Beloved, for quite some time we have been seeking to learn more of the meaning of the travail of the Holy Spirit, and what it means to share in the burden of the Lord. So while we were working on the Preeminence, volume 31, we became very conscious of the important place that the discipline of the Lord had in our being able to pray effectively for the eternal purpose of God in Christ.
So, as we searched the Word of God about the burden of God's Heart, we found that Daniel's intercession and the intercession of those who were with him in the worst of times are a wonderful example of the prayers of all the saints. For Revelation, chapter five, tells us that every prayer that is prayed in the Spirit - whether in the past, or in the present, or in the future - has its place in the Throne ministry of the Lamb that was slain.
First of all, Daniel prayed and confessed his own sins and then he confessed the sins of the people (Daniel 9-10). Now we know that the Lord sent His people into captivity because they practiced idolatry. They made God a god among gods, and from the beginning God had said: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." But again and again, Israel turned after other gods, until God, true to His Word, sent them into captivity (Deut. 32:34).
However, Daniel and Ezekiel, and many others, had never worshiped other gods, but they were still sent into captivity with the rest of those who had. So why were they sent into captivity with those who worshiped other gods? Although we did not fully understand it, we knew it must be part of God's eternal plan; for God is always working all things together for good to those who love the Lord.
We also knew that Daniel was not perfect because he was an ordinary human being like the rest of us. Therefore, even though he loved God with all his heart, Daniel sinned. He missed the mark that God had set before him because of the rubbish, the dung, the useless waste of his self-life. Although we do not have much written about God's dealings with Daniel's self-life, we know he went through the chastening and the disciplines of the Lord, because he was greatly loved of the Lord; and the Bible says, "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" (Daniel 10:11; Hebrews 12:6).
Beloved, in the Father's eternal plan, one of the most loving and merciful Spiritual Laws is the chastening and the discipline of the Lord. The Spiritual Law of chastening and of discipline is sourced in, and proceeds from, the depths of God's Own Heart: "For Whom the Lord Loveth He Chasteneth, He disciplines, and Correcteth, and Scourgeth Every Son Whom He Receiveth" (Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5,6; Proverbs 3:11, 12). And the Lord disciplines those He loves so that He can pour out the burden of His Heart, unhindered, through their heart, spirit and soul. Through His discipline the Lord cleanses, purges and clears our heart, spirit and soul so that He may share His Heart's desire and burden with us.
(continued with # 2)