The battle is real…

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Daniel 10:12  (The angel of God said to Daniel) “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, 14 and have come to help you understand what is to happen to your people at the end of days. For there is a further vision for those days.”

Daniel is a prophet, meaning that one of his main responsibilities is to listen for messages from God, then to share those messages with God’s people Israel. Here he is visited by an angel of God who describes some spiritual warfare happening in the background. There aren’t many passages like this, that pull back the curtain a bit to reveal some of what happens between forces of good and evil.

The angel doing the speaking in this passage does not have a name, but he names two other spiritual beings – the archangel of God named Michael and a demonic principality known as “prince of the kingdom of Persia”. I’m reminded of a passage in Ephesians 6:

10 (the apostle Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Our passage for today further exposes the reality that a great battle is continually going on in the invisible “heavenly realm”. This is not a fantasy or superstition or literary construct to be explained away. It is real. And, as followers of Jesus, we are participants in this battle. As God seeks to use us for his Kingdom purposes of love, mercy, and restoration – there is another kingdom opposing all things of God.

However, it’s also important to know that we need not fear evil. Despite the power of the “dark side”, God’s power is greater. In fact, in the resurrection of Jesus, our God has defeated sin and death and the kingdom of darkness forever. Similar to the Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe on D-Day in 1944, the war has been decided but the battle continues.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your final victory over the kingdom of darkeness, a victory that will be fully revealed in time. In the meantime, give us grace to access the power you make available to us as followers of your son Jesus – power to overcome the forces of evil that harrass us and tempt us away from you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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