Although, Amy Carmichael uses this phrase to describe her mission work and the struggles that she faced; I believe that it is very applicable to our lives. She first heard this phrase in a poem and a portion of that poem is written in the quote; but she puts the meaning into the phrase that gave me insight.
"Finally, I should explain the book's character[poem portion] "Tell about things as they actually are; so said the Two with emphasis. I tried, but the Actual eluded me. It was as if one painted smoke, and them, pointing to the feeble blur, said, "Look at the battle! 'the smoking hell of battle!' There is the smoke!"
The Poet's thought was not this, I know, when she coined the suggestive phrase, "The Dust of the Actual," but it has been the predominating thought in my mind, for it holds that which defines the scope and expresses the purpose of the book...It does not show the Actual Principalities, Powers, Rulers of the Darkness, Potentialities, unknown and unimagined, gathered up into one stupendous Force-- we have never seen it. How can we describe it? What we have seen and tried to describe is only an indication of Something undescribed, and is as nothing in comparison with it-- as Dust in comparison with the Actual."
"These deep-rooted ancient and strong philosophies are formidable enough, when rightly understood, to make us feel how little we can do to overturn them; but they are just as "Dust" in comparison with the force of the
"Actual" entrenched behind them. Only superficial Dust; and yet, as in every other case, nothing but the Breath of God can blow this Dust away."
(emphasis and things in brackets added)
These quotes and more have taught me to see past what I can "see" with my physical eyes to what is really there-- the Actual. That in all situations of life,
"...there is Something greater behind it. It is only the effect of a Cause-- the Dust of the Actual."The "Actual" is the Lord and His army, Satan and His army, and the souls of men.
I have learned to look past the "dust" of others (there flesh and actions) and to look to what is really there, the forces behind what they do and to them as a person.
I have learned to look past the "dust" of situations and seek the Lord to see what is "actually" there, the root issues, the will of the Lord, the workings of the Lord in bringing about His kingdom, and the vices of Satan.
We need to start living in this Heavenly mindset, because this earth and
all the things of the physical nature do not matter; only the things of the
" For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this
world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."