It is War!
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Thursday - June 10th
Scripture to Read Today: Daniel 10:10-14
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
As the U.S. expanded westward, states were established and admitted to the union. This, however, created friction. Newly admitted states occasionally clashed with adjacent territories due to surveying errors or disagreements.
An intense conflict broke out between Ohio and Michigan in 1835. The contested land was the Toledo Strip, a critical commercial land corridor for both the state of Ohio and the Michigan territory. In March of 1835, Governors Stevens T. Mason of Michigan and Lucas Robert of Ohio dispatched their militiamen to Toledo. At this point, President Andrew Jackson attempted to intervene but failed. When Ohio sent surveyors to survey land in the Toledo Strip, the Michigan militia fired on them. The battle was dubbed the Battle of Philips Corner.
President Jackson removed Mason as the governor of the Michigan territory. The people of Michigan quickly re-elected Mason; his removal proved unpopular with the population of the territory. Jackson offered to sign the bill creating Michigan as a state in exchange for Michigan ceding the Toledo Strip to Ohio. Michigan declined this offer and declared war on Ohio instead. Till December 14, 1836, this was the status quo. Historians reference the conflict as "the Michigan-Ohio War."
Michigan finally became a state on January 26, 1837, excluding the Toledo Strip. As compensation, Michigan acquired today's northern upper peninsula of Michigan from the Wisconsin Territory. Needless to say that the federal government giving a huge chunk of its territory away to solve the dispute brought Wisconsin into conflict with both Michigan and Ohio.
Oddly enough, years after serving in Ohio as Governor, Robert Lucas faced a dilemma similar to the Michigan-Ohio war - but as governor of Iowa. This time, in 1839, his dispute was with Missouri. That conflict between Iowa and Missouri was called the Honey War.
The Bible tells us that as Christians, we are a part of a spiritual battle. Satan has declared war on Christ and His followers. Like the conflict between Ohio and Michigan in the early 19th-century, the war we are part of deals with disputed territory. In Daniel chapters nine and ten, Daniel prays and asks God to explain some of the prophecies of judgment pronounced by the prophet Jeremiah against the people of Judah. Three weeks later, an angel appears and tells Daniel that he had been dispatched immediately after Daniel made his prayerful request (Daniel 10:12-14).
The angel explains that a demonic being who had been assigned the territory of Babylon had delayed him for 21 days. He describes how God sent Michael, the highest of angels, to do battle with the demonic being. Michael finally defeated the evil entity, and that he had been freed to come and bring a response to Daniel's request.
Daniel chapter ten pulls back the curtain between earth and heaven. It gives us a glimpse beyond our physical world and into the spiritual world. Make no mistake. A spiritual war rages among angelic and demonic beings. Demons do all they can to disrupt God's plan and distract us from God and His redemptive plan for humanity.
We cannot use physical weapons to battle in the spiritual realm. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 explains that this is not a regular war on earth. We are part of a cosmic conflict that constantly rages around us. This conflict is not a small territorial dispute between governors. It is war! The good news is the war was won by Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. We can look to Him and His Spirit for victory in the reality of the spiritual warfare being used to destroy and distract us.
Thank God for the victory you have in Jesus. Ask Him to keep you aware of the cosmic conflict swirling around your life. Leverage the armor and weapons described in Ephesians chapter six. Trust God in the heat of the war. It is war!
While spiritual warfare is real and dangerous, we must rely on Christ's victory on the cross and over the grave!