Most of the time, we are aware of living in only a three-dimensional world. But the fact that we are aware is an indication that there is more to reality than just length, width and depth.* Our aware minds exist in a Fourth Dimension, one that can’t be measured with a ruler. It’s the dimension of spirit, of soul.
All humans know there’s “something more.” Our early ancestors looked for clues by studying the stars, but even with our dramatically expanding knowledge about the universe, we have not found answers there. Rather, we humans have always turned our investigation to that other dimension, through studies of the human mind, through philosophy, through literature and art, through magic and superstition and especially through religion.
Our Christian faith is one of many religions. It’s our spiritual journey into the Fourth Dimension. Jesus taught that in his coming to earth that other dimension had become more accessible to individual humans. Sometimes he called it the Kingdom of God, and he indicated that it was possible for us to walk and talk and act in this Fourth Dimension, to breathe its atmosphere and to live by its values, even while we live our lives on earth. After Jesus’ resurrection, his followers experienced the Fourth Dimension as God’s Spirit coming upon them, entering them in a new way and intertwining with their own spirits. Paul described this as
‘ …the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great … are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:26-27)
For us, the spiritual dimension has come alive within us in a way that Paul calls a “mystery.” He goes so far as to describe this Fourth Dimensional reality as “Christ in you.”
Why do we live day by day, hour by hour, as if we exist only three-dimensionally? That seems to be how our life on earth boxes us in. We who have received Christ by faith have the potential to experience Fourth Dimensional living every moment of every day, but the harsh demands of three-dimensional living tend to blind us to the Fourth.
Some Christian teachers have identified a main function of prayer as being our doorway into the Fourth Dimension. I discovered that Dr. David Yonggi Cho, the pastor of the world’s largest church in South Korea, has built his teaching ministry around this idea. One of his best-selling books is entitled “Fourth-Dimensional Living in a Three-Dimensional World.” For him, as a Pentecostal, the Fourth Dimension is the realm where miracles happen routinely. This is something I’ve never experienced and am not seeking to experience. But his repeated idea that prayer is the entryway to the spiritual realm, which is always part of us and even, in a mysterious way, is within us, rings a bell. When we pray, we are becoming aware of a greater reality that has been part of us all the time.
As I was reading about David Yonggi Cho’s teachings, I suddenly had a flashback. Early in my ministry, I discovered the writings of Norman Grubb, a former missionary who had a second career as a leader in the “Deeper Life” movement in the 1950s and 60s. He, too, had labeled prayer as our door into Fourth Dimension living. Here’s a meditation he wrote in 1952, entitled “Prayer and the Fourth Dimension.” It’s a good read. Enjoy!
— Pastor George Van Alstine
*For simplicity, I’m ignoring the geometric Fourth Dimension that has been postulated by mathematicians since the time of Euclid 300 years before Christ, the notion of time as the Fourth Dimension as discussed by Einstein and other theoretical physicists, as well as the multiple dimensions that have been imagined by science fiction writers