Words are very important to me. Because I am a writer, I generally contemplate every word I am writing and how it applies to the content of the story I am trying to present. I am also a voracious reader and have been so since I was a young child. I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on, even reading the words on a cereal box as a child while I ate my Cornflakes, Wheaties, or Rice Krispies on any given morning.
In my formative, growing up years, we lived rurally in a day and age before the internet and social media, so we got our information from Newspapers, books and our parents who watched the evening news. This was a time before children were over scheduled every minute of everyday with planned activities, so it was up to us to create our own entertainment. I read books with great enthusiasm because books opened and expanded my world. As I read, I gained knowledge and a growing perspective of the world around me. Every time I came to a word where I did not know its meaning, I would look it up in the dictionary and with that, my word knowledge continued to grow! I read many different types of books. I read books of Fiction, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Bibliographies, Memoirs, History, to name a few. In church we read and were taught stories from the Bible. With everything I read, not only did my knowledge and perspective grow, my curiosity also exploded. The more I gained knowledge, the more I realized how much was out there that I didn’t know. There was so much to discover and I was a very interested explorer.
Recently, we were involved in a Bible Study about a chapter in the book of Daniel and as we read the passage, a couple of sentences leaped off the page for me. This chapter in Daniel is recounting something that I had not fully considered previously.
Daniel’s Vision of a Man
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war.The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 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.
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz,his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 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.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.”
15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”
18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”
When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”
20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
As I exclaimed enthusiastically over the “conversation between an Angel and Daniel” in verses 12 and 13, it was suggested that one should not get involved in only one sentence of a story, and that I should not to focus on the “details”. Rather, I should just pay attention to the story as a whole and the message the story was intended to present. I understand that to be true, but what is also especially true for me is the fact that ALL words matter to an author or they would not be there in the first place.
So, not wanting to be a burden to the class, I let it go, but knew I would go and research that sentence later on, which I did.
The sentence that caught my eye is where Daniel is being told that God heard his prayers and had sent this spirit or angel in response to his prayer.
This got my attention because while I believe in angels and I DO believe they are here to help humans, I never considered that Angels might have particular assignments doled out by God. Now, as I said, we all see things differently at different times of our life, and this was a moment of clarification for me. It was exciting!
I always thought of my prayer as going directly to God (which it does) and that God or Jesus would act on it (or not) depending on His great authority. I know that the Holy Spirit is a gift God gives us Who lives IN us to protect and guide us, so my focus has always been on the Triune God, assuming all three aspects of God were directly working things out for me in regards to my prayer. (Which They are, but also while enlisting Angels to help Them with the response.) This sentence, then, opened my eyes as to how God directs the Angels. It also clarified to me that things are often happening simultaneously and I may need to wait patiently on the Lord to bring an answer to my prayer until a time opens up for Him to answer. The visual of the angel being busy in Persia for a time on the way to bringing a response to Daniels prayer was a great illustration for me. The visual of the Archangel Michael going there to relieve him so he could respond to Daniel was also profound (to me).
Why this was important to me was because it explained to me why it sometimes takes a long time for some prayers to be answered.
Our Bible Study discussion was about how Spiritual Warfare goes on unseen by us and around all of us. This entire passage reaffirmed to me, once again, that God not only hears our prayers but that He notices our humility (or lack) while we are praying.
There is so much here that one could discuss, but going forward, (for me) I now have a very strong visual about the unseen war going on constantly between Satan and his cohorts and God our Father and his heavenly army of Angels. Both sides are always in a war, fighting for the acquisition of our souls. It was a lightning rod moment for me.
We all come to an understanding at our own pace and in our own time. Because each and every one of us are custom created by God, we are different from one another so we come to know God through His Word in our own unique ways and in our own unique timing. There is a saying “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” and I guess I was ready for that little epiphany.
Here in America, there is a spiritual war going on with Satanic forces fiercely working on all of us to our detriment. The mayhem we have seen, the hatred that people are displaying in words and action are of the devil. Of that there is no doubt. The angels are working on behalf of us at Gods request and in answer to prayer. Prayer is extremely important and the fervent, ongoing prayer going up to God in a chorus of spiritual voices will have a huge impact on how this all ends.
This sentence within the story of Daniel really resonated with me. So much so, I wanted to share it with you! You may have already arrived at that conclusion or even a different conclusion, but this happened to be mine.
Praise be to God, and please, God, BLESS America!