Daniel 11:29-32 (NKJV) 29 At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. 32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
(We had a guest speaker this week at Living Word. She is a dear friend of mine and my wife’s, Pastor Joy Collins from the Detroit area in Michigan. Here are some thoughts on what she shared with us.)
Yesterday we began looking at this scripture. I was drawn to the 29th verse that said there was an attack coming against the righteous, but it would not be like “the former or the latter” attacks. I believe that we are living in a similar day today. The attacks coming against the church are different from the ones I have experienced in the past. They seem more effective and carry more animosity.
One area this scripture points to is the lack of regard for the “Holy Covenant.” I believe this is speaking of the disregard we see in popular culture for the moral standards of the Word of God. Those who believe in the Bible are seen as backward and intolerant. The bible is considered a book of outmoded ideas that needs updating. How arrogant of man to think that he will ever be without need of the wisdom of God.
As this kind of thinking has all but taken over western culture, we see a steady decline of conditions in almost every area. Economic turmoil is on the increase. War is everywhere and the conflict between light and darkness has never been more evident. People who espouse violence against the innocent are pressing their agenda for a world dominated by a morality from the middle ages. Yet it is those who believe in the God of the bible that are seen as a threat to tolerance.
The next thing Daniel points to is the attack on the sanctuary fortress. This is the church. We must guard against the attack of mixture that is trying to come into the church in the guise of “relevance.” There is an antichrist spirit in the world and it is attacking the “sanctuary fortress.” We must guard against that attack and maintain the holiness and righteousness of the House of God.
There is good news in this section of scripture. Those who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits. Even in the midst of the attack prophesied by Daniel there will be those who know God. This is the great admonition throughout the Bible. God desires a people who know him. This is the reason God created in the first place. He wanted a family.
There is a key in this verse that will help us to understand how we can know God better. He says that one of the things that the enemy attacked was the “every day sacrifices.”
Our world is inundated with the spectacular. The blockbuster movie is the one that makes the most money. We do not want to see everyday life. We want things that are larger than life. Unfortunately, this tends to get into our thinking about church as well. We look at everyday life and we feel that we are wasting our time if we are not doing something great.
The problem is that we tend to define great by our “blockbuster” mentality. We want things to be exiting and different. We discount everyday Christian living. We do not feel we are important unless we are winning hundreds a day to the Lord or performing miracles. If what we are doing just involves the everyday Christian walk, we feel like a failure. The devil knows this and makes sure to reinforce those feelings.
We all need some excitement in life. We all like a distraction from the everyday. There is nothing wrong with that. However, we are bombarded with images of the exciting. It is hard for us to accept the mundane as important. In years past, this was not so. The people who lived even 100 years ago did not have the amount of entertainment we do today. They did not see high definition video of exotic places. They were not subjected to 5 or six hours every evening of dramas that portray spectacular lives. We are.
We must understand that the vast majority of people will never do anything the world considers spectacular. That does not mean they are not important to the Kingdom of God. The Lord showed me many years ago that generals do not win wars. Wars can only be won when an everyday soldier takes ground from another everyday soldier. The generals plan the battles but the soldiers win them.
We are all soldiers in the army of the Lord. Every time you stand against the devil in your life or in the lives of your family, you are doing something significant for the Kingdom of God. A few people who preach to big crowds cannot win the world to the Lord. They have their place. Individual believers who go out into everyday life and live as Christians before the world are the only ones who can win the war.
The vast majority of people are just like you and me. They are doing what they have to in order to get by in life. They go to work, raise their families and try to be the best people they can. They face everyday problems and they need people with everyday answers. Listen to Jesus’ admonition in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV) 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Salt and light are everyday things. There is no exhortation here to be powerful or exotic. Jesus sends us into the world as salt and light. All he asks is that we be those things in the world. He is not asking us to be something we cannot be.
When we go forth into the world as salt and light and allow the quality of our Christianity to flavor and illuminate our world, we will make a difference. It will usually be an everyday difference. It will be walking through everyday problems with the help of the spectacular God we serve. Our lives will shed light on him and let the world know what he is like. They will see that there are real solutions to everyday problems available to them as well.
The gifts of the spirit are available to help us. We should expect God to heal and deliver as we live our everyday lives. We should believe for words of God’s wisdom and knowledge to help us as we walk through our everyday things. Just do not discount the power of the fruit of the spirit as we walk out our everyday lives in front of everyday people who face the same challenges you overcome by the power of God in your life.