Day 15 Daniel 10:1 – 11:1
Contrary to what some may believe, visions from God are not a thing of the past. Our God who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) can and will still communicate with His people however and whenever He chooses. But whether we may be the recipient of such a message from God does depend on our spiritual preparedness. Not only will God not waste such messages on those who are not in a position to receive them, but a person whose heart is not prepared through prayer and contemplation may simply disregard God’s vision as a dream or figment of their own imagination. Daniel’s heart was prepared.
The prophet Daniel was “highly esteemed” by God (Daniel 10:11). This was because Daniel was a humble, devoted man of prayer. He had demonstrated his unswerving dedication to God when he had refused to worship King Darius but continued to worship and pray to his God (Daniel 6:10). Because he broke the law of the land, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions. But God honored Daniel by closing the lions’ mouths and delivering him from certain death. As a result, King Darius made a public declaration that everyone should “fear and reverence the God of Daniel” (Daniel 6:26).
In the tenth chapter of Daniel, the prophet had a troubling vision. It caused him such distress that he mourned for three weeks, fasting and praying. Then God gave him another vision, this time of a man with a supernatural appearance. While those with Daniel did not see the vision, they felt it with such force that they were terrified and ran away to hide! God’s humble servant stayed, and the Lord’s messenger told him that from the time Daniel first began to pray about the vision, God had heard Him. In fact, God had sent His messenger to Daniel at that time, but the messenger had been delayed for twenty-one days by “the prince of the Persian kingdom” (vs. 13).
This was not a human prince that had opposed God’s angelic messenger, but a minion of Satan sent to stop God’s servant. The enemy did not want Daniel to receive an answer to his prayer. He knew that Daniel would faithfully do whatever God asked of Him and so Satan sought to stop God’s messenger from getting through to Daniel. A spiritual battle ensued for twenty-one days.
While God’s angels fought the enemy’s forces, something else was happening. God’s servant, Daniel, was fasting and praying. His prayers served to support the efforts of God’s messengers. Daniel did not give up, even though the waiting continued and the sense of mourning deepened. It drained Daniel of his strength and left him feeling weak (vs. 16), yet he held on. As a result of Daniel’s perseverance, God’s messenger made it to him, renewed Daniel’s strength and explained God’s vision to him.
Daniel was prepared to hear from God and receive God’s vision. Prayer was more than just a religious exercise for him. It was a line of communication with his God. He had surrendered his will to God and sought to know God and hear His voice. So, when God needed someone to trust with a vision – someone who would fight on their knees to see God’s will accomplished – God knew He could trust Daniel.
Spiritual battles continue to rage. God still needs men and women who will surrender themselves to His will and support God’s unseen forces with their prayers. When God finds such a person, He will sometimes give them a glimpse of what is happening in the unseen realm. Such visions serve to prepare God’s servants for further warfare prayer.
Bob Beckett, a long-time pastor and well-known speaker on the subject of spiritual warfare, tells of an incident when he was pastoring a small church in Hemet, California.
In my times of personal prayer, I began to have a recurring vision that would flash before me. It looked something like a bear hide laying on the floor. Each of the four corners of the hide was that of a leg area with the claws attached. The hide had no head but appeared to have a backbone. Each time I would see this animal’s hide it would be centered over our local mountain area. Each set of claws in the vision was embedded in specific locations, including the Hemet/San Jacinto valley. All the other cities were within a 30-mile radius of our community.
I should mention that I would never see this in a dream. It was always while I was awake and almost always in times of prayer. Each time I would see this vision I vaguely felt it could have something to do with ruling spirits of darkness such as those referred to in Daniel 10, namely the prince of Persia and the prince of Greece.
During one prayer time, I felt strongly impressed to take a group of 12 church leaders to a specific cabin located in the mountains covered by this vision. By this time, Susan and I were pastoring a small church we had planted in the small city of Hemet. As I approached the elders and several other seasoned leaders in our congregation with my sense of direction from the Lord, they agreed to go with me to the cabin, which belonged to a woman in our church. We were to pray there until we broke the “backbone” of this ruling spirit and forced it to loose its spiritual grip upon the people living under its control.
God greatly encouraged me when I approached the woman who owned the cabin. I entered the store in town that she operated. When she saw me, she reached down behind the counter and tossed the keys of the cabin to me. Then she said, “In my prayer time this morning God told me you would come and I was to give you the keys!”
As we all gathered in the cabin the following Friday, I explained in detail this recurring vision and what I felt our purpose was on this mountain. I shared with the group that I thought we would all know when we had broken the back of this thing by hearing or feeling the breaking. After hours of praying and agonizing and ministering to the Lord, we spontaneously began to sing, “There Is Power in the Blood.” Each of us had been alerted by an immediate and gripping sense of evil all around us. While singing that song we all felt it break! Many of us even heard an audible sound as if vertebrae were not exactly cracking but popping or disjointing. The whole cabin physically shook!
A deep sense of relief came upon all of us as we drove down the mountain the next day. We did not understand exactly what we had done, nor what to expect as a result of our time together. Things, however, began to happen spiritually in our seemingly dull and sleepy little retirement community. We all sensed that something was different in our town.
[Bob Beckett, Breaking Strongholds in Your City, ed. C. Peter Wagner (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993), pp. 150-151]
Bob Beckett’s heart was prepared. God gave him a vision that stirred his soul. Bob acted on God’s urging, even recruiting other prayer warriors to join him in the fight. As a result, a spiritual battle was won.
What will it take for you to be prepared to receive God’s vision? Are you ready to act when God calls you to do battle on your knees? Humbly seek His face in this moment and ask what He would have you to do.