Sunday, January 8, 2017

When God Knocks The Breath Out of You

Ryan had nearly knocked us out with the fumes from onions and red peppers. Every breath was scalding our airways, so we put masks on until the aroma subsided  and we could catch our breath again. This blog, however, is not about red pepper fumes. 

Daniel, had a different problem, and his response surprised me. He had a vision that caused him to mourn for three entire weeks. He did a fast of "tasty food", meat, wine, and ointment (deodorant/fragrance) because he wanted to understand and he was concerned about the vision. 

This next is the Leanna Paraphrase.

At the end of the time, while he was at prayer by the river, he looked up and saw a man in linen. This wasn't just a man, it was an angel, and his appearance was terrifying. He looked like he was on fire. Lightning for arms, flaming torches for eyes, highly polished bronze for arms and feet. His words sounded like roaring. 

Daniel's friends couldn't see the vision. I don't know if they could hear the roaring, but something frightened them so badly that they ran away. Daniel was knocked out by his fear and fell to the ground.

The angel was very nice, and knelt down to talk to Daniel. That made him tremble more than ever. 

"Don't be afraid, Daniel. God heard your prayer when you started praying three weeks ago. He sent me to give you your answer, but I was delayed fighting demons. I had to call in reinforcements." 

Daniel couldn't even look at the angel, much less speak. Finally, someone who looked more human than the fantastic angel touched his mouth. 

"You have knocked me off my feet and knocked the breath right out of me. I can't talk to you. You've scared me nearly to death."

That was all Daniel could say. It might not seem unusual, but Daniel was not a usual man. He was high in the government and accustomed to talking directly to the king. He wasn't a frightened kind of guy. 

The angel touched Daniel again. At last, he could speak. "I feel better enough to listen. Go ahead and speak."

Daniel understood an important truth: When God knocks the breath out of you with His majestic appearance or His majestic angels, the only sensible thing to do is shut up and listen.

I believe we'd hear more from God if we talked less and listened more. If we waited longer to get an answer to our prayers. If we sacrificed more freely in order to prepare our hearts for God's answer.

Do we want to hear from God? Fast and pray. Do we want to hear His answer? Wait for it. When the answer comes, be quiet and listen. 

It's that simple. 

Pray until God speaks. Then, stop talking and start listening. 

"Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: How to Enter the Presence of God