With all of the talk about things erupting into World War 3, there’s another battle about which we should be cognizant. Rather than being a “potential” war, this one is actual. And instead of being “physical,” it’s spiritual. This battle has been going and will continue until the end of this earthly, time-and-space system. With there being so many things that cannot be seen with the naked eye (electricity, humidity, love, etc.), it shouldn’t be difficult to embrace the possibility of an invisible, angelic battle in the metaphysical realm. Remember, the fact that such is nonphysical doesn’t discount its reality.
What an intriguing topic. Thankfully Scripture does give us a glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak. Imagine yourself at a play in a majestic theater. As you wait for things to begin, you hear noises from behind the curtain and occasionally the curtain itself is jostled by something or someone hidden from your view. Then, suddenly, just for a moment, the curtain parts and you can clearly see the action on the stage. Almost before you can focus your eyes, the curtain closes again. You know what you saw but you wish you had seen more. That’s what Scripture does for us in Daniel 10. It’s a peek behind the curtain of history. It’s a brief glimpse into the spiritual realm.
Geoff Thomas once said: “Wherever there is a flock of Christ’s sheep there are wolves that want to destroy them. Whenever the church advances dark principalities are at work.” That is exactly what we see in Daniel’s life. Yet Daniel isn’t alone; it’s the same with us. Because of this constant battle in the spiritual realm, we too encounter delays and difficulties in life. This text helps us understand perhaps why our prayers are sometimes hindered and/or delayed – sometimes for a season and sometimes for many years. The text in Daniel 10 states:
And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” (vv. 11-14)
There are several really noteworthy points in this passage that will serve as a foundation for our thoughts in the weeks to come. They are as follows: 1) Daniel, although he was in exile, taken from his country and thrown into a life that no one would have chosen, was “greatly loved” by God. 2) Daniel, although his prayer had yet to be answered, had been heard “from the first day” he prayed. 3) This angel, who was sent in response to Daniel’s prayer, was “withstood” by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” Who or what can withstand an angel? What can delay an angel for 21 days? That’s right, another angel! 4) It appears that the earthly realm is divided into territories, each governed by an angel. For instance, besides Persia being mentioned, a couple of chapters later we see that Michael was over Israel. (Dan.12:1)
Do you see what’s going on here? Daniel, who was God’s man, was suffering in life and prayed only to have such inhibited by the forces of the evil one. So you and I need to be aware that even our deepest, most heartfelt prayers can be delayed due to “static” coming from the other side of the curtain as angels and demons battle it out. If you and I could see the invisible, we would be amazed! No one could have known simply by looking at Daniel and the Persian court that a great battle was going on between an angel and the “prince of Persia.” But when the curtain is pulled, we see evidence of such angels while human leaders are obliviously unaware.
Satan has no problem in using his evil minions to harass and hinder the work of God in the world – in your world. However, God is greater and His Cause will always prevail. I am struck by the words of the angel in verse 19: “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,”he said.“Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” Twice he tells Daniel as if he knows how tired Daniel is and how easy it would have been for him to give up altogether, “Be strong.” That is exactly what we need to do – be aware of the spiritual battle on the other side of the curtain, keep praying and praying and praying to God for help and strength and then, through God’s indwelling Spirit, resolve to “be strong.” More to come.
You are loved!