians who sit at cafe tables mesmerizing small groups with close up, sleight of hand magic, and these are my favorite. I sit there and hand over my wedding ring, watch, or a twenty-dollar bill without a thought and watch them disappear only to have them reappear inside a fully intact grapefruit or in my husband’s pocket. It’s mind-bending to me.
Life’s uncertainties can feel that way leaving us perplexed. COVID has been the most recent mind-bending experience for all of us, and a kind of invisible evil magic. It has played its hand right in front of us dismantling our lives, but it won’t be restoring what has been taken from us. It’s robbed us on multiple levels, and we will battle it for a very long time. We will forever refer to life as “pre-COVID or “post-COVID. We want to make it all magically disappear but presently we are still looking for a cure with more uncertainty of what that may or not bring.There are other battles going on in our world as well – political, social, climatic. These battles have long been with us and have only intensified with the onset of the pandemic. However, the greater battle is not what we see with our natural eyes, but what is being raged in the unseen world. It’s a battle in the spiritual world.
God and his angels are battling for us in the unseen world.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV). It sounds a bit like the Harry Potter series of stories when you think of it as the “dark world.” But if you believe in God you have to believe there is a devil in the dark world who wants to entrap us with His powers. And the dark angel has them. This dark angel fell from heaven to bring evil and all manner of destruction and disruption to our lives. Like magic, he is hard to fully comprehend with our natural mind. He operates in a mystical spiritual and unseen world. Its why God says we have to trust Him with our hearts and not always with our minds because our minds just don’t see it. It’s too mind-bending.
Our defense is to keep our eyes on our all-powerful God.
God isn’t a stage magician and doesn’t do temporary or pretend acts of magic. God performs acts with well-orchestrated plans for the complete restoration of what has been taken from our lives. Just as I trust a performer to give me back my ring or watch, I trust God to restore my mortal soul even when there seems to be no hope of repair in this world. What is even more mind-boggling is that God restores what has been taken with more than what was taken from us. II Corinthians 4:17-19 (NIV) says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” God is eternal and His Kingdom will one day come to pass so whatever suffering we experience now will be worth it. He has promised to restore more than we could ever hope or imagine. There is eternal glory coming and it’s why our eyes must be fixed on God.
Our fervent battle cry and prayer must be to trust in God.
Fear will kill a soldier in battle. It will cause one to be paralyzed and unable to move forward. Fear seeps in when we only see life with our minds. It is what the dark angel wants to accomplish and it’s his sleight of hand. He blurs our vision with panic causing us to forget God’s promises which allow us to move out of the foxholes we’ve dug for ourselves.
Of the sixty-six books in the Bible thirty-two of them have the word “go” in them and many of those books have the word go written multiple times. We need to remember who our all-powerful conquering God is and allow Him to command and guide us to move forward fully when it doesn’t make sense and to fear only one thing – God. Fearing God is translated in the Bible as being in awe of something. It means we need to be in submission and reverence of God and surrender our control to His control. It’s only done when we surrender our minds and allow our hearts to lead when it doesn’t make sense.
When we dig a hole and hide in fear, we live a life cut off. We only see walls which keep us shortsighted. Fear of the unknown kills our courage, and if we stay in the same position we will eventually die because the dark angel’s army keeps advancing. God is above us and He sees what’s happening and wants us to rely on His vision and not ours. He wants us to fight with our hearts as we battle with weapons of love. Paul reminds us that, “Know in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 (NIV) You can do all things in the name of Jesus who allows us to fully access His powers of love.
You can do more than magic – you can do the miraculous!