For 70 years the Jews were in captivity to other nations who took them from their homeland. Daniel was one of those taken to Babylon as a young boy. He spent his life there in service to God and his new country. Throughout all of his life he was involved in spiritual warfare. We gain valuable insight into the battle in the heavenlies from an event in his life (Daniel 10:2-14). Towards the end of his life he was fasting and praying for wisdom from God. After 24 days without an answer an angel appeared to him and told him that the first day he started praying God sent a messenger to answer Daniel’s prayer. However for 3 weeks the demon who was the territorial ruler of Persia fought against this messenger angel to keep him from getting to Daniel. Michael came to join in the battle so the heavenly courier from God was able to defeat the demonic oppression. He was then able to come to Daniel and complete his mission. While this sounds like a strange event, it sheds much light on the spiritual battles we fight. These kinds of things probably happen around us all the time but we aren’t aware of them.
LESSON FOR TODAY: There are several lessons for us in this account. First, we gain insight into the organization of Satan’s forces. Satan arranges his demons in the same manner God has angels organized – in a military-like structure. These are similar to soldiers in an army: generals, colonels, majors, lieutenants, sergeants, corporals, privates, etc. (Ephesians 6:12). Usually a “strong man” (or ruler) is assigned to a task, and he has lesser demons under his command to help in the work (Matthew 12:25-29; Daniel 10:2-6, 12-14). The names of these demons usually refer to what they do: “Fear,” “Anger,” “Lust,” “Pride,” “Deception,” etc.. Satan assigns powerful demons as leaders to oversee the work against various people groups and geographical areas as well. Persia was controlled by demons who were organized under the command of a very powerful demon who took the role as the “prince of Persia”. We can be assured that all countries, people groups and major movements among mankind have a structure of demons assigned to defeat and control them. So do churches, Christian ministries, families and of course individuals as well. No one gets overlooked, and those doing the Lord’s work receive special attention! Understanding these things is important for us to know what we are fighting against and how to pray for God’s power and protection.
LESSON FOR TODAY: We also see the importance of prayer, and that God answers it. Even if it seems to take a while, persevere and await God’s answer. It has been correctly said that prayer is not preliminary to the battle, prayer is the battle. So persevere in your prayer and warfare. The warfare we go through here is just a small reflection of what is taking place in the heavenlies. You are not alone in your battles. All God’s people are attacked, and angels and demons are constantly in conflict in the unseen world around us. If it seems you are alone, or something must be wrong because you face these things more than others remember that all who seek to serve and advance God’s kingdom will be attacked.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)