Today’s Reading: Daniel 10-12, Psalm 28
What God was asking of Daniel was huge! His visions left him feeling weak and physically pale, as if all his strength had left him. Can you relate? The journey God has you on or the life situations you are facing have left you drained of all energy and strength. Are you feeling alone? May these words to Daniel wash over you and give you strength. May you hear the voice of God and picture the heavenly realms today. May you know with confidence that you are loved by God and that you are most definitely not alone. May you feel the hand of God touch you and lift you up.
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. 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 10:8b-12
Notice the progression of Daniel’s position. He faints and lays with his face to the ground. The hand of God touches him and lifts him up, but only to his hands and knees. Then with a voice that roared like a vast multitude of people, the man of God told Daniel to stand up. Then Daniel, still trembling, stood up.
Have you ever been so drained from your life experiences, from the struggles and troubles surrounding you, that it was difficult for you to pray? You fall on your face before God and perhaps weep but there are no words. There are times when we need the strength of God simply to get on our knees and be able to come before him and speak – to pray what we are feeling and present our requests to Him. Praise God, He is just the kind of God to give us the strength we need to pray. He also loves us enough to tell us when to stand, to confirm to us that He has heard our prayers.
While he was speaking to me, I looked down to 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
It’s too much! It’s more than I can handle! I can’t breathe! Have you ever spoken these words or prayed something similar? There are times when what God is asking us to do or asking us to experience seems impossible, seems too big for us. At times the situation ahead is difficult, painful, overwhelming or just seems impossible. Listen to God’s words to Daniel:
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!”
As he spoke to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” – Daniel 10:19
All God has to do is speak to us and we suddenly feel stronger. There is a new hope born in us that strengthens us for what is ahead. God went on to reveal to Daniel what was happening in the spiritual realms that is unseen in the earthly realm. There was a spiritual battle taking place on behalf of God’s people and God had commissioned His archangels to fight the battles. Daniel’s visions spoke of what would happen at the end of time. It is difficult for us to understand and comprehend, just as it was difficult for Daniel. Theologians disagree on the meaning of these last three chapters of Daniel. But what I can take from this passage, what I can hear God saying is – I will fight the battle! I will be victorious! (Daniel 10:13-14, 20-21).
Daniel’s vision spoke of a long battle between the king of the north and the king of the south – how each would plot against each other and attempt to deceive each other. The anger of the king of the north will be poured out against the people of the holy covenant. He will reward those who forsake the covenant, flattering and winning them over. But the people who KNOW their God will be strong and will resist him (Daniel 11:32).
Those who KNOW their God will be strong and able to resist their oppressor! Praise God! The God who draws us into a personal relationship with Him strengthens us through that relationship. It is our connection, our intimacy with God that gives us the strength to resist evil. And the experience of facing a battle with evil changes us. It refines us, cleanses us and makes us pure.
And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. – Daniel 11:35
Praise God! He does not leave us alone during the difficult times. He does not ask us to do something by ourselves, of our own strength. He is with us. His angels are defending us. He is strengthening us for what he has called us to. Then he allows the difficult times to refine us and make us clean and pure before Him.
The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. – Psalm 29:11
God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. – Psalm 68:35
The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever. – Psalm 28:8-9