In C.S. Lewis’ story The Horse and His Boy (part of the Chronicles of Narnia) we find ourselves following the story of a boy named Shasta that doesn’t realize that he’s the prince of Archenland and a horse named Bree that knows he’s Narnian and pretends that he knows a whole lot more than he does. At one part in the story, Shasta is now off on his own, and has left his travelling companions behind and a discussion ensues among the three of them as to Aslan and just what he is.
Those of you who have seen the movies or read the previous books know that Aslan is a lion, but to a horse that was taken from his homeland as a child and had not been raised properly, well, the idea that Aslan could be a lion is just too much for Bree the war horse to comprehend. When he’s challenged that all the old stories refer to him as a lion, Bree tries to say that it is because he’s “as strong as a lion” or “as tough as a lion” but that doesn’t mean that he’s a real lion.
Of course, Bree gets a first class education when he finds Aslan behind him!
Like Bree, we tend to have a distorted view of reality. We see the world around us, and we can get convinced that this world is reality, but it’s not. Oh, the things that we see are tangible and real for the purposes of being able to manipulate objects, to test things and to interact with the environment around us, but it is so much more than that. Our senses cannot comprehend the spiritual world around us. We’re also told that there are those that are spiritually blinded and cannot see the truth of the Gospel. It’s not that it isn’t truth, it’s that it’s not perceived as truth.
Looking Through the Glass Dimly
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:9-12 tells us that we are all looking through a glass dimly. It’s like we’re looking at reality the same way that we’d look into a fogged up mirror after our morning shower. No matter how much we wipe it with a towel, it’s still a smeared version of ourselves. We start out seeing part of us, and as time passes we see more. As we grow in Christ, the more we grow, the more we will be able to see reality.
To illustrate, remember when Elisha was hold up in a city and the enemy was bearing down, and yet he was unafraid. He prayed to God that his servant could see the reason for his confidence, and when the man’s eyes were opened he saw that there were legions of angels protecting him. We do not see all there is to see.
We Wrestle Not With Flesh and Blood
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:11-12 tells us that as believers we wrestle not against flesh and blood. To me, this is one of the hardest things for the believer to grasp. In Western Society, it’s easy to believe that we’re at peace. We’re not seeing persecution unto death (though some may believe that it is coming) and we’re generally living our lives in freedom in a culture that considers itself morally upright.
This is a distraction. As a believer, we are currently at war. We are wrestling against powers that want to control this world and want to make us useless in the battle against sin. These powers are content to have us living good lives, not making an impact where we are, and to not carry the banner of Christ forward. They want us to believe that we are at peace and that there’s no fight to be had, until they are ready to take over.