The Christmas story is one of the most encouraging portions of scripture ever written. It reminds us that God can and will do anything to save including sending His Son as a baby to redeem the world. Most of you are probably very familiar with the birth of Jesus contained in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels, but have you ever read the account contained in the book of Revelation? You are probably thinking, “What? The Christmas story isn’t in the book of Revelation?” I know, I used to think the same thing until I read Revelation 12 and understood it. Revelation 12 gives a behind the scenes look at what happened in the spiritual realm during the birth of Christ. Look at Revelation 12:1-14 (NLT):
1 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.
5 She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days.
7 Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. 8 And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. 9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters
has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!
And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
knowing that he has little time.”
13 When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.
Ok, there is a lot in this passage of scripture and for the purpose of this article I’m not going to unpack all of it, but I do want you to see one concept. All of this passage is about the birth of Christ. It shows that Satan was aware when Jesus was born and he tried to kill Him, but God prepared a place of escape for Mary so she could be cared for and protected.
Think about what happened right after Jesus was born. According to Matthew 2:16 King Herod sent out a decree to kill all the male children in Bethlehem under two years of age. At the same time, God spoke to Jesus’s earthly father, Joseph, and told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt until Herod died. Matthew’s account gives us the natural events that occurred, while the book of Revelation reveals there was a Satanic influence on Herod that caused him to issue this decree. Revelation also describes the great battle that Michael and other angels waged against Satan and his forces.
The reason I’m sharing all of this is to help you see that we are in a spiritual war. Too often we see a person’s actions, such as King Herod’s and we wage war against them instead of the spirit that is influencing them. Unfortunately, this ends up being a waste of time and energy because we aren’t fighting the real enemy. This is why Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) says:
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Keep this in mind the next time you face sickness, a financial challenge, or have a difficult time with your boss. While there may be a natural solution to the issue, often the real battle is in the spiritual realm and unless you win the battle there, all the natural solutions you apply will never work. So how do I win the battle in the spiritual realm you may ask?
Prayer! When we pray and speak the promises of God, His angels get involved on our behalf. We can also take authority over Satan and demons and tell them to flee! Jesus told us in Matthew 10:8 to cast out demons. This is an important tool Jesus put in our tool belt that He wants us to use so we can walk in victory!
I have seen these principles work in my own life and I believe they will work in yours if you apply them. If you would like to learn more, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.