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The Unseen World

Matthew 17:14-20

By Stuart Mains

April 16, 2023

Gracias por leer este sermón. Si lo que escucha lo conmueve y se encuentra en el área de Boston, ¡considere visitarlo en persona!

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Well, it's good to be together. I'm so grateful to be worshipping with you this morning. Hey. Oh, there's a clip. But I just want to give a warm welcome to you. If this is your first time here, I want to say you picked a good Sunday because you could easily find a seat. If you come back next week, it may be a little bit more difficult with all the people that will be here that are on retreats and out of town. This is the beginning of spring break for a lot of our children. So many of our kids are out of town. But I'm just happy that you are here. You fought off all the detours for the marathon. You are the faithful few that are here on April 16. Give yourself a round of applause for coming to church. I wanted to share a couple of pieces from our congregation. This is the last service that they're going to be with us. They are moving to Springfield. Tim and Adrian Adams will be moving after today. And could you guys stand on up, please? I know you hate this, but we love you very much.

They have served for many years in the professionals ministry and have been great partners to Ashley and I. We are very sad to see you go, but we love you deeply. We know pioneer valley church is inheriting an incredible couple and you guys, so, so grateful for you. Also, Chike and Pria had their baby and they are there attending to him right now at MGH. His name I am going to do the best that I can. Here we go. They spelled it out for me phonetically. His name is k tuchuku kiyan Osude. That was pretty good. I think that was pretty good. You can call him cato for short. He was like 7lbs 3oz and a bundle of joy. They are very exhausted but also excited to have him here. Let's say a word of prayer for the sermon as well as for these two things. Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to come before you, to worship you, to give you praise. God, to be able to hear about how we are, olives and god, the things that you're doing in our lives and how you're working all things out through the things that you're doing on our souls.

God, I pray that you would be with the Adams as they move and thank you again for all the ways that you've allowed them to serve in this church, God. They've been a huge addition, and they'll be sorely missed, but we love them deeply, God, and thank you so much for Cato being born. God, please keep him healthy and allow him to grow up to become an incredible disciple of you one day and praise you all the days of his life. We love you in Jesus name, amen. Amen. Today we're going to be talking about the world unseen. There are a lot of things going on all around us that we do not see. We have the oceans that are barely discovered. Did you know that we've only discovered 5% of the ocean? That doesn't even make sense to me how that's true. But everything I looked up online said we've only discovered 5%. We've only discovered very, very few things versus what's actually there. Here are a couple creatures of the deep that you may not know existed. Here's this first one, the goblin shark. I mean, that feels like what your nightmares are made of.

You know what I'm saying? The next one here is a viper fish. I'm not too keen on the viperfish. The next one is a fang tooth fish. Like, imagine you see these things in real life, 8000ft below the surface. The next one here, this spider, you can't really totally understand the size of it until the next one, where you see this guy holding them. They said the wingspan can grow up to 12ft, or I guess the tentacle or whatever. It can be 12ft long. It's called a Japanese sea spider. How many of you are deathly afraid of spiders? I can tell there's one particular person. I won't put them on blast, but they are grabbing on to their significant other right now so tightly as they see this.

We'll go on to the next slide. Here. We'll go to the next slide. This right here is a goblin sculp. It looks like a dude. An ugly dude, but a dude nonetheless. That maybe did that. What is that? That Kendall gender type lip thing. I don't know what's going on there, but there's some issues going on with the lips. But in the depths of the sea, there are all kinds of things that we don't even know exist.

These are the ones we do know. 95% of the ocean is undiscovered. How many of you guys have seen Honey, I Shrunk the kids? That's a movie from 19. Like, 88, okay. A long, long time ago. The whole premise of the movie is that the dad is an inventor. He's not very good at inventing things, or so he thinks. Nothing really works too well, or no one's picking it up to get patents to be able to sell it. They're not doing so well financially, and he's trying to create something that could shrink stuff down. Well, the kids are playing around with a ball. It goes into Dad's attic, where this thing is. They press the wrong button, and all the kids get shrunk down to very, very small. You with me? This is a clip of them being in the backyard, trying to fend for themselves with the different things and creatures they come in contact with. Hopefully you guys can see it's a little dark.

Get out.

