Your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come. (Daniel 10:12b-14)
How many times have you wished you could know the future? I’ve often been engaged by time-traveling stories in books or movies – the idea of skipping to the end of the story and finding things I didn’t expect holds a lot of interest for me.
Daniel got to see a glimpse of the future, and his response was three weeks of mourning. At the end of that time, though, he met an amazing individual. This individual would give Daniel still more specifics on future events, but he also gave Danial a window into the spiritual world that is just as significant as the prophecies themselves.
In the realm of the spiritual, there’s a battle going on. Powerful forces, both good and evil are doing battle, and the outcome of those battles has a direct impact on human history.
As I read the description of the heavenly messenger, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the description is to John’s meeting the risen Christ in Revelation 1. However, whether or not this is a vision of Christ before his incarnation, the account of the clash of spiritual forces is eye-opening. We often see pictures or images of angels in popular culture that look like pudgy, cuddly little fairies. I haven’t seen many depictions of angels as warriors doing battle.
The spiritual battle is real, and the stakes are high. There is an intense struggle going on – while Christ triumphed over death and hell on the cross and the outcome is sure, the war is still being waged. As spiritual beings, we are involved in that struggle. When we pray, show love to each other, turn the other cheek, share our faith – when we do any of these things we involve ourselves in a spiritual war. So, let’s get out there and make a difference for the wining side.
Father, so often I lose sight of the spiritual. It’s easy for me to go through life and to interact with others forgetting that the spiritual battle that wages all around me. Open my eyes, Lord, to the reality of that battle. Help me to engage, help me to stand firm, and help me to fight the evil that is all around. Help me to make a difference for you in the lives of others and to walk worthy of one who is called by your name.