What can we learn from studying a commitment Daniel made when he sought understanding from God?
[Darris McNeely] There are times when we really need a deeper spiritual insight into our life. I know I have found myself at wit's end wanting to just get better understanding, deal with something that's trial and troublesome in my life and get through it and overcome it. And what I've learned is that we have to be persistent, we have to stay with it to get to that level of relationship with God where God allows us to see some of the spiritual needs in our life.
I was reminded of this and going through the book of Daniel recently in our class with students and the 10th chapter in the book of Daniel, where Daniel sets himself in prayer for a period of time, actually 3 weeks, 21 days, he fasted, he prayed, he went without a lot of food for a period of time, ate very lightly and no wine but probably some water. And for 21 days he sought God's will. He sought understanding from God.
And in verse 12 of Daniel chapter 10, the messenger from God, an angel came to him finally with a message after this period of time, there were some complications. There was a hold up that the story talks about there. But here's what is revealed to Daniel. The angel told him, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come because of your words." This angel was like a brilliant gemstone. The record shows here Daniel was kind of astonished at what he was seeing and he said, don't fear, you've been heard. And he said, because you have set your mind, your heart, and you humbled yourself.
There were two qualities that Daniel had. He determined in his mind and he went with that determination for 21 days. That's a long time. We might not need 21 days or have 21 days in some cases but I think the lesson for us is to set a period of time where we will seek God in prayer, in the study of His word and in thinking about the spiritual parts of life and we remove a lot of the clutter of the every day from our lives so that we can focus on God. And that's the commitment that it takes to get to a spiritual dimension of understanding with God. He set himself and he humbled himself. And he recognized that that spiritual discernment was beyond him. And in the record here in Daniel chapter 10, Daniel was actually given spiritual insight into not only prophesy but the spirit world and how it really does operate.
But I think most importantly for you and I, the lesson that we can draw is that a period of time, two days, one day, three days, maybe a week or...but a season where we set ourselves in humility to seek God is what it takes to come to a spiritual discernment about our relationship with God and things that we need to understand about ourselves to have that better relationship, not only with God but with our fellow man. Consider that lesson from Daniel and think about what it takes to discern our own spiritual condition in this world.
That's BT Daily, join us next time.