I mean, if you think about what it must be like to be that tiny I mean, that was a Lego, and the guy was fitting inside the hole of a Lego. An ant would be petrifying. A scorpion would be ridiculous. There's a whole world of things that we don't see in space. They just came out with pictures from the Web telescope that showed this is obviously one that's taken from the past. This is a new one. This is Neptune, I believe, that has rings around it if you go to the next slide. And this just came out, all of these things. Did you know that Neptune had rings around it? I didn't, but then again, I'm not an astrologer, but there are things that are happening all around us. What? I'm so not an astronomer that I don't even know the name of an astronomer. There you go. I don't get into any of those things. But there's so much going on that below the surface of things, there's things going on above the heavens. There are things that we don't see continuously. And in fact, we come into a story here in Matthew 17 where Jesus is trying to let people in to there is a whole spiritual realm that's going on that we don't see, that we don't totally recognize here. We're going to be going back and forth between Matthew 17 and Mark Nine. So stick with me as the parallel stories gives us insights into what Jesus is trying to communicate and what's happening in this story.

In Matthew 17, verse 14, it reads, "When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. Lord, have mercy on my son, he said. He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him." Jump over. The Mark Nine, verse 17, it says, "A man in the crowd answered, teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." So obviously, the Mark version gives us a little bit more of what's going on with this boy. In verse 17 of Matthew 17, back at our original passage, it says, "You unbelieving and perverse generation, Jesus replied, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me. Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked why couldn't we drive it out? He replied Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

If you look in Matthew 17 verse 21 if you click on the passage there because it's not there in the Matthew version it directs you back to Mark 9:29 to say many manuscripts say something to the variation of this passage. So we'll read that as well. "After Jesus had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately why couldn't we drive it out? He replied this kind can come out only by prayer." You see Jesus is having interaction here with a man that is trying to get help for his son. He's trying to get help for his boy and his boy is having seizures his boy is foaming at the mouth. His boy is unable to speak. Oftentimes when he'd have these seizures it'd be by bodies of water. Imagine what you would be feeling as a father if you know that your son at any moment could be thrown into these seizure episodes. And if he's by water he could easily drown or he's by a fire he could easily burn. And so you're constantly on watch as this father trying to protect your boy not knowing when these episodes will jump up. Finally Jesus and his disciples comes to town and it's your one shot to be able to get your son healing. Especially 2000 years ago they didn't totally know much about epilepsy or any of these kind of things. There was zero help to be seen there. And so the disciples come in and what would you feel as a father that you're bringing this boy to the disciples? You've heard the miracle stories. You've probably even seen the miracle stories that have been done. You watch people come in sick and leave better. You watch people come in crippled and walk up and walk back healed. You've seen amazing things.

Now it's your turn. It's turn for your miracle and you bring your son to the disciples and they can't do it. Now I don't know what the interaction would have been like but something to the effect of the apostles saying be healed and nothing happened. The idea of maybe even they tried a little bit harder or mustered up a better way of saying be healed. Maybe more umph the second time louder and still nothing happened. The frustration of the father would be apparent. The disciples were probably pretty frustrated, embarrassed not knowing what to do. And so they bring the boy to Jesus to go this is a higher up, this is a higher up issue. I don't know how to deal with this issue. And it's interesting because Jesus's response similar to what we talked about two weeks ago. If we take one snapshot of Jesus, we don't have a whole picture of Jesus. And there's different times where Jesus is the one that's saying, come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. And he's holding the lamb or talking to the children and has more of a peaceful disposition.

But here, his response is not something that we would probably expect him to say, right? He goes kind of off on them a little bit, right? He goes, what are you doing? How long will I put up with you? Right? This perverse generation. And he gets ticked off at his disciples being unable to do the healing, and very quickly he heals. And in both versions, we have these two different ideas of Jesus. You can see how they come together. One author saying it in a little bit different way than the other, but the idea being that we need faith to do these things, and we need prayer to do these things, we need faith to do these things, and we need prayer to do these things. But as you look throughout this story, it becomes apparent that God is in touch with a totally different dimension than we are right now. In Matthew, it brings up the epileptic seizures. And Mark, it talks about demon possession first. But in the Western world, we don't talk about spiritual things very candidly or very openly or very often, especially when it has physical manifestations of things that are going on in the world around us.

We as Americans have a medicine for everything, right? Oh, you're feeling this. I got the perfect prescription for you. You got this issue. Oh, this is what you need to do. TikTok instagram is full of prescriptions or remedies or things that will fix the outside of your body, right? That will take care of whether it's mental health. Take care of, you got toe fungus, you can find a video on TikTok about that. You've got some issues with your digestive system. We've got TikTok videos for that. Doctors are known to be prescribed happy and prescribe things for almost everything that you come in to deal with. If you hear this story and you hear its epilepsy in the Western world, we go, oh, I know what that is, and I know people that have it. Jesus's first response was, I can heal you of that demon possession. Now, I'm not here to say that everything that goes on in our bodies or every kind of physical ailment is demon possession. That's not what I'm trying to say. But I wonder how many things are being dealt with in a physical way that are actually a spiritual issue.

