Strong In Spirit - Daniel Study - Chapter 11
Competition is a good thing. Competition allows us to measure ourselves, to strive for better things and can keep us grounded or humble. What would happen if you played a game against a very competitive opponent but you did not compete in return? If you played the game but did not care about the outcome or how well you were doing, you would likely get whipped. Sadly, many of us are playing a spiritual game, and we are not competing. We are getting whipped spiritually day after day, on and off the field, but we just keep going. Hopefully, this chapter will change the way you compete.
Daniel Chapters 10-12 open with another vision that Daniel received from God about the future. Along with this vision, Daniel also got a glimpse into the spiritual warfare taking place behind the scenes. These chapters are eye openers that should make us all aware of the spiritual battles taking place around us. What we see in reality has been fought out in a spiritual world that we cannot see.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20, what does the Bible say about spiritual warfare? What is our role? What will you do?
In the WWE world there is a wrestler named the Undertaker. The Undertaker used to have a manager named Paul Bearer. Their goal was to put his opponent into a body bag and bury him in a coffin. Like the Undertaker, it is Satan’s goal to put all Christians into a spiritual body bag. He is a roaring lion seeking people to devour. The reality is we wrestle in a spiritual realm, and many of us have been greatly defeated because we have never gotten into the ring. Just look around. There is death and destruction everywhere. Spiritual warfare is in the news every day. Satan is serious and has a plan. A friend of mine was on a plane going to San Francisco and sat next to a person who appeared to be a business man. When the food was served the man declined to eat. Also, during the flight the man would bow his head as if to pray. So my friend asked the man if he was a Christian. The man responded by saying that he was not a Christian but was a member of a Satanic Coven and that every Friday his Coven prayed for the destruction of Christian marriages and the fall of Christian leaders. This true story should sober us so that we will get into the game. We must get our heads out of the sand of sports and realize that there is a greater battle going on for our lives and the players we coach.
Seeking God for Answers
Read Daniel 10:1-9. In the year 536 B.C., the Persians were in control. The Persian king, Cyrus, issued a decree that allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. During this time, Daniel had been praying and fasting for 21 days seeking clarity of the future of Israel. God answered him in a revelation that concerned a great war or conflict. The revelation that Daniel received was startling. Daniel was overwhelmed to the point of death. While standing on the bank of the Tigris River, Daniel saw a heavenly being that came in the appearance of a man.
Deeper understanding of God comes with the understanding that we are but dust in His presence. His greatness is so great, that if we were to be in His presence we would fall at His feet as if dead. Isaiah (Isaiah 6) and John (Revelation 1) understood this. Do not ask for deeper insight unless you are ready to be humbled. These great men of God were dropped to their knees and left without strength. If you really want to know God, then buckle your boot straps and brace yourself. I know of no greater mission in life than to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. (Philippians 3:8-10)
How badly do you want answers from God? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to hear from Him?
What Goes on Behind the Scenes
Read Daniel 10:10-11:1. Daniel was heard by God from the day he set his heart on understanding God’s will and humbling himself. The heavenly being assigned to deliver the message was detained by the evil angelic prince of Persia. Daniel’s desire to know God set off a spiritual battle in the heavens. For 21 days, the battle raged until the angel Michael came and freed the heavenly being to deliver the answer. Once this was accomplished, the heavenly being anticipated a fight with the angelic prince of Greece. These evil angelic princes knew the prophecy of Daniel about Persia and Greece. Maybe like Nebuchadnezzar, who built a golden statue in rebellion to God’s plan, these princes were fighting to change the plan. If they defeated God’s messengers, the nation of Israel would be wiped out forever.
Faithful men like Daniel allow God’s messengers to do their work. God hears the prayers of His people, and He allows us to participate in His plan. The heavenly being allowed Michael to assist him in the battle and allows us to participate as well. Somehow our faithfulness (or lack of faithfulness) can affect the spiritual battles that take place. The results of spiritual battles are then seen in the lives of people, nations and our world.
Based upon this truth, there is likely an evil prince over the United States, your city or even your home. Their desire is the mission of Satan, which is to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
According to Colossians 4:12, Epaphras, a leader in the Colossian church, was always wrestling in prayer on behalf of the people. As you watch events unfold in the lives of your players, parents, coaches and administrators, God wants you to wrestle in prayer on their behalf. Based upon what we have read in this passage, perhaps the greatest thing you can do for someone is to pray for them.
Are you ready to compete spiritually? What changes will you (the group) make to ensure that you will get in the game?
TALKING POINTS: STRONG IN SPIRIT
Spiritual warfare is real and serious. We must no longer be ignorant, but pray for spiritual victories.
1. What is the devil’s mission? John 10:10
2. How will you fight? Ephesians 6:10-20
3. Who do you need to pray for?