“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” – Daniel 10:12-14
Daniel had a dilemma. God had made something known to him but he didn’t understand it. We’ve all been there right? We know God is trying to tell us something but we’re just not getting it. Often times we brush it off and just expect that it will make since later or that it will all work out eventually, but not Daniel. He was determined to understand what God was saying, so he determined to fast and pray for 21 days for the answer. He wasn’t praying for the answer that he wanted, he was praying for God’s answer, he only wanted to know what God wanted of him.
Often times people will fast with a list of demands in hand as if their tiny sacrifice will somehow obligate God to submit to their will above His own, then wonder why their prayer remained unanswered. Daniel, on the other hand, did not fast for what he wanted God to do, but rather he fasted to find out what God wanted him to do. It was an act of humility before God, His wisdom, and His will, and God honored it.
“They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.” – Psalms 35:12-13
One of the most encouraging truths listed in our opening passage about Daniel’s fast is that scripture records that though Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days, God actually heard his prayer and dispatched his answer as soon as he purposed in his heart to fast before the Lord. It literally says that from the very first day God was on the move, yet the enemy fought and the messenger was delayed. However, God was so moved by Daniel’s faithfulness and humility to hear from Him that He sent in the big guns and Michael himself came to help and make sure that the answer to Daniel’s prayer reached him.
Many times we go through situations that are hard to understand, or receive pullings from the Holy Spirit that make little since to us. Yet we know that God has all the answers and desires to bring us into all truth. God does not want us to fail and is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), He is always willing to help us understand what needs to be done to be victorious through Him in every situation. However, God, all His workings, miracles, and blessings come by way of faith and what is faith but humbly trusting Him? So when you find yourself in a situation or spiritual battle that you just don’t understand, know that God wants to make things clear to you but it’s up to you to humble yourself, put down your own wisdom, and seek His. Fast and pray, not for what you want done, but for understanding of what He wants done. Then wait, your answer is on the way. Trust God and determine not to move until He tells you to, where to, and how to. Don’t allow the enemy to stir your emotions like a stormy sea and toss you about to and fro acting on your own accord or you will sink into defeat and despair and miss out on God’s perfect plan. But rather fix your eyes on Jesus, seek His heart and not His hands, wait patiently on Him, receive His instruction, and walk in faithful and fearless obedience to it. To put it simply… seek, listen, trust, obey.
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” – James 1:4-7