Fasting is not my favorite.
I'm not sure it was Daniel's favorite, either, but he certainly did a lot of it. Daniel 10 records the events that happened toward the end of one season of sacrificial prayer.
For three weeks he'd fasted tasty food, meat, wine, and ointment. In a way, he'd fasted pleasure... the things that tasted good and felt good.
At the end of the time, Daniel was by the Tigris River and had a vision of a heavenly visitor. (He may have been Jesus Himself.) His appearance was so astounding that Daniel fell on his face on the ground in a "deep sleep."
The most wonderful thing happened next. The heavenly visitor reached out His hand, touched Daniel, and set him up on his hands and knees. He spoke words that must have thrilled Daniel to his core.
"O, man of high esteem, do not be afraid..." Daniel 10:19 nasb
Daniel was a man of high position and esteem on earth, but that wasn't what the visitor meant. Daniel was also a man of high esteem in the heavenly realm.
After a few moments of talking, the heavenly visitor strengthened Daniel with a second touch, and repeated the phrase. "O man of high esteem..." In Scripture, two is the number of confirmation. In a way, when the phrase was repeated, the visitor was saying, "You are a man of high esteem, and I really mean it."
There's a footnote in my Bible that indicates the word used literally means "desirability or preciousness". Consider the Lord's words to Daniel for a moment.
"Oh, Daniel you are so precious to me. I really mean this, Daniel. You are very precious to me."
Daniel was so precious to him that he came down from heaven to speak with him.
This morning, I'm in awe of these powerful words, for I realize that we, too, are of great value to our Lord.
When Jesus came to earth to dwell with us and speak with us, He came because He loved us so much.
We had a sin debt we could never pay, and He cared enough about it to pay it Himself. This payment did not involve reaching into his pocket and pulling out a few bills. He willingly submitted to torture and death to pay our debt with His flesh and His blood.
We are loved.
Despite our sin, the wickedness of our hearts, and the evil we hide inside, God loves us. Every single one of us. No matter how many mistakes we've made. No matter how many times we've failed. He still loves us.
What I want, though, is more than God's love. I want to hear the words Daniel heard. I want to live my life in such a way that, one day, He will say to me, "O, Leanna, you are so very precious to me."
Don't you want to hear those words, too?
Maybe, if we lived like Daniel lived, if we sacrificed like Daniel sacrificed, if we obeyed with the faithful heart with which Daniel obeyed, we could.
Today, let's commit ourselves anew to faithfulness and obedience. To sacrifice and prayer. To loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength. To loving our neighbor as ourselves.
When we live as Jesus commanded, we, too, can be people of high esteem to God. We, too, can hear those beautiful words, "Well, done, good and faithful servant. You are precious to me. Welcome home."
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Debt We Cannot Pay
Here's the link to the prayer guide: The Prayer List
Here's the link to my Global Outreach page (where you can support this ministry as God leads): Leanna Hollis MD