This story is by Marilyn Murphree and was part of our 2016 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the Winter Writing Contest stories here.
God’s world and man’s world was separated by sin. Man was totally lost and could not bridge the gap from earth to approach a holy God. For years he tried to cross the chasm but always fell short, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Man lived in a natural world untouched by the spiritual world.
We think more readily in the realm of the natural world because we are used to it from day one; but since we are triparte beings made up of a body, soul, and spirit, there is more than just the natural realm to think about. We also have a spiritual realm containing promises for us, but the promises often remain dormant and untapped in our lives where we receive no benefit from them. We forfeit the promises for years, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We are used to the natural world, but this is not all there is to our life because we are made up of our body, soul, and spirit. We live by our senses—what we see and what we feel. We say, “When I see it, I’ll believe it. When I can touch it, I know I have it.” The realm of the spirit works exactly opposite from the natural. I believe it before I can see it in the natural. That is something we are not accustomed to. We believe it before we can touch it with our fingers. We don’t understand. Is this a new concept?
Seeing is believing. When I see it I’ll believe it. What about that statement? Sounds logical, but the spiritual realm is different. In order to access the promises of God, we have to learn how to operate in a different way. Sometimes it takes years before we get it.
The natural world and the spiritual world operate in different ways that’s for sure. The natural world depends on the five senses. Seeing is believing. I’ll believe it when I can see it. I have it when I can touch it.
There are many things we receive through the senses, that is true, but we have to receive from the spirit differently. We must retrain ourselves to believe first and then what we want manifests itself. Call it forth and it comes into the realm of the natural where we need it. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him.
Why do these two worlds need to intersect? Jesus said, “I come to give you life and that more abundantly.” We deny ourselves a big part of what God has provided when we do not learn how to operate by spiritual principals. Some things we can only receive by the spirit for example. Salvation is one of them. We can’t save ourselves no matter how good we are or how hard we try. Healing for our physical bodies is a part of the atonement that is for us, but we often are not healed because we have not learned how to receive what is rightfully ours.
The two worlds need to intersect but we often miss it. How do the two worlds intersect for us? I believe it is through the Cross where Jesus accomplished His mission and said, “It is finished.” How do we access salvation? He said, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10). We access the promise of salvation by faith. Believe it before it happens. We know that something has taken place because “the spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Healing is included in the finished work on the cross. “By his stripes ye are healed”(Isaiah 53:5). Another reference in II Peter 2:24 says, “By his stripes ye were [already] healed.” But we say, “I’m still sick. I still hurt.” Well, what can we do about that since the natural world and the spiritual world have intersected at the Cross. We call forth the promises of God into the physical realm where we are hurting. I call forth the wholeness and wellness that is mine. I will not be denied. It is for me.
It was not an easy thing for the natural world to intersect with the spiritual. Jesus had to be willing to come to earth and go through suffering and pain in order to carry out God’s plan. He wasn’t forced to do it but laid down his life willingly. He described Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. Why would we believe in the finished work on the cross but fail to receive what He has paid for. I think we have never fully understood what all is included or how to go about receiving what is rightfully ours. The two worlds needed to intersect because we live in an earthly body that has various requirements. The spiritual world has answers but how to get from the spiritual to the natural is the question. We are the ones that make it very hard to understand. Jesus had a simple answer when he dealt with people. Their needs were huge—impossible in the natural, but Jesus told them, “Only Believe.” Sometimes He would simply say, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible.” To one woman he simply said, “Daughter, your faith has made thee whole.” To another he simply said, “Rise and be healed.” Is it possible to believe that He has the power to save us from our sins or to heal us from all of our sicknesses and diseases? Some took a leap of faith and saw their maladies leave instantly. For some the healing left gradually as they went on their way. One man said, “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.” Being used to living in the realm of the five senses, we often have a mixture of doubt and unbelief. Our faith has to grow as we learn to exercise it; but we can believe fully in what Jesus provided for us on the cross.
Thinking with our natural minds, we make it difficult because we think we have to do something to make it happen by our human efforts. He tells us, “I have paid the price for your salvation and healing. It is finished. I require you to only believe and doubt not and it will happen.” Sometimes we grasp this concept and sometimes we never get it. What if it is not true? What if it doesn’t work out?
Although the two worlds already intersected a very long time ago, it may not have happened for us personally. We may still be living entirely in the sense world where seeing first is believing and not the other way around. When I have it in my hands first, then and only then, can I believe it? It is not too late to stop, think, and look to the guidance of the spirit. Maybe it is not so ridiculous to believe first before we see it with our physical eyes or touch it with our hands. For too long we have based everything on the five senses and still have a multitude of needs bogging us down. Wouldn’t it be worth the risk of taking a leap of faith and seeing how the two worlds just might intersect for us? We have the ability to make a choice—or no choice at all. We have the invitation. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Do we have to have all the answers first or can we start right where we are with our unbelief and doubts and just see what happens. If our life could be different in some way, would we be willing to take a chance? If healing is for us, would we say, “I believe I’ll go for it.” It is a little scary to change our thinking. There are a lot of what ifs. We are often like the little boy on stage who said, “I’m here, and I’m scared to death.”
What if it is not true? What if it doesn’t work out?
Our faith doesn’t happen overnight but throughout our lifetime it grows stronger and stronger as we put into practice what we know to do. We have a body, soul, and spirit and access God in different ways depending on the need. These two worlds have intersected at the Cross and we can receive His provision for us by the spirit. Salvation and healing are there for us in spite of our doubts. Only believe and you will have it.
Is this a story or a personal meditation on spirituality?
For me, there isn’t a story here. Neither do I think any readers are going to be turned on nor will any “sinners” come to “know Christ,” through your efforts. Personally, I find submitting such missionary lunacy into a writing contest is inappropriate to say the least.
In accord, I respond thus:
First, I have a question for the writer, perhaps it is better answered with an actual story (one with a beginning, middle, and end, perhaps):
Which came first, the spirit or the hen?
(Unless, of course, you “Say” it all started with the Egg!!, in which case you’re a non-believer and shall be banished to the sloop-coop for eternity – which in a chicken’s world happens to last roughly 71 and a half days. It should be noted that no iPads or Televangelists are permitted; only the repeated track #7 from a CD recording of “I’m a Lebowski, You’re A Leboski” is played endlessly, though you are allowed to sleep and imbibe three square Caucasians per poultry-day, which is about every human half-hour. Needless to say, even if you are a non-believer by virtue of holding fast to speaking only that ‘it all started with the Egg,’ things still don’t end half-bad.
Peace, and chicken grease.