Devotional - When The Answers Can’t Seem To Be Found

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” - Daniel 10: 18-19 (NLT)

    I wish I had all of the answers to all of the questions this life throws at us. I wish I knew why some people are healed and others are taken home way too soon for us. I wish I knew why sometimes this life just seems to crush us. Why some people find their soul mate at an early age and others seemingly have to wait forever for the elusive happiness of companionship. Why happiness seems so deferred for some of us. What I do know is that God loves us all with an endless love. A love that was willing to sacrifice His only Son for us so that we can be restored unto Him. What I do know is that God is never far and that during those times that He seems more distant – it is not He that has moved. What I do know is that for all of the answers I do not know, His Word provides us with. It may not be the answer we want. It may not be the answer we have been praying for. We have started to lose sight of the very important principle of sovereignty when it comes to God. We do not simply draw circles and insist that we get our way. We have to trust that God knows the way even when it disagrees with what we think we want. That is one of the hardest things to accept sometimes because we think we know what we need when in reality we are dealing with what we want:

    And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4: 19 (NLT)

    Now we might disagree with God about what we need; I know I have at times. Yet who is in a better position to know? Us or the one who created us and sees all time? I can think back to situations I wanted and was denied by God and see how it was His protection, not chastisement. Now, when I was led to write about this topic I was searching for great encouragement verses for the key verse. God is our shield and rampart. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My God will never leave us nor forsake us. Yet God had me pass by all of them to come to this story from the Book of Daniel. It is a story where Daniel was looking for an answer that was delayed in coming. Going through it verse by verse, let us see how God wants to minister to us today:

    In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship. 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: 1-3 (NLT)

    The backdrop for the story is that Daniel receives a vision from God and it was not a pleasant vision. Times of great war and great hardship. Daniel enters into a period of fasting and prayer so God can give him the answer as to what this vision meant. I think the first lesson for us all in times of great trial is we need to seek God on an even deeper level. I think sometimes we are so used to the lazy Christianity that surrounds us that we lose sight of the spiritual weapons God has given us insight into. By denying the flesh the food it craves we open up the chance to then rely more upon God and draw even closer to Him. I understand that it is at the times of greatest hardship that it is often the hardest to draw closer. It is harder to praise God. It is harder to pray without ceasing. We need to rise up to the challenge of our hard times – not cringe in despair. Daniel knew what this time was; it was a period of mourning! It’s ok to be mournful. I think we are conditioned in Churchianty that we have to always be blessed and highly favored. Well, welcome to the real world, where quite often things do not go the way we wanted or expected. Mourn – but seek God. But I am preacher! Well, seek Him more. Seek Him deeper. Get out of your comfort zone. If you know full well the Spirit of God is not moving in the church you are in go somewhere else. Make an altar in your bedroom. Do not give in or up. Jacob refused to let go until he was blessed and because of it he become Israel. God may have a new name for you if you are willing to refuse to let go of Him!

    On April 23,as I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, 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.Only I, Daniel, saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly terrified and ran away to hide.So I was left there all alone to see this amazing vision. – Daniel 10: 4-8 (NLT)

    Finally, an angel of the Lord appears before Daniel. What I find interesting here is that the men that were with Daniel saw nothing but they became terrified anyway and ran away! Listen beloved; sometimes we need to remove ourselves from certain people. You know the people I mean. The people who may be nice enough but just are not on the same spiritual level as you. People who may actually be hindering the answer from coming. We are spiritual creatures living in a spiritual word and engaged in a spiritual war – and don’t you forget it! Yet sometimes we associate with people who simply do not get it. They are more into the feel-good Christianity then the genuine article. They believe in the warm and fuzzy Jesus instead of the one that said He came to set our world on fire! They believe God exists to pour blessing out upon them. Maybe you can meet back up with them later but right now, in the middle of the storm, you cannot surround yourselves with people who refuse to even admit the clouds are darkening! You need to surround yourself with people who understand spiritual warfare. Who will pray with you and pray you through. People who will be willing to stand in the gap for you; not people who think the gap is a place to buy jeans.

    My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak. Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. – Daniel 10: 8-9 (NLT)

    Dear God we must be reverent! I hear the modern day Christians speak about nonsensical encounters with God where they are supposedly whisked away to His throne room and they describe it like they are having a latte with the Father! At the mere sound of the voice of this angel, Daniel collapses with his face to the ground and faints. When Isaiah was called he said “woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips!” When the Apostle John, who spent three years walking with Jesus, saw Him in the glory of the Revelation he fell down as if he were dead! Sometimes we might be thinking we are seeking God but what God are we seeking? Look at how Daniel’s friends addressed King Nebuchadnezzar, a man who had their very lives in his hands:

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” – Daniel 3: 16-18 (NLT)

    The words I want us to focus on are – “but even if He doesn’t…” The three Hebrew boys acknowledge the sovereignty of God. They understand that the answer they were looking for and hoping for might not be the answer God had. Beloved, we cannot approach God petulantly about things we think we want and then get upset when the answer doesn’t come. The object is to find His will – even if it is the opposite of what we think we want. Far too often we want something and then we seek God for “confirmation.” It doesn’t work that way! Even at His most human moment in Gethsemane, Jesus said – not my will but Yours be done.

    Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.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: 10-12 (NLT)

    Beloved, here me well. From the first day you began to pray, God has heard you. The heavens aren’t brass. But look at what the angel reinforces Daniel was praying for. He was praying for understanding and humbled himself before God. Now, I do not know your individual situation but I know that we can sometimes approach God arrogantly. We can be upset with God. We can be bitter about our lives. We can be depressed because our lives have not turned out as we expected – or as the church has promised us it would! We need to stop listening to the seeker friendly and prosperity nonsense that is passed off as Christianity. God always wants to prosper you? Tell that to Peter who was crucified upside down! Tell that to Isaiah who was sawn in half according to legend. We need to get out from the churches that are feeding us this poison because then when we really need God we approach Him without the reverence He is due, respecting His authority and sovereignty over our lives. We need to humble ourselves and seek understanding – not go to God demanding answers!

    But for twenty-one days the spirit princeof the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” – Daniel 10: 13-14 (NLT)

    There are many times I say that we are on a need to know basis and God has decided we do not need to know! Yet here we see the angel explaining to Daniel why there was a delay in his answer! There is something we never consider during the valley. There may be a reason we cannot even fathom to explain what seems like a delay in the answers we seek. These two verses might be the most important of the whole story. We live in an age where the church has turned a blind eye to spiritual warfare. The result is we are raising up a generation of spiritually illiterate Christians. But just because we choose to not understand this war does not mean it stops from being waged against us. We read in Ephesians 6 that we are fighting a war against evil rulers and principalities in the heavenly realms. This story in Daniel explains that more clearly. Daniel prayed and God dispatched an angel to Daniel. But the angel was blocked in the heavenly realms by the Prince of the kingdom of Persia (Persia is the general area where Babylon was, which is where Daniel was). Are we getting this? Satan was cast out of heaven with a third of the angels, who had sided with him. They are what we refer to now as demons. Some are in charge of large areas and this one was over Persia. So, in the spirit realm, the angel of God is fighting against the Prince of Persia for 21 days until God has to send the archangel Michael to pick up the fight so the ministering angel can complete his journey to Daniel.

    What’s the point preacher? The point is that this kind of spiritual warfare is going on all the time and all around us. The woman with the issue of blood suffered for 12 years. God only knows what kind of spiritual warfare was going on all around her for that time. But in our own flesh with our poor understanding of spiritual warfare we just think that we have been praying and not getting an answer. So God must be mad at me. I must have a secret sin. God is no longer close to me. I’m drifting. Well, while there may be slivers of truth in some of those we need to start with where we are at in understanding the nature of the war we are in!

    For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2Corinthians 10: 3-5 (NIV)

    Yet how often do we find ourselves waging war as the world does? We have a problem and we take it to our friends. Or we take it to our therapist. We do not hear from God so we react like the world and get depressed. We marginalize all the good God has done by insisting that everything is bad. Beloved we need to snap out of it, like my pastor is fond of saying. The spiritual weapons God has given us possess divine power! We can take authority and demolish the strongholds of the enemy! But we have to wield the weapons! We have to do our part as well. We have to take these rogue thoughts that are set up in opposition to God and make them obedient to Christ! When the enemy says that God has forsaken us we remind him of the Scripture that assures us He never will. When the enemy says we are not worthy of an answer from God we remind him of the Scripture that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When the enemy says God doesn’t care, we remind him that God knit us together in our mother’s womb and numbers the hairs on our heads! When the enemy comes against us at our weakest moments we need to tell him that we do not need to defend ourselves in this matter for God can deliver us – BUT if He chooses not to – so be it. The name of the Lord be praised!

    While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word. Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.” – Daniel 10: 15-17 (NLT)

    Daniel is blown away by the faithfulness of God and the visit from the angel. This leads us to our key verses for today. In light of this backdrop, we can see several messages for us. I do not know where this writing finds you. I do not know what the answer is that you are waiting on or where your understanding of spiritual warfare is either. What I do know is the Word of God always has the answers and I see four parting messages from the Lord to us today from these key verses:

    Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” - Daniel 10: 18-19 (NLT)

    All we need is a touch from God or His ministering angels and all of our strength will return! Thus when we feel weaker during these times the answer must always be to draw closer not withdraw farther. Secondly, God is saying don’t be afraid! If God is for us then who can stand against us! Third and this was so important He said it twice to Daniel in this story - you are very precious to God! He sent His only Son to die for YOU. Don’t ever lose sight of this! Lastly, peace, be encouraged, be strong. Unrest, discouragement and weakness are just the soils the enemy loves to use to plant his lies in. Do not give him a foothold. You are a child of the living God. Let’s all get back to believing it, showing it, and living it!

    Reverend Anthony Wade – April 25, 2013

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