“Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.”
—Daniel 12:10 (NLT)
Joshua Commission Mission Statement:
The Kingdom is at war.
You were made for victory.
The Joshua Commission builds disciplemakers.
The last three chapters of Daniel are a bizarre and intriguing story of a vision given to Daniel about the future. You should read it, but don’t be surprised if, like me, there are some big parts you just don’t understand. What I do get though is that there are layers of battles being talked about.
I don’t fully understand spiritual warfare or what is going on in the spiritual world that I can’t see. Daniel's messenger in these chapters is super clear though—he had been in a battle against opposing forces, and that made him late to answer Daniel's prayers and fasting. It is easy for me to get frustrated when I want God to answer my prayers and I feel like I’m getting nothing. Is there possibly a battle going on that delays those answers?
In today's world, I certainly sense battles going on. Some are on a big scale, like the culture war I feel we are losing most days. Some battles are more personal. A good friend was on the way to vacation this past week and drove up on a wreck where despite their best efforts they could not save a teenage boy and an infant who perished with their family in a burning car. Traveling with my friend was his son-in-law who just over a year ago fell asleep behind the wheel and killed an elderly man in the ensuing wreck it caused. I can only imagine the battle going on for that young man’s heart. Your battles and mine are typically not that tragic but are real nonetheless.
Today's verse presents a promise, a battle reality I want to take hold of, and a victory challenge. First, I AM one of the purified and hope you are too. Next, the reality is that the Kingdom really is at war, and I should expect nothing less in the spiritual and the tangible battles of my life. Finally, I have the challenge to become wise so I can have at least some understanding (victory) of what all the turmoil in this battle actually means. God is in control—hallelujah!
Daily Battle Order:
Get a post-it note, a 3x5 card or just open a note on your phone. Write down (or type) the first two lines of the TJC mission statement (actually writing does something to our brains). Then write one or more things you will do this week to seek wisdom for the battle (If you want an easy start, just write, “I will read the DBO every day). Put that note where you will see it every day for the next week to remind you of these truths. When you do, say a short prayer each day asking God for the promised wisdom. It may not come right away (like for Daniel, that’s part of the battle) but keep asking.