August 21, 2012
And the man said to me, "Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you." When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. -- Daniel 10: 11-13 (NLT)
Wherever this writing finds you today I want you to go back to the first verse from the key verses and realize that God is speaking to you. You are very precious to God so listen carefully to what He is about to tell you beloved. Do not fall for the lies of the enemy which seek to demean your value to God or to place conditions upon that value. Do not listen to the lies of the enemy that seek to make you doubt that God is in fact hearing your prayers today and may very well be in the process of answering them. You are very precious to God. We are in a spiritual war beloved. There is a realm that we cannot see, which we are a part of according to Scripture:
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. -- Ephesians 6: 12 (NLT)
But one of the problems of modern church growth theories is a decided move away from true preaching on the spiritual aspects of Christianity. The result is a generation of spiritually illiterate Christians who fail to connect the dots when things are going on in their lives. I have written before that it is very dangerous when we attribute everything positive to a move of the spirit but everything negative to a worldly excuse or rationale. It does more than affect our doctrine as it also infects every area of who we are as believers. Our prayer life becomes muted. If we do not hear from God right away we give up instead of persist. But the reality God wants us to see today is that we simply do not have all of the information. We only see what is going on in the natural -- not the supernatural. We only see what is going on in the temporal and not the eternal. Remember, there is a spirit realm and I present to you for consideration the key verses from the Book of Daniel. The backdrop here is that Daniel is given a vision from God concerning future events. He immediately starts praying and fasting for wisdom and understanding so he will know what God is trying to tell him. For three whole weeks Daniel heard nothing. He refused to eat and was in mourning. He sought and sought God but heard nothing. Anyone relate to Daniel here? Anyone get discouraged like I am sure Daniel was getting here? But then the angel of God showed up and we come to our key verses for today and the word God has for us.
The first thing God is saying is that our value is not tied to how responsive we might feel God is or is not being to our prayers and requests. So often we can wrongfully start looking for things we must be doing wrong when prayers are not answered swiftly. We can believe the lies of the enemy and the poor theologies of guilt that wrongfully teach us that the love God has for us is somehow conditional. Let the Word here minster to your heart today -- you are very precious to God. Not because of anything you did or could ever do but because of whom He is and what He has already done.
The second point God wants us to hear today is that sincere humble prayer is heard immediately in heaven. There is no waiting list. There is no call waiting. There is no voice mail. You are not caller number 2000 waiting for your turn. The angel assures us that as soon as we pray and humble ourselves before God -- the prayer is heard in heaven. We need to remember here that humility however, is the key. God does not waste anything in His Word. Humbling ourselves before God is key in our prayer life. I say this because sometimes in modern Christianity there is a distinct lack of humility when it comes to the things of God. The new theologies seek to turn God into your buddy if you are a man or your lover if you are a woman. Yes God desires to be friends with us and the lover of our soul but without being our Sovereign Lord none of it matters! When God is sovereign in our lives that means we have acceded control of our life to Him. When He is Lord, it means we follow whatever He wants because we know that He is working all things out for our good according to the Book of Romans! Too much modern worship is simply not reverential. It is not based on Scripture and is petulant -- demanding blessings instead of worshipping the Almighty. Look at the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. It is the humility of the tax collector and the pride of the Pharisee that mattered in their prayers.
The final point that God is saying today is that we simply do not see everything that is going on. We like to think we do. We draw erroneous conclusions when we only possess meager portions of the facts. Look at what the angel informs Daniel. While Daniel was praying and fasting there was a battle going on in the spiritual realm directly involving him! The angel was being detained by one of the enemy's principalities. For 21 days the battle raged before God sent the archangel Michael to take up the fight so the ministering angel could come to Daniel's side to answer his prayers. There were reasons why it took 21 days and Daniel did not know them. Daniel did not need to know them. All Daniel had to do was stay faithful and obedient in prayer. No answer? I am going to trust God! We have absolutely no idea what is going on in the spiritual realm. We do not know the battles being raged, perhaps even about us. Look at the life of Job. Behind the scenes, the devil and God were having a conversation that Job was not privy to. In one day Job lost everything through no fault of his own. In the second chapter we see the two possible responses when we simply do not like the way things are going in our lives:
His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die! He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? "In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. -- Job 2: 9-10 (NIV)
Job had no idea what was going on in the spiritual realm but something definitely was. His answer was even if God slays him, he will hope only in Him. Daniel prayed for 21 days without answer while something was raging in the heavenlies. He did not give up and neither should we. God sees you today beloved. He knows exactly where you are. You are precious to Him. As soon as you started praying in humility, your prayers were heard in heaven. God is never late. There may simply be things going on that we are not aware of. Battles raging in the heavenlies -- maybe even on our behalf! Trust God. Persist in Him today. You ARE precious to Him.