Friday, March 18, 2011

Highly esteemed - journal entry for 3/18/11

Daniel 10:8-11 "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you."

This is a rather odd passage in a sometimes confusing book. Daniel has seen a great vision from the Lord. The Lord sent an angel to assist and to explain the vision, but the angel had been delayed due to a battle with a one of Satan's most mighty demons. Odd indeed.

But on arrival, he helps Daniel to overcome his fear and awe with comforting words. "Daniel, you are thought of highly by the Lord." I can't help but hear similar words coming from the heavens at the baptism of Christ. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased." (Matthew 3:17)

God is pleased with his faithful children and esteems them highly. Too often I see only my own faults, my faithlessness, my sin. I don't trust myself to believe that God might see something different. He just might see me as his child in whom he is pleased . But its not about me. As I identify with Christ, he takes off my spirit of despair and robes me in a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3) and clothes me in a garment of salvtion (Isaiah 61:10).

I identify with Daniel in his initial fear and awe. I would fall to my face as well and fear for my life if I ever saw an angel sent from God. But I would also hope that I heard comforting words of grace and love. My confidence in prayer comes not from my own abilities or inherent goodness. My confidence in prayer is based on how God sees me. He sees in me the image of his own Son and he delights in me.

Today, Lord I put on the robe of your salvation. As I wrap myself in the person of Jesus Christ I look to you in awe. I am stunned that you might see in me something worthy of esteem. I recognize that it is nothing in me that merits this. I am only a simple man in whom Christ dwells through faith. Be pleased with me today. As I seek to know and follow Christ today allow me to see the good deeds that you have laid out in advance for me to discover and walk in. Allow me to sense the indwelling presence of the living Christ, in whom you are pleased, and to walk in his paths today. As you sent the angel to Daniel. And as you sent Daniel to the Persians. So you are sending me today to love my family, my neighbors, my church, and my community. Thank you for hearing my words and coming in response to them. In the name of Jesus, in whom is all of your delight and pleasure, Amen.

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