There are things that we're dealing with in a physical way, trying to remedy things in a physical way. And we have markers, and we are smart. We have ways to be able to say, oh, this is the issue here's, the hormonal imbalance or the problems. And a lot of those things are true, but nonetheless, there are spiritual truths to be learned as well. We know now, as we've done studies, that the more that you dedicate time to social media, the more depressed you are. We know, as we have done studies, that the more time you spend watching television or playing video games or having blue light, any kind of screen light on you between the hours of 11:00 P.m. And 04:00 A.m., you are more likely to have anxiety and depression. We recognize and understand all of these markers that we can find, but when it comes to the spiritual well being of the soul, we don't have remedies for many of these things. Jesus is saying, no, there's a whole nother realm out there.

Ephesian six, verse twelve. In the NLT version, the Apostle Paul is describing what's going on in the unseen world, the spiritual world. He says, "For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." The Apostle Paul is saying, there is a whole other host of things going on in the world than you have any idea, or than you can see with the naked eye. There is a spiritual war that's going on. It's not against flesh and blood, it's against the authorities of the unseen world, which we're going to look at here in a little in a minute. But the idea of that there is a structure to Satan's army, that there's a structure to the enemy that we're fighting. It's interesting. There's a quote from again, I'm going old time movies. I think Kevin Miller is rubbing off on me with all the old time references. But Unusual Suspects, Kevin Spacey is famous for saying this line that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he doesn't exist. Right. There's a way to explain away anything spiritual, to make it more about the physical. And yet God's word time and time and time again says there's a spiritual realm that we must see.

Are you seeing the unseen world? In 1846, there's a man, you can put a picture up of this guy. He's a looker, real beautiful looking man, isn't he? Ignaz. Oh, he's got a name for him, too. Ignaz Simweisz. I went with the German pronunciation. I don't know if that's right or not, but Simweisz something like that. And this dude is they attest to him that he was the one that helped discovered germs. Discovering germs, okay, so the idea is that back in 1846, which doesn't seem very long ago, Dan, the idea that there were germs that were transmitting these sicknesses and things, he came into this hospital in Vienna. He was that these women were dying as well as the children in the maternity ward were dying, the newborn babies. And they were five times more likely to die when they were being taken care of by a doctor than a midwife. And they couldn't figure out why this was. They were trying to figure out all the reasons that this happened. And so they had a priest come in, because the priest was coming in with the doctor ward, but not necessarily reverse the midwife ward, but not the doctor ward. And he was hitting a gong. And so they actually believed, oh, maybe the gong was causing such a disruption in their head that it caused them to break into a fever and then die. They very quickly realized as they put the gong over with the midwife patients, that wasn't the case at all. And they tried a bunch of lunacy. They tried a bunch of crazy things that wouldn't ever hold water in this day and age, but for them, they tried them all until he realized that one of the doctors in the hospital also died in the same way as these women and these children. And he researched what he was doing, and they realized that he got sick because he was doing autopsies on these cadavers and they were causing him to get ill and sick. Then he realized all the doctors that are doing these autopsies are then going over to the maternity ward and they are delivering babies without washing their hands or any kind of cleaning. Now, they were getting water where they'd get stuff off their hands, but obviously germs are unseen and so they weren't getting rid of the real issue.

So he instructed all of the doctors that were doing these autopsies. He said, why don't you take chlorine and bleach, basically, and wipe down your hands after you do this? They later found out that wasn't a great idea either, but to wipe them down. And immediately this sickness stopped taking place in the maternity ward.

There was a lot of things that were going on under the surface that they didn't notice that even a little fixing of the external wasn't going to quite do it. As you think about your walk, each one of us are sitting here in different places in our walk with God. If you're here, I talked to many of you that came in for this is your first time being at service. You found us online or through a friend. We are so grateful you're here, but we're all at different spots in our journey. But the idea of coming in and just kind of wiping off with water some of the issues that are going on in your life and thinking that you're going to be able to deal with it and go about your life and not have any real ramifications is just as foolish as this man's hospital was with the autopsy patients.

