This artwork is entitled: To Chain the Beast (available here)
One of the men of our church asked about spiritual warfare last week. We were reading about Daniel, how he fasted and prayed for weeks until Gabriel (an angel) made it through to answer a question Daniel had asked. Gabriel had been fighting with the Prince of Persia until Michael came to help him so he could get to Daniel. (Daniel 10 if you want to read it.) So anyway, my brother asked how Daniel fasting could have ever helped in this spiritual warfare. I can identify with that question as I’ve wondered the same thing many times myself. I asked God about it, and this is what I said:
“Lord, do we truly contribute anything in spiritual warfare? Why do we pray about these things at all? Can we have an impact? Are we necessary?”
And this is what I believe He said to me:
Not only are you necessary; you are the reason for this warfare. You do participate by refusing this world’s prince. You are the object of the hostilities. If you will not leave, then you cannot be rescued, for I will not drag you out by main force. I will not govern those who hate Me. Only the willing may come. So you determine the outcome of this war. Will you come? Will you choose to live?
When you refuse this world’s prince, then My forces fight for you. If you call on Me, I will come in through you and affect changes. But you must be a submitted vessel for Me to do that. If I come, I will come to do My will, not yours. Unless my will and yours coincide, do not expect Me to act. Are you wise enough to command Me? Do you see the whole scenario as I do? Only when you are fully committed can you be strong and wise. I will not empower the double-minded man. I cannot simply hand you My power to do with as you will. Not even to make you feel good or to demonstrate My trust in you.
You must remember; It is I who have made you, and I AM who I AM. It is you who must demonstrate your trust in Me. Follow, obey, implement My commands even when I don’t tell you why. This is the way of the cross and I have made no other way.
When you pray and fast and call on My name, it is yourself you are changing. You provide a portal for Me with your desire. You weaken your flesh and in doing this, break bonds you have with the world through your flesh. This is the way you separate yourself from the desires, the lusts and longings of your old man, your carnal nature. I have made the way, opened the door, but you must step out of the prison and into the light.
The darker the darkness, the more separated you must be from the world. Do you think it would be easy? The enemy has a hold on you as long as you cling to anything of the flesh. You pray in order to focus on Me. Thus the door opens; the portal is cleared between realms. You are the portal. And the more there is at stake, the fiercer the battle must be.
Satan’s resources are limited. He must deploy them strategically and cannot fight every battle as fiercely as every other. Keep that door open and we will walk together. Only know there are times when the enemy considers it worth his while to fight much harder. It is then that the additional warfare measures become necessary. Prayer and fasting–separating yourself even from good things–necessary things such as food–this focuses your spirit to a fine point–focuses you on Me. Then, when you have turned away from all encumbrances and rejected all distractions, I myself will cleave a path through all the demons of Hell to join Myself more fully to you. And I will not give back that ground, either. Men may give it back by turning away, but keep pressing in, and you will see My glory.