For the past year I, Dan, have been reading through the Bible chronologically. A few days ago I finished the Book of Daniel. Daniel is full of many great stories from the hand writing on the wall to the fiery furnace, to the lion’s den, but that is not what stood out to me in reading it this time. This time as I was reading a few verses in Daniel 10 jumped out of the Bible to me. Now Daniel is a very controversial book in regards to prophecies and the end times, but this is not what this blog post is about :) The verses that jumped out to me are Daniel 10:12-13:
"Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, 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.”
Daniel is having a vision and has fallen asleep. All of the sudden a hand touched him and began to speak. As I read these words that were spoken to Daniel I stopped. I tried to read on, but my mind kept going back to verse 13,
"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.”
I couldn’t continue and just sat and dwelled on the fact that a whole kingdom, the Persian kingdom, had a demonic force behind it. Just as we see in the Bible that there are ranks in angels, we see that Satan as well has arranged ranks in the demonic forces.This prince of Persia was a demonic representative of that kingdom assigned there by Satan.
As I thought on this I could not help but think of where I live—Japan. Japan has a population of 127 million and freedom of religion, yet 1% of the population are Christians. Sometimes seeing the need be quite overwhelming and discouraging.
Flash forward to this week as I sat in the JCGI National Pastor’s Conference. JCGI (Japan Church Growth Institute) is an arm of Asian Access that equips, trains, and encourages pastors all over Asia. The main speaker, Doug Birdsall, is a former president of Asian Access and is speaking on leadership and vision. In the first session he was speaking on 5 things that our calling gives us. As he spoke, two of the points brought me back to that verse in Daniel 10. Those two points were courage and perseverance. He said, “God knew the assignments He would give us would overwhelm us. He has also promised that He is always with us.”
Throughout this room are the ones who are on the front lines of battle. Their callings as pastors give them courage and the ability to persevere. I am not sure if Japan has a ‘prince’ over it, but I do know that the enemy has a stronghold on this country. The task seems impossible and overwhelming, but “Greater is He that is in us, then he that is in the world." Pray for Japan.