Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DANIEL—A MAN OF ANOTHER SORT!

Daniel was a “man of another sort” who speaks of being broken: “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession” (Daniel 9:3–4). In turn, Daniel was able to discern the times, because he knew God’s heart. “I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah” (Daniel 9:2).

How did Daniel come to this path of brokenness, knowledge and discernment? It began with his study of God’s Word. Daniel allowed the Scriptures to lay hold of him fully. And he quoted them often and at length, because he’d hidden them away in his heart: “As it is written in the law…” (Daniel 9:13).

In chapter 10, this godly prophet was given a vision of Christ, “I lifted up mine eyes…and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz…and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire…and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (10:5–6).

I urge you, set your heart today to seek God with all diligence and determination. Then go to his Word with ever-increasing love and desire. Pray with fasting for brokenness, to receive his burden. Finally, confess and forsake everything that hinders the Holy Spirit from opening heaven’s blessings to you. The path of “men of another sort” is open to everyone. Will you walk in it?

Such a walk brings the touch of God. Daniel testified, “Behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands” (Daniel 10:10). The word for touched here means “to violently seize upon.” Daniel was saying, “When God placed his hand upon me, it put me on my face. His touch gave me an urgency to seek him with all that’s in me.”

This happens anytime God touches someone’s life. That person falls to his knees and becomes a man or woman of prayer, driven to seek the Lord.

I’ve often wondered why God touches only certain people with this urgency. Why do some servants become hungry seekers after him, while other faithful people go their way? God-touched servants have an intimate relationship with the Lord. They receive revelations from heaven. And they enjoy a walk with Christ that few others do.

Why did God lay his hand on Daniel and touch him as he did? Why was this one man able to see and hear things no one else could? He declares, “I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision” (Daniel 10:7).

God needed a voice to speak his message. He wanted a praying servant, someone who would respond faithfully to his calling. Daniel was that man. He’d been praying devoutly three times a day. And now, as he walked along the river, Christ revealed himself to him (see Daniel 10:7–9).

God made Daniel his oracle because:

1. Daniel never let up in prayer (see Daniel 10:2–3).
2. Daniel grieved over the spiritual decline in society and the church (see Daniel chapter 9).
3. Daniel refused to harbor or hide sin (Daniel 9:4–5).