2002-08-08 - Prayer & Patience
Dan 10:12 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. (NAS)
Daniel is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. This is at least the second time that Gabriel has been sent by God to deliver a message to Daniel. The description of Daniel's character is impeccable. He comports himself as an ambassador of the people of Israel and a man of God as he is about the business of the Kingdom of Darius.
Gabriel has an unusual message to give to Daniel. But he has an equally interesting story to tell about the events surrounding the delivery of the message. The Prince of Persia withstood the mighty angel for 21 days preventing the delivery of God's message to Daniel. I doubt seriously we are talking about a mortal Prince. We are talking about a fallen angel that is in charge of the territory we know as Persia. Angels do indeed fight. The Revelation tells us that there will be war in Heaven between the angels of the enemy and the angels of God. I doubt we can imagine the power or the importance of these battles.
Daniel is told that his prayer was heard the first day he uttered it. The answer was dispatched immediately. I am convinced that the Lord could have allowed Gabriel swift and safe passage to Daniel. So what purpose could be served by a three week delay in the arrival of Daniel's answer to his prayer? What we see is a man who kept constant in prayer. Daniel was not shaken by the lack of an immediate answer.
We live in a world of high speed Internet connections, instant breakfasts, microwave ovens and fast food. We get impatient with television commercials, other drivers and automated teller machines. We are conditioned for immediate feedback and response. In this culture is it easy to be impatient with anything less. The lack of a quick answer does not have to mean yes or no. It could simply mean wait on Me and My timing, patience.
In a culture that gives us a great deal of control we have to learn one very disturbing thing. We are not in charge. We are often not even in control. However, if we believe that God is in charge and He is in control then we have nothing to fear and everything to gain by waiting on Him and His timing.