Daniel 10 sets us up for the detailed explanation of Daniel 11. He is about to receive a detailed message about future days and needs to be prepared to do so. For the most part this is quite typical and true isn’t it: something of this magnitude happens in our lives and there needs to be a time of preparation first. It’s a common thing in our lives, and it’s actually a very common thing to see in Scripture, too. I think of:
Noah – told to build the arc, then anywhere up to 120 years later the flood waters came.
Abraham – promised children and waited fifteen years for Isaac, the son through whom the promise would pass.
Joseph – a man of visions and dreams but also a man sent to prison. Sold at 17, he entered Pharaoh’s service at 30. From this position he could provide for his family and God’s people with his wise stewardship through saving and then distribution of resources. 13 years preparing for this role!
Moses – it took him 40 years to really identify with God’s people as one of them, then another 40 years tending flocks until he saw the burning bush and receives his commission. Even then it didn’t go all too smoothly!
David – anointed and waited 15-20 years to actually take the role of King.
Simeon and Anna – a prophet and prophetess living in the temple. Both older in years and had been waiting their whole lives to see the promised One.
Paul – went off into Arabia to really confirm and affirm God’s call on his life in this radical new direction and application of the zeal he had.
And then the ultimate example –
Jesus’ time of preparing as a younger person. He wasn’t born a 30-something year old man announcing the Kingdom of God was He? We read that He was growing and demonstrating that the favour of God was upon Him. We read that He was 12 years old questioning the teachers in Jerusalem. We read that in His humanity He increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people. I think too of his time in the wilderness. Led there by the Spirit to prove, to evidence, to show His quality and character before coming back and starting a new season of teaching and preaching.
And then what about you?
Do you feel like you’re in a period of preparation?
Can you point to a period like that in your life?I know I can, and if you’re there and you’re feeling like you’re ready for the next step but are still in a period of preparation that’s hard, I’ve been there. It’s so important that you trust the Lord’s timing and you know that He is all loving and all wise which means that what is going to happen will happen at the best time for it to happen. It will happen at the time that glorifies Him the most and at the time that imparts the biggest blessing to you.
Daniel wasn’t just given this all in one big lump, was he? He saw the vision, he prayed, he fasted, angelic supernatural help was dispatched, and even then needed preparing to receive what this messenger had to say.
To be used of the Lord we first need to be prepared by the Lord.
Daniel is about to receive a detailed message about future days and needs to be prepared to do so. As Daniel was prepared to receive, have you been prepared, are you prepared? If you want the vision but have not made the provision, it’s time to do the first things first. If you’re asking to be used greatly of God but have never taken the time to prepare, it’s not going to happen, is it? You’re not going to be brought on as a last minute substitute in the World Cup Final to take the match winning penalty if you’ve not prepared, are you?
Do you need to seek a time of preparation as Paul did, as Jesus did in the wilderness?
If you feel that you do, try this prayer of John Calvin:
“May we be cast down in ourselves and raised by hope and faith toward heaven; when prostrate before Thy face, may we so conduct ourselves in the world, as in the interval to become free from all the depraved desires and passions of our flesh, and dwell mentally in heaven”