When we are dealing with fear in the spiritual realm, we are usually dealing with the oppression of the devil and the fear of death. Satan does not want us to serve and worship God and will do anything to restrain us. In the world, the devil has two strategies. Either he tries to make us think he does not exist, or he tries to scare us into not obeying God’s will for our lives. The answer again is to face our fears with our faith in God. Daniel had to do just that.
1. For the Christian, the self or our will has ordained that our spirit is to be in control of our lives. The number 12 (and 120) stands for the government of God. In this case, Darius, whose name means, “holder, restrainer or he that informs himself again,” stands for the self or our will. Daniel, which means, “to judge for God” again stands for our spirit. The goal of spiritual warfare is that the self should not suffer damage. The three presidents possibly stand for our spirit, our soul and our flesh, since all make decisions concerning our welfare.
Da 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel (spirit) was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
2. Our flesh and soul do not want to be under the control of our spirit, but they can find nothing against our spirit except that it wants to obey God and do His will.
Da 6:4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault (the spirit is without fault); forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
3. In order to overthrow the dominion of the spirit, the flesh and soul try to bring the spirit again under the law of the self. The law required that everyone rely only on the self for thirty days. This symbolizes the Jewish law that had to be obeyed and fulfilled in human strength, relying on the self. The law cannot be changed; because this is, in fact, the Old Testament law. It must be fulfilled.
Da 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
4. The spirit cannot and will not rely on the self to try to obey the law, since it relies only on God. If we attempt to fulfill the law in the strength of our self, we would have to rely on the flesh and, therefore, supplant the spirit.
Da 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
5. When we walk according to the spirit, the flesh accuses us of not obeying the law.
Da 6:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
6. The penalty for sin (breaking the law) is death which results in being sent to hell, symbolized by the den of lions (devils). It is the self’s hope that God will deliver us from hell. If the spirit is indeed overcome by the devil, the self will be dominated by the flesh; so it is greatly troubled by this possibility. But the self can do nothing about it, but be concerned. It has no power to change the law or deliver the spirit from Satan.
Da 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
7. The lions (devils) can have no power over the spirit because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus took our place, fulfilled the law and took the power of death from Satan. The angel, here, is Jesus who delivered us all that are led by the spirit (saved) from the power of the lions (devils) and made us innocent in the sight of God. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and we are delivered from the law and the fear of death. When we realize what Jesus has done for us, we no longer have to fear spiritual oppression by Satan or fear death.
Da 6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
8. Because the accusers (the flesh) are under the law (not saved), they have no protection from what the lions (devils) choose to do to them. They are bound by spiritual oppression and the fear of death and were therefore, devoured by the lions.
Da 6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
9. When the self (King Darius) realizes the power of the spirit (Daniel) and that devils (the lions) have no power against him, he decrees that everyone must fear God and makes the spirit the ruler of all that the self controls. Thus, the flesh has been “crucified,” and the believer continues to walk according to the control of the spirit.
Da 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Steps for Overcoming Spiritual Oppression
1. Spiritual oppression is an attempt by Satan to make us live in fear of him and what he can do to us.
2. Spiritual oppression has its basis in the law because without sin, Satan has no basis for attacking us.
3. We must understand that Satan lost all his rights and power when Jesus won the victory over him at the cross. The only right to power he has today is through deception. As long as we believe he can attack us, he will be able to use fear to keep us from fulfilling the will of God for us.
4. Satan’s strategy is to get us to believe that we must rely on ourselves to get our needs met. If he succeeds, we will feel insecure, be afraid of what he can do, and make ourselves vulnerable to his attack, because we have become our own God and are responsible for protecting ourselves. Satan only has power to the degree we believe his lies.
5. The first step in overcoming spiritual oppression is to maintain our faith in God, no matter what Satan may threaten to do.
6. We must realize that Jesus has fulfilled the law for us, that He is in us and we are in Christ, and that all of our sins have been forgiven. Therefore, because we are innocent in the sight of God, Satan has no right or power to harm us.
7. The client must face his fears of Satan and death, trust in the finished works of Christ and continue to do the will of God no matter what others may say or do. God will protect us and meet all our needs, He will be there for us, go through our fears with us, and help us conquer the insecurity in our lives. Every time we overcome fear, our faith grows. He has promised that we will never be tempted beyond that which we are able and will always have a way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13)