DayBreaks for 2/27/19: The Great Value of Faith
From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:
Yes, you know the verse about “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” So, faith is non-negotiable, if we are to please God. But God, why? Why does faith sometimes have to be so hard?
In Daniel 10 is one of the most fascinating stories in Scripture. Daniel was in prayer – and had been for some time – when Daniel becomes perplexed by why his prayer, offered in faith to the Living God, wasn’t answered already. Since Daniel was a faithful servant of the Most High, the Lord sent an angel to Daniel to grant him a peek behind the curtain of the spiritual world. For three weeks, in the unseen world that we can only “see” by faith, the angels says he tried to come and deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayer, but he was resisted by the “prince of the Persian kingdom.” The angel by himself, so it reads, was not able to overcome that resistance, and had to wait for reinforcements from a heavenly power named Michael, the great archangel of God’s army.
This passage has caused me endless trouble and distress. Why, for example, did God wait 3 weeks to dispatch Michael to defeat the source of resistance? Surely, God knew this was going on and would happen. Why didn’t God just send Michael to start with? And what does it mean that the first angel couldn’t overcome the resistance by himself? Could the angel not have asked Got to remove it, or to give him/her the strength to defeat the resistance? Such questions are not necessarily confidence builders for me.
Elsewhere, the Bible talks about prayer and uses the term “wrestle” to describe that activity. It brings to mind, of course, the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. Perhaps prayer is much more like real, physical wrestling than we’ll ever know. In our prayers, we are at war with principalities and powers that are in the unseen world. Wrestling is hard work. How much wrestling am I doing in my prayer life?
Another thought: do angels have to learn faith and trust, too? What was the lesson for the angel in all this, if any? Is it possible that even angels are on a faith-journey, side by side with us, just unseen?
I don’t know, nor do I have to know. But as Phillip Yancey put it, “I doubt Daniel ever prayed casually again.” Nor should we!
Prayer: Father, may we be willing to engage the enemy in prayer, to call down Your power to bring victory, to release oppression and to pour forth holiness on this earth! Give us the strength to fight for the souls of the lost, knowing that there are unseen enemies waging war with us. Give us the wisdom to not fight in our own strength, but only in Yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>