January 27, 2016

Daniel 10:12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

I find I am reminded of Pastor Saeed Abedini, the pastor who was recently released from Iran. In an interview with him that I saw just yesterday he was talking about the difficulties of being imprisoned for so long, with physical and mental abuse, and how his great comfort was prayer, for hours on end. Daniel was not in prison as such, but he was in exile far from Jerusalem, with no way to return. He had risen to a place of considerable authority, but his focus was on God, no less than Pastor Abedini’s. His encounter with the angel recorded here should be an enormous comfort to every faithful believer who prays. There is a great deal we don’t know or understand about the spiritual realm, but the biggest message here is that faithful prayer is not ignored. We don’t always see the results in the timing we would prefer, but believing prayer is not wasted. Show prayers, with no heart behind them, are indeed empty and meaningless, but prayer from the heart, in humility and faith, goes straight to the throne room of the Creator. Two things are significant about Daniel’s praying in this episode. We tend to notice the fact that he went on a fast of sorts, refraining from luxuries. We have lots of things that could come under that category! However, that was simply an expression of the more important point that he set his heart to understand; it was a decision of his will. There are many examples of this throughout the Bible, teaching us that if our choice is God, period, He will do more than we could ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) We can’t dictate when He will do what, but if we trust Him enough to submit everything to Him in complete surrender and obedience, His response will be magnificent.

Well, that’s a Word for me this morning! There are numbers of issues that concern me, so I need to commit my heart to listen to God in all humility. There are very local issues and there are wider issues, all the way to global issues. All of them are disturbing to me on one level or another, but none of them are difficult for God. With full assurance of that fact, I need to be quiet enough before Him to hear what He will say to me about them, and what actions, if any, I am to take in relation to them. I can’t fix any of them in my own strength, but if He wants to use me in those situations, I need to be fully available. I need to let go of my desired schedule and let Him do things on His schedule, knowing that His plans are always best.

Father, thank You for this Word this morning. It seems like we are constantly going through training in this very area. Keep me from being passive or resigned, but at the same time not trying to be in control myself. Thank You that You are more than capable of perfect control! Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice, just as You have told me to do, so that Your will may be done in and through me on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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