Have you ever felt
like there were problems in your life or family that you couldn't
figure out, or see a clear cause of or an answer to? Have
you felt like there was something "unseen" that you
couldn't quite understand?
I recently came across
a John Maxwell story about Jacques
Cartier's second voyage to Newfoundland in 1553. Of Cartier's
103-man crew, 100 developed agonizing scurvy and were in great
anguish when the Iroquois Indians of Quebec came to their rescue
with what was described as a "miraculous cure." The
Iroquois Indians gave the sick sailors a brew made from vegetation
of the pine tree that saved their lives. (In the years following
the discovery of America, when long sea voyages like this became
common, scurvy was rampant among sailors.)
Also in 1553, Admiral
Sir Richard Hawkins noted that during his career on the high
seas, ten thousand seamen under his command had died of scurvy.
He also recorded that in his experience oranges and lemons had
been most effective in curing the disease. Yet these observations
had no sweeping effect in bringing about an awareness of what
could prevent scurvy, and the observations of this admiral went
Lind, a British naval surgeon, who later became the chief
physician of the Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, England, published
a book in 1753 (two hundred years later) in which he stated explicitly
that scurvy could be eliminated simply by supplying sailors with
lemon juice. He cited many case histories from his experience
as a naval surgeon at sea. He proved that fruits like oranges
and lemons would prevent scurvy. You might expect that Dr. Lind
would have been highly honored for his great contribution, but
the reverse is true. He was ridiculed.
One sea captain did
take his advice the now famous Captain
James Cook, who stocked his ships with an ample supply of
fresh fruits. The Royal Society honored Captain Cook in 1776 for
his success, but the officials of the navy ignored his report.
Not until 1794, 18 years later, was a British navy squadron supplied
with lemon juice before a voyage. On that voyage, which lasted
twenty-three weeks, there was not one case of scurvy, but yet
another 10 years passed before regulations were enacted in 1804
requiring sailors to drink a daily ration of lemon juice to prevent
scurvy. With this enactment, scurvy disappeared from the British
Another example of
what we can't see that makes so much difference is germs. Before
experiments in the 1850's, the prevailing thought was that sickness
was a result of genetics causing a body to become ill. Pasteur
proved that sickness could be "caught" or "spread"
because of germs like bacteria, viruses, etc. Similarly, a medical
doctor of this same era recommended that physicians in hospitals
wash their hands between delivering babies of different patients.
Even though mortality rates had been high from infections, he
was ridiculed and fired by the hospital he worked at! But today
it is a well-known fact that there are hundreds of kinds of germs
causing infectious diseases ranging from pneumonia, polio, and
smallpox , to food poisoning, sinus infections, and even ulcers.
And talk about the "unseen" a single pound of
garden soil may contain up to 50 million germs!
Another example of
the "unseen" was when radiation was discovered. Pierre
Curie were pioneers in studying radioactive materials, and
the Curies were awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics for their
work on radioactivity. Marie was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry
in 1911 for her discoveries of radium and polonium. But Marie
Curie died from pernicious anemia caused by radiation exposure!
Geiger's invention in 1928 of the Geiger Counter to easily
measure radiation came too late to prevent Marie Curie's cause
of death. The "unseen" caused the death of the "seen."
Last week, I read
about another example of the "unseen" in an article
by the Associated Press. On the west coast, there was a forest
where the trees had been dying mysteriously and the afflicted
area had grown to be over 1,000 acres and more than 32 miles wide.
As biologists studied the trees for the cause, they found the
same fungus in the roots of all the trees. After digging down
into the soil, they discovered the entire area of soil was nothing
but one big fungus 3 to 10 feet deep covering over 1,000
acres! DNA tests from over 100 different locations revealed that
the whole mass of fungus had grown from the same original fungus
spore. And based on how slow a fungus grows, the scientists estimated
that it had been growing uninterrupted for over 2,000 years! They
conclude this fungus is the largest living thing on earth.
It's what you can't
see a lack of Vitamin, germs afflicting people, radiation
making people sick or die, a fungus killing trees, etc.
that makes so much difference in a person's life. We are so oriented
around sight and sound in this American culture, that sometimes
people "can't see the forest for the trees."
A couple hundred
years ago, people thought if they couldn't see it it didn't
exist. Then, they discovered vitamins, minerals, and other essential
nutrients our bodies need. Then, they invented the microscope
and discovered hundreds of types of bacteria, amoeba, virus, mold,
fungus, etc., that had been there all along afflicting
their bodies, poisoning their water, and fouling their food! Then,
they invented the Geiger counter and discovered harmful doses
of radiation. (And this doesn't even mention the "unseen"
things that are harmless such as radio, TV, and cell phone waves
flying through the air that create the heap of media communications
that we take for granted every day.)
The Bible says in
Corinthians 4:18, "We do not look at the things which
are seen, but at the things which are not seen." As we discover
more and more things that we can now see, we should realize that
there have been and are things we cannot see in
the spirit realm. Hebrews
11:1, 3 & 7 tells us, "Now faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved
with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household."
Is it possible that
many problems people face in life are caused by things not seen
perhaps even spirit beings that we can only know the truth
about from the Bible? Ephesians
6:12 tells us, "We do not wrestle against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places." The
truth is that there are enormous quantities of problems that people
deal with in life that are caused by evil spirits both
directly working against them, and indirectly working against
them through other people. The good news is that believers can
exercise authority over these spirits through prayer. And God's
Word contains the "instructions" that not only reveal
this cause of many of our problems, but the steps to take to deliver
ourselves of these same problems.
I cannot fully cover
a topic like this in such a short space here, but I am offering
you at no charge my teaching tape titled, Insights into
Spiritual Warfare. This will answer many questions and
reveal the history of why there is so much pain and suffering
in this world that God made. The answers are available, and those
who seek, shall find, and those that ask, it shall be given.
Discovering the Answers,
person should have my complete teaching tape set, Winning
at Spiritual Warfare, which contains the tape offered.
If you can't afford it, you can get up to two tapes at no
charge each week from our ministry. We're committed to
changing lives through the ministry of God's Word.