I want to recommend a book – Flatland by Edwin Abbott.
In this book, a two dimensional character (a square) has a dream and in the dream he visits a one dimensional world called Lineland. There he tries to describe a two dimensional reality to inhabitants of the one dimensional reality, which is no easy task.
This book illustrates the difficulty of communicating about heavenly realities. Keep in mind that’s not necessarily the point of the book – it’s just that the book pictures the difficulty I’m speaking of well. Just as a second dimension is difficult to envision for those living in Lineland; and just as “breadth” would be difficult to imagine for those who have only experienced length and width, a spiritual dimension is impossible to grasp with faculties that only comprehend length, width, breadth, and linear time.
Perhaps this is part of the difficulty Jesus runs into in his conversation with Nicodemus.
John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?NKJV
Look at what Paul says about this.
1 Cor 2:13-14
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.NKJV
I am reminded today of my complete dependence upon the Holy Spirit. I say this not as a pastor (though it certainly applies there too) but simply as a believer. So much of the life of faith is based upon a reality that is beyond my ability to comprehend. There is no amount of new or cleverly presented information that will expand my limitations. Education is not the answer, only revelation will work. I must see differently, by a different means. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.
So today I am asking the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of my heart, to enable me to perceive and comprehend what I otherwise could not. I am echoing Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians.
Eph 1:17-2117 …that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. NKJV