This has to be something dealt with on a deeper spiritual level. And when you think about your life, when you think about the things that you're battling, whether it's anxiety or depression or you think about the addictions that you're battling in your life, you're thinking about the vices that you have the problems in your relationship, the problem in your marriage, all the different issues that we can face in our lives, it's not going to get dealt with with a bandaid. It has to be deep surgery. It's going to do something, have to do more with spirituality than just getting things taken care of on the outside. Jesus knew that there was a deeper problem that was going on in this boy. This demon that he was dealing with was much more challenging. And he brings up these two ideas that I said earlier, the first one being prayer, the second one being faith that we've got to deal with on a major level in our own hearts if we're going to be able to deal in the ways that God wants us to deal with the unseen world. As we look at the passage here that is in Matthew 17, he brings up time and time again that we must have the faith that's required to lead us to pray, to connect with God in a deeper way, to have a lasting change.

Prayer has a massive impact on the spiritual realm around us. Turn your Bibles to Daniel ten. As you you look at prayer and as you look at the the different ways that we view prayer, prayer in our culture is said to be a lot of different things. Prayer can be meditation, prayer can be thought. Some people view yoga as prayer. I can look at you and know that some of you do not view yoga as prayer. Doing warrior one, warrior two, pose sun salutations chaturanga. That's P 90 X right there. It's a little outdated, but the idea of prayer means a lot of different things. But when Jesus is talking about prayer, he's talking about a direct asking of God for him to intervene in what's going on in the world around us. Do you believe, genuinely think in your own minds? I don't need a response. I want you to think. Do you believe that prayer has an impact, that prayer actually changes something, anything, not just internal, but the world around us? Look at the passage here in Daniel Ten. I don't know if you've read this before, it's an obscure passage in some ways, but Daniel is trying to get God to move his heart, to get the king that he's under to totally change his course.

We come into the story here where he's been fasting for 21 days, says he did not eat any choice foods. It even goes on to say, and I didn't even use any lotion, no lotion at all. So he was feeling it right there. He was feeling kind of itchy. He was feeling dry, but he was fasting to God. He was trying to get something done. And so he puts a petition, he puts a prayer before God, and look what it says that the response from the spiritual realm was when he prayed. In Daniel ten verse ten, it says, and a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. So this is an angel of the Lord that comes to him, touches him, and sets him trembling on his hands and knees. He said, Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I'm about to speak to you and stand up, for I have now been sent to you. And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes or chief angels, came to help me because I was detained there with the King of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come. What is he saying? He's saying that the moment that you prayed, the moment that you opened up your lips and said, God, I need you to have an impact. I need you to change the course of the king that I'm under. He's going to destroy my people. This is not going to work out. The moment that he prayed that prayer, it says, an angel immediately was sent down by God. But on the way to speak to Daniel, he was prevented from coming in contact with Daniel. For 21 days they fought. For 21 days they were wrestling. So another angel got sent down. Michael was sent down to then start fighting against this Persian angel so that he could continue on to go tell Daniel what the decree from God was. What a ridiculously, crazy story.

I mean, the idea that your prayers have an effect on the spiritual realm around us is completely different than what we naturally think. If you think about what you have even done and said and spoken about in your prayers. Our prayers are so minuscule focused, so microly focused, so small and targeted at our own life. Focused, and yet at our disposal is God responding to us in a huge way. I want to bring up Ashley to be able to share a little bit about her faith journey and what prayer has become for her.

Yeah, I appreciate this lesson so much because I think my default in my prayer life is more personal. It's more about what's going on in my life, how to respond or react to what's already happened. It's not as forward thinking of, okay, God, what are we going to partner together. What do I want to see you do? And in Psalm 5:3, it says, "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. And in the morning, I lay my request before you and wait in expectation." And when I hear that scripture, I don't know if that's how I'm approaching my prayer life. That okay. God, what am I going to be able to present before you and put before you that I'm just going to wait in expectation that you will do these things, that I'm praying with that kind of faith. Mine is more reactive. I'm trying to align my heart with God,I didn't feel great about this or this fight over here. I need to become more humble. It's about my heart and my life, which are not bad things, but it can present as a passive prayer life that I'm not on the offense of God.

What can I put before you that I want to see you do that in faith? I can bond with you and partner with you of how we're moving forward and what I want to see only you do. I think the reason that that's my default is because the times that I have put out my prayers before God and I said, God, this is going to have to be you. When the answer is no, in those times of faith, it can prevent me from praying those prayers again because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of being vulnerable. I'm afraid of I question, why did you allow that to be a no? And I don't want to put myself out there again with you. It's easier for me to just stay in this place of dealing with my own heart, in my own little world, and I don't want to step out on faith anymore. But what I realized, even though I'm doing that out of fear of being disappointed again, I think what I realized is, one, it doesn't give my faith an opportunity to grow and to be stretched for the times that God's answer is yes.

