SCRIPTURE: Daniel 10
I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people. [Daniel 10:5-6]
This picture reminds me of Jesus when He was transformed before the disciples [Matthew 17:2], as well as of the vision that John received of Jesus [Revelation 1:13-18].
I believe this is Jesus (or the Son of God, later named Jesus when He is born in Bethlehem), Who comes in response to the desperate need of His children.
This has always been God’s desire and intention – to help us come to the end of our rope, so that we can reach out to Him and He can come and help us, encourage us, and give us hope and peace and joy!
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” [Daniel 10:19 ]
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [John 20:19-22]
The disciples are desperate, afraid.
The One they thought was the Messiah was taken from them – blocked by the spirit prince of Persia (i.e. Satan)?
But though He was blocked, He could not be stopped, and in response to their desperate need and prayer, He comes.
He suddenly appears in His resurrected glory, and offers them peace and power – and they are refreshed!
The lesson for me today is that Jesus is also wanting to reveal Himself to me in a very real and personal way.
I am precious to Him, and He wants to give me His peace and power, and fill me with strength and joy!
But something is blocking Him…
It likely has something to do with Satan (‘the spirit prince of Persia’), but it probably also has something to do with my own heart – am I as desperate as Daniel was?
When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. [Daniel 10:2-3]
Wow, he was seriously seeking God; three weeks of persistent prayer, waiting and grieving in his spirit, desperate for God, fasting and denying himself out of the intensity of his desire and need.
If I want to experience Him this way, I need to humble myself and hunger and thirst for Him!
Why does God wait so long, why does He insist that I be desperate, needy, broken?
Probably because of the seriousness of my condition; unless my repentance goes deep, it will not take root (like the seed that lies on the path, in shallow soil, or among the weeds [Matthew 13:19-22].
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. [Daniel 10:12]
The Lord sees me now, even if He does not respond right away.
He is with me through the ‘three weeks’ (the time of desperation when He does not show up right away), waiting for the right time to reveal Himself to me and answer my prayer.
He hears my request, He will come in answer to my prayer.
I must persevere, and wait, and trust – eager and hungry and desperate for Him to show Himself to me.
Lord, I am so impatient, and I am not desperate enough. Thank You for this reminder. Help me to persevere in my desire for Your presence, Your peace and Your power!