Have you ever prayed, and it seemed to hit the ceiling instead of the throne room? Have you ever seen the wicked run rampant with what seem to be God’s blessings and you are standing there feeling completely deserted? I have felt that way over the past 17 years; more so in the past 10 months as we have watched the medical bills pile up and taxes become due. We have watched people go on vacations while we have had to hunker down to decide when we are going to pay the next bill. It seems to be so difficult when you must decide n whether you can afford to buy gas to go to work or hope that they won’t get mad at you for working from home since you can’t afford the drive. You hear the preacher talking about tithing and you have been doing so but find yourself struggling to make ends meet. When you hear that you should give more and you have given until you can give no more, yet no return can be found, it is easy to find yourself doubting God though God has done nothing wrong. It isn’t from a lack of trying. You’ve done all that you know that you can do and then, nothing.
I know over the past month; I have seriously struggled. I have had to talk myself out of quitting church time and time again because my heart hurts from trying to reconcile God’s word with reality. Today, I believed that something would happen during a song during the service, and I didn’t see it then. I found myself wondering if I had missed something along the way because I had struggled with even mentioning it. Something came like a flood tonight during a game of cards with my family. It was like a download that I just could not write fast enough to get down. After the game, I said I needed to step out to get this down. Here I am writing what I believe God is telling me in my spirit today.
In Daniel 10:11-14, an angel from God came to Daniel after fasting and said “He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 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. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
A few things jumped out at me during this encounter with Daniel.
“Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard.
The moment Daniel set his mind and humbled himself – God heard his words.
“I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days.”
The angel was dispatched when the prayer was spoken.
The angel was interrupted by a distraction, by a resistance, by a battle.
“Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”
Michael came to help, and the angel reiterated that he was detained.
The angel was still at war.
“Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
The angel finally was able to deliver the answer.
Sometimes when we pray for something, there is a great resistance from the enemy to keep it from being answered. Whether the answer is yes or no, there is still a moment when the answer is detained because of the opposition. What caught me off guard was how Daniel responded to how he was feeling during the twenty-one days that he waited. “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (Daniel 10:3-4) Daniel mourned. The word “mourn” comes from the Hebrew word “'āḇal” meaning “to mourn, lament.” All throughout the Old Testament, the word shows up 39 times and is reflected when someone tears their clothes, puts on sackcloth and ashes, and expresses weeping and crying. Daniel’s response was not one of a temper tantrum. It was one of deep pain and sorrow. When he cried out to God, it wasn’t a simple prayer, it was a complete lifestyle change for that time.
Daniel found himself in mourning, crying out to God for the answer. Even the most devoted man of God was on his face for a simple understanding of God’s revelation to him. We have the answer already because the book has been written. There was a great battle for the answer. Daniel didn’t know it. But what he did know was to cry to God for the answer This is always a good reminder that it is important to cry out to God. It is said in Psalms 30 that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
To be continued...