And I'm able to see God that because of that prayer, he said yes, and we can move forward together. But I think this underlying resentment grows. When I'm not praying prayers of faith, I'm just resentful for what God is not doing in my life because I want these great things to happen, but I'm not willing to want it enough to be in this vulnerable position to put it before God and say, I know you can do this and I want to partner with you to do this together. Sorry. A lot of my prayers can be for people, people I'm in a relationship with, people I'm trying to study the Bible with. And it's a vulnerable thing to be teaching somebody else the Bible. And you pray for them. You want their souls to be saved. You want their walk with God to come to fruition for them to experience a relationship with God, but it is kind of this vulnerable thing to be able to pray, God save their soul. But I think even when I'm able to pray to God in those times of this is in the balance and it could go one way or another.

When I'm able to pray, even if they walk away, I'm able to bond my heart to God emotionally, even through the rejection, because God is ultimately the one who's being rejected anyways. It has hardly anything to do with us. But even in those moments when I'm praying prayers of faith, I can draw closer to God, I can cry with God. I can be bonded to Him, because even through those vulnerable moments, we did it together, and I put myself out there in that way.

As you think about your own spiritual journey, I know that many of us have thrown up prayers for God to be able to answer us or respond to us. I want to put before you that I have seen countless people that have said, God, I deeply want a relationship with you, but I have nowhere to turn, be responded to by God very, very quickly. In this room. I know of 5,10, 15 stories of people that said, God, I want to have a relationship. Can you help me find somebody? And within seconds of saying that prayer, somebody reached out to them, a stranger on the street, and said, I want to help you get a relationship with God. When I was a campus minister at UCLA, I was playing basketball in the Poly Pavilion, which is the main basketball stadium I had broken in, which, as a minister, it's not the best thing to do. But I knew some guys on the basketball team and the volleyball team, so I could get away with being in there with some of the guys. And so I went in to play a little bit of Horse with one of the guys that was in our campus ministry. And if you don't know what the game of Horse is, it's a fun game, I'm not going to explain it to you, but we were playing Horse together, and as we were playing, a guy came out from the tunnel of where the team would usually run out during the games. And he came out, he heard us playing. I got kind of embarrassed of like, Are we supposed to be here? He's going to kick us out. He's about six, eight. And he came out and he kind of started walking by and then walked by us, so I knew he wasn't trying to get us in trouble. And I said, hey, come over here, come over here. And I had been trying to reach out with a lot of athletes on UCLA's campus, and I said, okay, well, I'm shooting half court shots right now for this game of Horse. If I make this half court shot, you've got to come to church with me. And he goes, what? Before I could even respond, I just shoot the jumper from the half court, okay? Now, if you know, a half court shot is a difficult shot by itself, but the idea that I did it like a jumper like this, like that is a miracle of God, okay?

Because it went all the way. It hit the back of the rim, up top of the backboard, and then in. And so I just start screaming, like any reasonable person would do, and I start screaming in a circle. I start running around. I'm like, I can't believe I did it. I'm the greatest of all time. Amazing. I'm just running in a circle around half court. The dude is laughing, is jumping with us, and then starts walking away. And I'm like, oh, no, I made that shot. And he said, I didn't hear what you said. I said, you have to now come to church with me. He's like, Is that what you said? I said, that is and he said, I've been looking for a church. He said, I was sitting in the locker room, depressed. There's some things going on in my relationship. She left me, and she had right reason to. My life is falling apart. I want to absolutely come to church with you. I knew I needed to get it back in my life. And so in the locker room, I asked. I said it wasn't even totally a prayer. It was just, God, I need to find you, because obviously I've lost my course. He walks out. I hit this beautiful jump shot and we start studying the Bible together. He comes to church that Sunday, and he becomes a disciple three months later. This is story after story after story where God is looking for an open door for you to open your mouth and say, please, God, I want you in here. I want you in my heart. I want to have a relationship with you. And God starts reacting, and he starts reacting, and the Christian world at large has created this to be you just say a prayer and then go about your business, and then somehow you're saved by saying some kind of prayer. That's not what you see in Scripture, but what you do see in Scripture is that as you pray, there is a spiritual world that stirs, that starts to activate. There are things that start to happen in the spiritual world. When you say a prayer to God, asking for help, needing direction, wanting to find salvation, God responds. Do you believe that? Because if you're a disciple of Jesus Christ, you're commanded to believe that. That is the calling of God is that when you speak to Him, he reacts to you. You have a relationship with him. You have an impact on what he sees and does and wants to do in your life. There's an effect that you have. Jesus is calling the disciples to believe. And he's frustrated with them because he's been with them for years and they still don't believe. They still don't believe in the ways that are required to drive out that particular kind of demon. And so they couldn't heal the boy. Jesus is going, what more do I have to do? I've been with you, I'm spending time with you. Don't you see the effect that you have?

