Derek Prince - Encountering Satanic Opposition
I want to turn now to the book of Daniel which contains a great deal of useful information in these areas. And I want to take an incident in the life of Daniel which, I believe, illustrates the principals that I'm trying to bring out. The chapter that I want to turn to is chapter 10. And if you are really interested, in your own time you need to study this chapter carefully, but to economize on time I'm not going to read the whole chapter, I'm just going to give you a brief background. At a certain point, when Daniel was a very mature believer, he gave himself to fasting for 21 days (3 weeks) with what has become called a Daniel fast. He did not abstain from all forms of food, but he ate only very simple basic food and he took no wine, no fancy drinks.
As it says in The Living Bible, Of course no desserts. He was earnestly seeking God for an understanding of the future destiny of his people, the Jewish people. And for three weeks he prayed and nothing happened. See, this is the illustration of what I'm talking about. And then a marvelous, mighty, heavenly being came with the answer to his prayer. So powerful was the presence of this being that the other people with Daniel simply fled in terror. And Daniel was left absolutely bereft of physical strength, just almost like John later when he saw Jesus after the resurrection and ascension, and he fell at his feet like one dead. But this angel had come with the answer to Daniel’s prayer. He had been sent from God.
The point that I want to emphasize is: The first day Daniel started to pray the angel was sent. But he did not arrive till three weeks later because on the way from God's throne to Daniel’s presence on earth he encountered satanic opposition. The opposition he encountered was not from human beings; no human being can withstand an angel like that. It was not on earth, it was not in God's heaven, but it was in some area between the heaven of God and earth. I believe, the area of Satan’s kingdom. In other words, the angel had to break through Satan’s kingdom to arrive with the message that God had sent him with. And this is what he says, and he's going to be talking about certain beings, one called the prince of Persia, others called the kings of Persia, and later the prince of Greece. And as you look at these, you'll find that none of them are human beings. They are all angelic beings, satanic angels who did their best to oppose the coming of the angel to Daniel.
Let me point out something that, I think, is thrilling. Daniel’s prayer set all heaven in motion. It set the angel of God on his way and it stirred up the angels of Satan to oppose. And Daniel had to pray through; he had to hold on for 21 days before he got the answer. So, dear brothers and sisters, sometimes when you are praying and you don't get an answer, it's not because you are praying for the wrong thing. In fact, it is because you're praying for the right thing, but there is opposition. And one of the things we'll be seeking to look at in these talks is how to overcome the opposition: how to pray through, how to break through, how to win the victory over these forces.
Anyhow, let's look at what the angel said to Daniel in verses 12 and 13. That's Daniel 10, verses 12 and 13: Then he, the angel, said to me, do not fear Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before God... How did he humble himself? By fasting! Bear that in mind. Fasting is an appointed way to humble ourselves before God. From the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard and I have come because of your words. In other words, God sent me the first day you started to pray. Why didn't he arrive? Not because the journey from God's throne to earth takes an angel 21 days, that's not the reason. Now verse 13: But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me, resisted me 21 days. Who is the prince of the kingdom of Persia? Probably Satan, but at any rate, it is the satanic angel whom Satan has set over the Persian Empire to work out God's purposes– I mean, to work out Satan's purposes– to resist God's purposes in the Persian Empire.
Now let me pause for a moment. Why was the Persian Empire important at this time? Well, if you study the history of Israel, there were four successive Gentile empires that dominated the Jewish people after they had turned against God in rebellion and been exiled from their own land. The first was Babylon which took them into exile; the second was Medo-Persia or Persia which was the one that was in power in Daniel’s time; the third was Greece; the fourth was Rome. And all God's purposes for the human race centered in the Jewish people, because only from the Jewish people could come the Messiah, the Savior. And because God's purposes centered in Israel, Satan’s opposition likewise centered in Israel. In other words: when you're in the center of God's plan, that's where you have the most satanic opposition. It is important to bear that in mind.