Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Loved more than We know

“At the beginning of your supplications the command 
went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; 
therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.”

Daniel 9:23

“For you are greatly beloved.” Could there be any words from God more welcome than these? Daniel was in exile in Babylon as a result of his nation's utter defeat by the Babylonians. He desperately wanted to make sense of his circumstances. So he did what he had done so many times before: he prayed. God immediately dispatched the angel Gabriel. Gabriel revealed that God had sent him to Daniel at the beginning of his supplications. God did not even wait for Daniel to finish his prayer. Why? Because God loved Daniel greatly. What a marvelous testimony! There had been times when Daniel's love for God had been put to the test. Now, when Daniel was in need, God was quick to respond in love to him.

God wants to answer the prayers of those whose hearts are completely His (2 Chron. 16:9). God can accurately orient you to the events of your day. Media, public opinion, and political leaders cannot tell you the truth of your circumstances. Only God can. God loves you and will speak to you in His time. His answer may come immediately as it did in Daniel's case, or it may be delayed, but it will come (Dan. 10:13). If it seems as though everything is crumbling around you, and you wonder why you do not see God's activity, take comfort in knowing that you are loved in heaven. If you are genuinely seeking God's answers, you can go to your Father confidently with your questions. He will respond to you in love (Luke 11:5–13). - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Daniel is my favorite book of the Bible.  Was my pleasure to help video tape the teaching series for The Christian Workman Schools of Theology.  To be taught behind the camera what students were receiving in class on the matter of Daniel and what God did through him.

Daniel loved his God. Daniel, it's obvious, from his youth upward had a close relationship with God.  When pressed to comply with the demands of the world, he chose to obey God. Mattered not what the end would be, his faith was unwavering in the Lord.  He had his own copy of what was the Bible to that point or had it fully memorized at the least.  To know when the times were completed for the transgressions of Israel meant at least that.  Daniel always wanted to be in contact with God. At least three times a day.  Everyone near him knew his habits. Even his enemies.  Yet he didn't think more highly of himself, when the big battles came, he assumed nothing, to God he went in prayer and asked others to join him. Never is it recorded that he felt close enough to God to just do what felt right or do what looked to be the right thing.  

The takeaway here is this can be our relationship with Jesus too.  The more often you are in prayer, the more results you see of your prayers, the more you ought to align new prayers to God's answers. Daniel obviously was always very open, honest and thankful in his prayers.  So ought we to be. Daniel was indeed behind enemy lines.  Gabriel had to fight to get to him. Wasn't a matter of just popping in like Jesus did after the Resurrection.  Demons were fighting Gabriel after they knew that the Lord had sent him to respond to Daniel.  Daniel was a serious threat to Demonic activity!  They tried to and wanted him surrounded.  But they just could not stop his prayers!  They couldn't stop his praying but figured they could fight against God in getting God's response to him.  I found it very assuring that among the first words spoken by Gabriel was that of encouragement. That Daniel was greatly beloved. 

My friend, if you are indeed in Christ, if you are saved, regardless of life's happenings and circumstances, you too are beloved by God!

My life's circumstances often leave me tired and worn out, even if it wasn't a busy day.  I often am bombarded throughout the day, and peaceful quiet is what I long for.  Yet after such a day and on my way home, prayers of thanks just have to come out of me.  There is no way that I can make it through any day without Jesus. I ask Him to please come into work with me.  Telling Him that I know the verse is true, that apart from Him I can do nothing.  That in the beginning of every day I need Him to guard my thoughts and my mouth and actions.  I DON'T TRUST ME.  That's the simple way to put it.  My sin nature is always tainting my thoughts and actions. Corrupting my intentions.  Like Daniel I sometimes am praying more than just 3 times a day. 

Jesus is always eager to respond, but my friend, His response has to work with the Will of the Father.  Sure, He CAN respond to everything we ask for in prayer with a yes.  But would that yes disrupt His plans for our lives and that of others?  The endgame of the life of a believer is to be more Christ like.  Not more me like.  The answers granted to us must fit in the plans of God.  We are all heading towards the endgame of the Bible.  His answers to our prayers must fit into that. The world is not going through climate change.  It isn't racial unrest. It isn't dirty oceans or fossil fuels.  The Scriptures must be fulfilled. Jesus said clearly that every jot and tittle must happen in the Word of God.  Nothing will be excluded or left not done.  Just because the answers are delayed, like Daniel, or are an apparent no, doesn't mean we are any less loved by the Father. 

Consider increasing your prayer time today.  David was known as a man after God's own heart.  Why? He prayed often.  A great deal of what you read of the book of Psalms is David's prayers.  Daniel was highly esteemed, highly regarded, beloved of God.  His prayer relationship with Jesus irritated Satan and his minions to no end. 

Today is your moment to begin a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Today finally begin to be open and honest with yourself and God. Today...realize you too are His beloved. 

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