Revelation 12.7-17 – Be careful what you wish for…

7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Today we see what at first glance is a great thing, the great dragon was thrown down…the devil is cast out of heaven as there was no longer any place for them in heaven. Maybe you’re thinking, hang on, he was in heaven before? Job 1.6-12 tells us that yes, he was.

So he is cast down to earth after a tussle with Michael and his angels. Every time we see Michael in the Bible it’s in the context of a fight, he’s the go to guy, and he does it right, he does it in the name of the Lord, not in his own power. Consider that, the leader of heaven’s armies fights in the power of the Lord. Jude 1.9 says

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said,

“The Lord rebuke you.”

There’s a lesson in there for us, isn’t there…

So the devil is cast out of heaven, great.

But then he resolves to pursue God’s people here on earth, bad.

First he pursues the woman who had given birth to the male child, and in the next section we will see that he then turns attention to the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. So cast out of heaven, good. Pursuing and making war on you, and me, and our loved ones, and all who hold to the testimony of Jesus, bad.

How often is that the case, we think that we are doing something great, but actually there are consequences. We feel we acting in the best interests of those we lead, but then it comes back to bite us, or even them. We try to be a Godly leader and example in our home, place of work, circle of friends, but then we end up providing a witness far from what it should be. Now, I’m not saying that Michael and his tribe wish they hadn’t cast the devil and his cronies out of heaven, far from it, but that when we make bold moves sometimes there are hidden results for others.

All this to say that we need to consider our actions prayerfully, thoroughly, and if possible, collectively. Think of others before making decisions, consider the possible outcomes for others before acting boldly. More important than that, stop, pray, seek God’s will for your life in that very moment, and the one after that, and the one after that…He knows what will happen, He is the God of our past, present, and future and exists in His eternal now, so He is already there; ask Him for wisdom, the wisdom He freely gives.

As Michael sets the example, let us do all we do in the name of the Lord, and let us at every step pause and pray Your will be done. Then we will know what we wish for is what He wills for.

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