The Bible is not just written for our inspiration and comfort. It is given to model for us what we are to do and be, to instruct us in effective living and ministry.
It tells us about the prophet Daniel, who found himself in a culture and season that parallels ours in many respects. The example in Daniel 9 gives us the only medical protocol that will heal our land.
READ GOD’S WORD
I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years (Daniel 9:2 NASB).
Daniel’s powerful and effective response to the national need was driven by his reading of Scripture. It informed him, corrected him, and equipped him to accurately assess and react to what was happening around him.
This is exactly what the Bible is designed to do. It is God-breathed and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In other words, if you don’t voraciously and prayerfully read your Bible, you will not find the path of life or be adequate to assess what is happening around you. You will not understand the times, and you will make costly mistakes in your judgments.
Are you reading your Bible daily, carefully and deeply listening to God’s Word to you and those around you?
GIVE SOLEMN ATTENTION TO THE LORD
So I gave attention the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (9:3).
We give much attention to the news, to the world’s opinion about our situation. But our greatest concern should be to get in a posture to hear what God says regarding the world. We must seek Him.
And we must not seek quick answers, but Him alone. The answer is not mere plans, but a robust, real-time relationship with the One-Who-Is-Everything.
It is hard for us to grasp how much the Father loves His children, the Groom loves His bride, the Spirit loves His body. God longs for us to come back to Him in passionate intimacy. When was the last time you fasted and prayed for nothing but Him? To return to your first love?
Are you seeking Him?
I prayed to the LORD my God (9:4).
God desires us to cry out to Him. Prayer is an admission of need and the foundational expression of humility. Proud people don’t pray, because they foolishly believe they can handle life by themselves. Why turn to the Creator?
God has designed prayer and His Word as His means of connection and communion with Him. If you are not using these means, you are not connected. If you are not connected to Him, you will not only be of no help to others, but you may be in danger of working at cross purposes with God Himself.
Are you praying fervently, without ceasing?
[Next time we’ll look at the rest of the prescription for healing our nation.]