I was shaken to my core recently but, honestly, not by the fear of God. It was the fear of man. I put myself in a situation which could have gone very badly, though nothing happened.
God can use all things for our good, and sometimes the fear of God goes hand in hand with another fear. I truly believed that is what happened to me. I was fearful of a situation, but God opened my eyes afterwards to see how many people are in that situation every day. It broke my heart. The fear and the realization combined within me to know I had to do something to make a difference. I knew God was showing me I had to do something.
At that point I could have ignored the push to do something. I could have thought it a flight of fancy, for after all what was laid out to do seemed impossible, especially for me. I've even had a few moments in the past month since this happened where I could have released the idea/dream/goal because of the doubts/fears/worries. But God has not let me go.
The fear of man has gone. I have no fear to go back to the place where I was though I would be more careful. But the push to do something is still there sitting on my chest heavy.
It's so easy to say "God gave this to me" and go on about my business. But thinking about it all, considering it, and looking to God reminds me that this is an awesome experience and if nothing ever comes about but that I learn much and share with those in my inner circle I trust God has it all covered.
I have been pressed down and I know that God is with me as I move forward.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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 God,
your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said.
“Peace! Be strong now, be strong!”
How many times have we said it? “God told me…” and we say it with such lightness. Yet, there are times, times we probably don’t speak about as freely, where the pressing on our hearts was so much so that we were terrified ourselves. Whether it was an answer to a long awaited prayer, something we had been dreaming about, or a direction we are given in the moment we knew we were scared to death at the same time.
Daniel is like that here. He has prayed and fasted for three weeks. His words were heard as soon as he spoke them, but the answer was delayed in coming. The angel says, “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” How many times have your prayers languished, or your heart faltered because the silence was deafening? How many times did you think you weren’t being heard? We can take heart in knowing God does hear us. Our words are not in vain. When we come to God looking for understanding and humbling ourselves God does not overlook us.
When Daniel received his visitor it was a terrifying moment. The men who were with Daniel left him in fear yet they saw nothing. Daniel dropped to his hands and knees in fear. There was no denying God made this moment different than all those which had come before. God wanted Daniel’s attention and He got it.
They say the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Too often we forget that God is not simply our best friend and Dear Abba reaching down to take care of us. He is love, and that cannot be forgotten, but He is Great and Awesome, and sometimes He stresses that point within our hearts. At the same time, the angel strengthened Daniel so he was no longer fearful, could stand, speak, and hear the message that was his to hear and pass on.
Question 1: When you go to God in prayer are you searching for understanding and humbling yourself? It is no easy task to remove our selfish motives. What can we do to make sure our hearts are pure as we come to him?
Question 2: What is your perception of who God is? Is it possible to encompass everything in our thoughts, or do we simply see Him as He allows according to His purposes? Do we allow Him to strengthen us when we are overwhelmed by who He is?
You who are Awesome And Terrifying
Thank you for giving us strength to see you
Strength to hear you
And strength to speak to you.
Thank you for your Love
Which reaches down and pulls us up.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Daniel is at the end of his ministry. He has been in service to the kings of Assyria for nearly sixty years, and he currently serves under Cyrus. It is the third year of Cyrus’ rule at the beginning of chapter 10 of Daniel and we find him fasting for three weeks mourning over Jerusalem. This is not Daniel’s first experience with a vision. This is not Daniel’s first experience with seeing angels. Daniel has already survived the lion’s den. But this vision is the big one, if we were to quantify it somehow. This vision explains what will happen at the end of the world, and God wanted to make sure Daniel knew he was to pay attention. The angel He sent was filled with His glory, and Daniel was left weak in the knees, speechless, and breathless. Daniel was terrified.
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 God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed, "he said. "Peace! Be strong now, be strong." (NIV)
Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come a a consequence of [and in response to] your words. And he said, O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you! Be strong, yes be strong. (Amplified)
Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words." He said, "O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you. take courage and be courageous!" (NAS)
Reformation Study Bible: The vision and revelation that Daniel received came as a direct response to his prayers.
Matthew Henry's Commentary: Before God gives strength and power unto his people he makes them sensible of their own weaknesses. The glory on the angel was to signify the importance of the vision Daniel was about to receive.