Sunday, October 07, 2007

Unseen Things (Guest Blog)

I read Fred Peatross' blog Abductive Columns fairly regularly and actually get an email newsletter from him every week or so. This one encouraged me in the ongoing battle to walk in such a way to affirm that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of thing unseen. So I've posted it in its entirety. Be blessed. Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Stories and their Eternal Effect

You've seen the wildlife programs, I'm sure. The lion prowls in the tall grass, its tawny coat blending with the surroundings. What's the lion's strategy? Does he go charging into the middle of a herd of adult zebras? No. He stalks the herd, crouching, watching, waiting. Then a young zebra strays from the herd and the lion springs from the grass, runs the zebra down, tears it to pieces, and devours it.

When seeing such brutality, one can't help but think that something has gone terribly wrong with nature. The truth is, it has. Nature reflects the fallenness of the world. What we see in the natural realm is a shadow of what takes place in the spiritual realm. Thus, when Peter describes the devil, he pictures him as a roaring lion that prowls the earth, looking for some victim to devour.

Despite how safe our neighborhoods may seem on the surface, we live in a war-torn world where the forces of good and evil are engaged in the most intense battles. Here and there in the Scriptures, the veil is lifted, and we are shown something of the battle being fought over us.

While serving under the rein of a Persian king, Daniel received a vision of God, after which he prayed and fasted for three weeks. At the end of those three weeks an angel came to visit Daniel.

'Relax, Daniel, don't be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I'm here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what's ahead.' (Dan 10:12-13)

Before the angel left, he lifted the veil a little further.

'Do you know why I've come here to you? I now have to go back to fight against the angel-prince of Persia, and when I get him out of the way, the angel-prince of Greece will arrive. But first let me tell you what's written in The True Book. No one helps me in my fight against these beings except Michael, your angel-prince.' (Daniel 10:20-21)

What's comforting about this incident is that Daniel's prayer was heard, and help was dispatched immediately. What's unsettling is that for a 'good three weeks' the will of heaven was thwarted because of opposition in the spirit realm.

How formidable must the opposition be to have delayed such a warrior? How fierce the combat to have lasted so long?

Thinking about the combat raises some questions about the battles fought over you and me. How many battles, I wonder, were fought over us as children? And how many are still being fought over us as adults?

How fierce are the assaults-and how valiant the defense? How long did they rage? At what cost were the victories achieved? At what cost the defeats? And how many attacks never reached us because some angel fought his heart out, taking the blows that were meant for us?

And what about those who are still praying? Whose prayers seem to go unheard? I can't say for sure but my guess is the angels are fighting their hearts out.

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