Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10 – Spiritual warfare 101

“Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers.”  (Daniel 10:12 HCSB)

The spiritual world is unseen, but is very real.  A lot goes on behind the scenes when we pray - or don’t pray.  When we act in faith or fizzle out in discouragement, powerful battles are won, lost or prolonged in direct relation to our spiritual choices.  Daniel had been a captive of the Babylonians and then the Persians for decades.  His heart and soul longed to return to Jerusalem and to see the Temple of Solomon rebuilt.  The Bible says that he prayed daily for his people as he faced Jerusalem.  His dedication and love for God’s people and God’s ways was so strong that God used him as a powerful prophet and a shining example of God’s faithfulness during that difficult time in history.

In this passage, Daniel hears from a messenger of God that his prayers had been heard from the very first day that he “purposed to understand and to humble yourself before God.” The answer from God’s throne had instantly been yes, even though Daniel had not yet seen any answer materialize on earth.  The angel continues to explain about the spiritual battles that were going on with the demonic principality of Persia.  In fact, not long after this vision, King Cyrus of Persia has favor on the Israelite captives and allows them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple, just as Daniel had prayed for so long.  

We have to constantly remind ourselves that what goes on in the spiritual world is more real and more permanent than what we see with our eyes.  There are battles that God is urging you to engage in, to fight against demonic forces for the sake of your families, your dreams, and for your own salvation that cannot be abandoned just because you don’t yet see the changes you’re hoping for.  Faith is the evidence of things not seen, as Hebrews 12 tells us.  Daniel did not relent in his prayers for God’s people.  He didn’t know that his faith was sending out warrior angels to fight on his behalf, until God revealed it to him.  

God has included this in His word to us to show us what happens when we persevere in our prayers and in our faith.  Faith has to be acted upon, and even when it seems tedious and our motivation levels are low, our determined choice to cling to His promises is what makes all the difference.  Promise after promise in the Bible agrees with and supports all the others.  Every promise undergirds the universal truth that God is faithful and just, merciful and loving, and will answer those who are just like Daniel – the ones who purpose to understand His word, and humble themselves before God.  

Don’t give up your fight.  Don’t relent.  Spiritual battles are being fought that you cannot see, but directly affect the physical world.  God has already said yes to your requests. With the new covenant of Jesus’ sacrifice we now have the authority to rebuke and bind up demonic powers by our faith.  Make that a daily part of your prayers with God.  Give Him praise, thanksgiving and offer your requests, and then fight alongside God’s army to win your battles, and His.

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