Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Delayed Messenger?
Another new insight, and yet a puzzling one, came from reading Daniel and Revelation this morning.
I just had to share it with you.
As you know, the last part of Daniel talks about the visions Daniel had of the end times. Because of this, it is a good book to read along with Revelation. In chapter 10, Daniel's last vision has a messenger explaining a great war to Daniel . "His body was like chrysolite, face like lghtning, eyes like flaming torches, and arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the voice like the sound of a multitude." No wonder Daniel fell down, helpless to move!
I often have wished I could see an angel or messenger from God, but upon reading this passage, I reconsider that desire.
The messenger told Daniel that Daniel's prayers were heard, and he came in response to them, BUT the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted the messenger for twenty-one days. Then Michael came to help the messenger because he was detained. Now he arrived to explain to Daniel what will happen to his people in the future.
Whoa! I knew spiritual battles went on behind the scenes of our lives, but I never quite saw it like this! The prince of the Persian kingdom is explained as a powerful spiritual being. He was able to detain the messenger for three weeks. Daniel remained faithful in praying and fasting, and the answer finally arrived.
How often have my own prayers seemed unanswered or delayed so long that I cease praying them? Satan loves to stop prayer. Prayers are our conversations with God.
There is no faster way to end a relationship with your friend, spouse, relative than to stop communication with that person. Right?
Satan knows this about our relationship with God. If he can delay messengers, discourage our prayer life, then he has a chance to disrupt our spiritual growth with God.
I am reminded of my mother who battled Parkinson disease for almost thirty years. What a faithful "Daniel" she was and role model to me. She prayed to God throughout that time for healing, for relief from that disease. Yet she shared with me that she grew closer to God than ever before had she not struggled so much. She said even if God never healed her, she would remain faithful in her love for Him.
She was finally healed when she woke up one morning in heaven. There were even glimpses of her healing before she died. One afternoon, I remember as she sat in her wheelchair unable to move her legs for many weeks, she showed me her ability to lift her legs and move them in circles in the air like a little dance. Out of the blue, sometimes, she would be able to talk clearly to me after weeks of no speech.
Glimpses of restoration. Who knows what spiritual battles may have been taking place during those years?
Like Daniel, my mother never let Satan win.
I can imagine the messenger finally coming to her as she was dieing and saying, "Rise, I have been a bit delayed, but your prayers have been heard. Your faithfulness rewarded. Your time has come to walk, run, dance again but with Jesus!"
I don't understand the spiritual battles going on unseen by you or me. I don't understand how our all-powerful God can even let an evil force delay a heavenly messenger.
All I know is this: In the end, God wins.
That is the message of Revelation. Of Daniel. Of Ruby Jack, my mother.
I hope it is the message of your story, too.
For His Glory,