I love reading the book of Daniel. Oh, there are many reasons for that. I love his attitude, his dedication, also, his love of the Scriptures. In fact, we are told in the 9th chapter that he was reading Jeremiah’s book.: “. . . I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet . . .” Ya gotta love a guy like that!
Then Daniel said, “the LORD had said to Jeremiah, ‘Jerusalem will lie in ruins for seventy years.’ Then, to show my sorrow, I went without eating and dressed in sackcloth and sat in ashes. [Demonstrating his sadness] I confessed my sins and earnestly prayed to the LORD my God . . . ‘Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land . . .”
Wait, wait. Did you notice something there? He didn’t say, “Lord, your people . . . shame on them . . .” No. He included himself in this: “We have sinned . . . we have been wicked . . . we have rebelled . . .” That’s a big difference when you compare it to our normal prayers, isn’t it? Daniel saw the judgment that came against his country and he was broken. How many of us are this broken over our nation? I confess that I have been concerned and at times disappointed . . . but I have never been moved by it, at least like Daniel was!. He “pleaded with the Lord in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” I mean, that is distressed. He “prayed to the LORD and confessed” (Daniel 9:3–4). In turn, Daniel was able to discern the times, because he knew the Lord’s heart (Daniel 9:2).
How did Daniel reach this brokenness, knowledge, and discernment? Quite simple, actually. It began with his study of God’s Word! Daniel allowed the Scriptures to lay hold of him. He quoted them often and at length because he had hidden them away in his heart: “As it is written in the law . . .” (Daniel 9:13). How many of us are doing that? How many times do the Scriptures pervade your thoughts and your conversations?
In chapter 10, he received a vision of Christ. Honest, ” I looked up and there was a man dressed in linen . . . his eyes like flaming torches . . . his voice like the sound of a multitude” (Daniel 10:5–6). Did he realize who it was? Did he have a complete understanding what he saw? No, but the Lord allowed him to know and understood enough. That was all that was necessary.
The first time I read that, all those many years ago, I was encouraged to diligently set my heart to seek the Lord with all determination I could muster. I was young and new to the faith, but I saw what I wanted in my life — shoot, what I needed in my own life!
So, I was drawn to His Word with ever-increasing love and desire. Like the proverbial moth to a candle flame. I was consumed with a hunger, yearning, thirst for His Word and His Wisdom! I was drawn to pray to be broken, to receive His burdens. I learned to confess and forsake whatever would hinder the Holy Spirit from opening heaven’s blessings to me. Have I been perfect is this pursuit? Absolutely not. Ask my family. But it has been my desire that whenever the Lord looks at me He can say, “There is a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22) But like David, This path is open to everyone, even you! Can we walk in it?
But I need to warn you, though, a walk of faith like this will bring struggles and trials. Daniel testified, “a hand touched me and set me unsteadily on my hands and knees” (Daniel 10:10). The word for touched here means “to violently seize upon.” Daniel was saying, “When God placed his hand upon me, it put me on my face. His touch gave me an urgency to seek him with all that’s in me.”
We see this same yearning in the Song of Solomon! If you will read this song, you will discover that there comes a time when the Bridegroom finally sees the Holy Dove shining through the eyes of the maiden. She has turned her gaze toward him in complete abandonment and trust. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, she had the ability to yield herself completely to her Lord, and she had become single-eyed in her choice of Christ and his cross at all costs; so he looked at her and exclaims, “You are beautiful my darling, your eyes are as the doves” (Song 1:15)!
Jesus told us that our eyes are the light of our body, so, when our vision is single and clear, our whole body is full of light (Luke 11:34). “So be careful that the light doesn’t become darkened. If your entire body is illuminated, it will be wholly bright!” (Luke 11:34-36).
As we fix our eyes on Jesus with a singleness of purpose, his glory will completely illuminate our life! We must not let the cost delay us or begin to look at circumstances or the waves of turmoil around us, because then we take ou
I assure you that this happens anytime God touches someone’s life. That person falls to his knees and becomes a man or woman of prayer, driven to seek the Lord. I admit that I have often wondered why the Lord touches only certain people with this urgency. I do not understand why some believers become hungry seekers after him, while other, still faithful people, go their own way? But I did learn that disciples who have an intimate relationship with the Lord receive revelations from heaven! They are the ones who enjoy a walk with Christ that few others experience. Yeah, yeah. Some reminded me of Jesus saying, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Yeah well, why are they chosen? What makes them different? Maybe I am the only one who wonders about things like this, but I can’t help it. All I know is that my Lord has indeed been very gracious and loving during all of my struggles and trials.
Why did God lay his hand on Daniel and touch him as he did? Why was he able to see and hear things no one else could? He declared, “I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision. The men with me didn’t see the vision. Yet, they started to tremble violently, and they quickly hid themselves. So I was left alone to see this grand vision. I had no strength left in me. My face turned deathly pale, and I was helpless” (Daniel 10:7-8).
All that I am sure of, the Lord needed a voice to speak His message. He wanted a praying servant, someone who would respond faithfully to his calling, and Daniel was that man. He had been praying devoutly three times a day. Now, as he walked along the river, Yahweh revealed himself to him (see Daniel 10:7–9).
But in this whole book, I did learn that the reason Daniel was called was because he never let up in his prayers (see Daniel 10:2–3). He grieved over the spiritual decline in society as well as in the church (see Daniel chapter 9). As a result, he refused to hide any of his sin (Daniel 9:4–5). If we are willing to emulate those traits, we will certainly know intimacy with our Lord!
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