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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 9

"Windows Open Toward Jerusalem" (continued)

God's Counter By Resurrection

But the devil is limited, happily. There are not really only two ways, there is a third way. The young men proved it, Daniel proved it. In the case of our Lord, and in the New Testament language, it is Resurrection. The word used in Daniel is "deliverance." There is a third way; the young men may not have known about that, Darius did not know about it. Did Daniel know? I wonder. Neither he nor the three young men stopped to think  when the alternatives were placed before them. They did not take any time to decide, they were committed to the Lord; what happened to them was a secondary thing. Yet I think Daniel did know. He knew in the way in which we may all know. He could not foresee the way in which God would deliver him. That is what we want to know - we want the Lord to explain, we want that somebody else should have gone the same way, and nobody has gone that way before: it always is to us as nobody has gone that way before: it always is to us as a new experience, we cannot see the way out. Nor could Daniel in that sense; but spiritually he could see that his association with the Lord was the safe way, and that is why there is this air of quiet calm about him. He did not see the way out, but he did know the Lord; so he would open his windows and pray and praise.

"Is thy God, Whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" Well, let the next morning and the light of day show, and the king shall see there are not just the two alternatives. That is what the devil thinks - maybe even persuades himself. That is what man thinks as he looks at it from a human level. That is what we shall think unless we have the windows open toward Jerusalem. Two alternatives - either we must compromise in this matter of utter abandonment to what the Lord has shown to be His will, or we  shall be broken - one or the other. If we say, in any case I cannot abandon what the Lord has shown, my heart is set upon Him: we shall find that there is a third way. There is the vision, and there is deliverance. Thank God, that is true for us, He is the God of resurrection, the God of deliverances. So let us keep the windows open.

A Great Victory

See what happened as the result of this. There is always spiritual gain when we are faithful to the Lord. Daniel heard all their threats, knew what was going to happen, foresaw it all, and quietly went n with the Lord. That is all Daniel did, but you see the extraordinary results. This experience of his was a great victory. Without feeling revengeful about men, we must feel there is a certain spiritual satisfaction at the end of the story in the fact that the ones who had plotted Daniel's overthrow were cast into the den themselves; and the spiritual lesson is a true one. Daniel's quiet faithfulness and his deliverance were not just things in themselves, they were the overthrow of the enemies of the Lord. It was a great victory. And it is always like that. Daniel did not wrestle and strive. He did nothing concerning his enemies; he kept his windows open to Jerusalem. But so long as he did that, God was quite capable of dealing with his enemies. Let the rest, the quiet, the calm dignity of that assurance flood our hearts. Darius was trying to deal with the enemies and could not; Daniel was holding fast to the Lord and his steadfastness was the undoing of all his enemies.

"The God of Daniel"

And the second feature which emerges from this story is the great testimony to the Lord which was set up because of Daniel. The Book of Daniel has a number of titles of God which are very striking, and some of them very wonderful. He is the "Living God;" He is the "God of heaven;" He is the "Ancient of days;" and so on. But come to chapter 6:26, and He is "the God of Daniel." In all that list of glorious titles, here is one more - "the God of Daniel." What a testimony! It is not that Daniel stands for anything, but what makes the king and all others to marvel is, "What a God Daniel has!" Would that that might be added to the many titles of the Lord, with my name and yours in the place of Daniel's! We are not important, but neither was Daniel in his own eyes.

Our windows open toward Jerusalem, our going on with the Lord, mean the lions' den; but we go on with the Lord, and after all we come out of the lions' den and there is a great victory, something established in the earth that never was before of a testimony to the greatness of the glory of God. "The God of Daniel." The Lord grant that this may be true in our case!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 10 - (Meekness of the Man of God)

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