He goes on and he says, the next thing that you need, the next weapon of the unseen world is faith. In Mark 9:21 it says, how long has the boy been like this? Jesus asked the boy's father. From childhood, he answered. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. If you can? Said Jesus, everything is possible for the one who believes. Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.

That is where I think the majority of us can live. We can live in a space of I do want to believe, I do kind of believe, but can you help me with my unbelief? Because I'm not totally there, I'm not completely where I need to be. And yet Jesus is saying no, if I can, of course I can. We know in the Matthew 17 version he says if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to that mountain, be thrown into the sea, and it will do it. God knows the impact that your prayer and your life can have on the physical world around us. He is commanding us. Have faith.

If you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ, I want you to hear there's massive impact in choosing to believe in Jesus Christ. There is a massive change that takes place in believing in God's Word. In Romans ten we read here, it says in verse 19, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Where do you find faith? You find it in reading God's word. You're not going to find it just in an emotional experience. You're not going to find faith just because of a great awesome worship band, although amen I love worship.

You're not going to find faith just by stumbling upon random experiences and kind of hoping that faith falls out of all these experiences. That's not how it happens. How do you have faith? Where do you see and receive and find faith from God's Word, from getting into God's Word, reading his scriptures, being able to digest what is he saying and putting it into practice. In James Two, it says that faith by itself is dead, right? It says in the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. You take God's word. You read what it says, you allow it to change your life and then you put it into practice. Jesus is talking to his disciples and he's confused as to why they don't get it, why they don't see it. This Father, I think, is very applicable to us that we do want to get it, but we need to choose the right places to try and find faith. It's not going to be just in a church community, although we want to help, it's going to be in God's word.

You will find faith in reading God's scriptures. You will find faith in putting it into practice. As you look at this unseen world that we are talking about, when's the last time you thought about it? When's the last time you've tapped into it? As I was preparing this message, my stomach started to kind of hurt and I was like, man, I don't know what's going on with my stomach. And I was like, Is it a demon? What's going on here? But I don't think about the spiritual realm almost at all. And because of that, it could have a massive impact and all the implications of how I even think about you or how I think about the church. The spiritual realm must be so much more prevalent on our mind of what God is doing and the impact that he wants to have through us.

I'm very excited because today my wife is she's about to leave here in like two minutes because she is about to baptize one of our close friends. Her name is Dubie. She came out to service many, many times here, but because of language barrier, she thought it'd be better to be a part of Spanish South. And so she's been going there for the last month and a half, couple of months and studying the Bible there. And she's about to become a disciple. But one of the biggest things that jumped out to her was the idea of God's word is actually real and it's actionable and it's something that we can put into practice. Are you seeing the unseen world? And are you fighting with the weapons of the unseen world? Let's say a prayer as we close out.

Dear God, thank you for this time to be together. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the unseen world, God, to see the things that you don't naturally see. God, the things that we don't as humans naturally see, and that you want to bring us into your world, and yet we're stubborn at times and we don't see it. God, I pray that you would allow us to have the kind of faith, to have the kind of prayer life to cause there to be a massive chain reaction, an effect, a spiritual realm stirring that goes on because of the prayers that we put before you. God, help us not to have individualized prayers or prayers that don't have an impact, but instead, God, that you would allow us through faith to put the fleece out, to put out a call to you to say, God, I don't know if I totally believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.

God, give me direction and help me to see the ways that you want me to walk. And let us watch what you do with that kind of prayer. God, thank you for those that are here that are wrestling. Thank you for those that are studying in the Bible that are on the verge of making you the Lord of their life. God, I pray that wherever we're at in our lives, whether we've been disciple for many years or just starting in our journey, God, that we can see the unseen world, the world that you live in, the world that you operate in, and the world that you make impact in, we love you in Jesus name, amen.

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