DANIEL 10:12-14, 20-21: “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come…Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.”
OBSERVATION: Is spiritual warfare real? How do we engage in spiritual warfare? Do angels play a role in this battle? These are some very important questions which these verses in Daniel help us to answer.
First, spiritual warfare is real. Paul writes: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13 NKJV)
There is a very real and invisible war taking place around us. And, there is a very real enemy of our souls trying to defeat us. Jesus said he is the “thief” who tries to kill, steal, and destroy. In response to this Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can “stand” against the crafty deceitful plans of the devil. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but it reaches beyond our immediate experience and pierces into the heavenlies against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. While this is true, and while we are engaged in this battle (whether we choose to or not), the question remains – “HOW DO WE WAGE THIS SPIRITUAL BATTLE?”
This is where you will find a myriad of answers that cover a broad spectrum which ranges from denial to people making charts of spiritual forces on maps and trying to engage them one on one. Let’s look at how Daniel fought this battle, how Paul exhorts us to fight this battle, and how God comes to our aid in this battle..
Daniel was not engaged in hand to hand combat with demonic forces – DANIEL WAS ON HIS KNEES IN PRAYER AND REPENTANCE! Daniel was turning his heart fully toward the Lord and the Lord heard his prayer and dispatched His angels to fight on Daniel and Israel’s behalf. While we are given authority over all the power of the enemy, the call of New Testament believers has never been to go out “demon hunting”. The call of New Testament believers is to go out preaching the Gospel! It is in the context of preaching the Gospel that we are to heal the sick and cast out demons. We enter into this spiritual warfare through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus – and God does the rest!
This is seen in our spiritual armor. Here is the list – “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:14-19 NKJV)
Note the “End Objective” – “…that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” Can I be utterly frank – Satan loves it when we get preoccupied with him. Satan hates it when we PREACH THE GOSPEL! WHY – BECAUSE IT IS THE TRUTH THAT SETS US AND OTHERS FREE! So we have a battle to fight, and we have God’s promise of angelic assistance in the heavenlies. Let’s take a tip from Daniel – let’s focus on prayer, obedience, and preaching the Gospel – and leave the rest to the Lord! His heavenly army can do a lot more damage in the heavenlies than we can. We are His foot soldiers – and we have a message to bring! Let’s pray that we can open our mouth boldly to make know the mystery of the Gospel in the power of the Spirit! In Jesus Name!