Rev 12:7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back.
Don Carson makes a great point while dealing with chapter 12 in Revelation and I thought I would pass some of it along. This chapter begins the second major section in the book which gives us a behind the scenes look at the spiritual world which helps us understand what is going on in the physical realm. I chose vs. 7 because it speaks directly of the war in the spiritual realm and how that affects things on the earth.
It is essential for Christians to keep in mind that there is more to this world and life than just what they can see and feel. One way to see this is by pointing out that for every question that has ever been asked from the beginning of time there is always two answers; and this gets back to what Carson said. If you asked me why I have blue eyes we could answer that it is because of my parent's genes and go into all the biological explanations for how some genes are dominant and others are recessive.
If we asked how is it that Hitler was able to rise to power in Germany there are plenty of historians who could explain all the politics of the time and the moral vacuum in Europe after WWI, etc. If someone asked how is it that Jesus came to be crucified one could speak of the political intrigue in Judea at the time and how crucifixion was the form of punishment for sedition, etc.
But on one hand those are all surface level explanations. At best they are secondary causes but there is a more important and fundamental answer to all questions and that is, “Because God did it”. The first answer is the means by which he accomplishes his will. And it is extremely important for us to never approach any question in life or any event or circumstance by merely being satisfied with the first answer. I would say that if we don’t understand the second answer, the first explanation really doesn’t matter. If we make everything about the physical world we end up dismissing God and the spiritual as if they don’t matter.
It is how the world lives to only look at surface level explanations for everything and there are two fundamental sins that result in this. First of all, to look at this world by only being concerned with the secondary causes you have no reason or opportunity to give God glory or thanksgiving in everything. If I am able to get a better job and I don’t acknowledge God as being behind it, then I might boast on my abilities or how lucky I was but I sin in the most fundamental way by not acknowledging that God is behind the supply of every need I have. To rob God of the glory he is due is just another reason why we are all born deserving of his wrath.
Secondly, when we only acknowledge the physical realm we assume that there is no higher purpose than our physical needs and this causes us to demean the purpose of everything from something that is to be used to serve the Lord in the Kingdom of God to using everything to serve man. So, for instance, someone discovers a cure for a deadly disease and it is used to save lives but the lost can see no higher purpose than saving human life whereas they should want to save human life so that those humans can serve the Lord. It always ends up making man the highest purpose for everything. (To be honest, there are plenty of people out there who see animals and the planet as more important than human life but that is another subject)
This again is one of the worst sins mankind is capable of because not only do they not give God glory but they don’t even acknowledge him as the ultimate reason for all things and in most cases don’t acknowledge him at all.
So for us saints it is imperative that we never look at anything only as how it affects us or as if it was just a coincidence or as if there is anything that really has no meaning or purpose. We must always understand that God is behind everything, the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasant because there is nothing that happens apart from his eternal counsels. Even when the wicked rebel against his revealed will, it is merely because he has allowed it to serve his eternal purposes. This will cause us to worship him in faith and thanksgiving and also cause us to use everything as an opportunity to serve him and not just ourselves and it will certainly help stop us from complaining about the providential workings of the Lord.