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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come # 9

The Kingdom and Spiritual Warfare (continued)

2. A Battle for Revelation

The next battle was even grimmer; it was truly a battle of life and death. So often the Lord gives His people light in this way, not as a matter of study or interest but as the only answer to the onslaught of spiritual death. For it was the Lord who brought them into this situation. He not only permitted it - He provoked it, for it was He who first gave the dream to Nebuchadnezzar and then withdrew it from him. How Daniel and his friends must have wished that the Lord had acted otherwise, either withholding the vision altogether or else helping Nebuchadnezzar in his attempts to remember it. If only the Lord would make things easier for us! If only He would not allow us to be cornered and involved in perils as He does! That is a very faithless wish, though common enough to most of us. It was God who hedged His servants in, faced them with disaster and forced them to their knees. We are not told in chapter 1 that they prayed. Probably they did, but the fact is not mentioned as the issue was fairly simple and straightforward. But now the spiritual battle had taken them beyond any past experience, quite out of their depth. Once again Daniel's faith triumphed. Once again he committed himself before he had any evidence, assuring the kind that he would get the interpretation if only he were given time; but still the battle had to be fought through on their knees.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this experience. There is the reminder that there must be prevailing in the secret place if the Lord's message is to be first received and then given out. There is the illustration of true corporate functioning as the three shared the prayer burden with Daniel. There is also a  helpful insight into the Lord's ways with His people. He did not only want to reveal a secret - He wanted to get Daniel and his companions into a position of authority in Babylon. This is how He did it. He lifted them up by first bringing them down. Very low they came, even to despairing of life, low in crying for mercy to the God of Heaven; but this was followed by an amazing exaltation, which could hardly have happened in any other way, for Daniel became chief governor, "in the gate of the King", and had the others promoted with him.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 10)

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