Summary: The sixth in a series exploring keys to true victory and freedom in the Christian walk. This message explores the challenge of fighting on when we are weary.
(Extensive inspiration for this message, and this series taken from Francis Frangipane’s "This Day We Fight".)
We are exploring keys to a life of victory. Ways to move past some of the obstacles that have keep us from experiencing true freedom in our walk with Christ. We have looked at past failures, and moving from a focus on what was to a focus on what can be. We have looked at discouragement. That bent we have towards allowing the negative things that enter our life through our senses to settle into our spirit and discourage us. Just two of the many things that can keep us from experiencing true victory and freedom in life.
Today, I want us to explore a question that directly relates to our theme and search for victory (long pause): How long will we wait? Seriously, think about it. In various aspects and scenarios of life, how long are we willing to wait? Let me throw some situations out there, and you tell me what you think. How long are you willing to wait?
- On the telephone, after being put on hold by a customer service representative?
- At a stop light, at 3 in the morning, with no one in sight?
- In a fast food drive through waiting for your order to be taken?
- At a doctor’s office, after your appointment time has already passed?
- What about, on your lunch break, waiting for a co-worker to meet you for lunch?
How long are we willing to wait? It probably varies based on a lot of variables: what kind of mood am I in? What kind of day have I had? What is waiting for me on the other side of the wait?
Different variables factor in to how long we are willing to wait, but they have little impact on the reality that waiting can be draining. It can frustrate us, fatigue us, and weary us. Right? Which is kind of ironic, since it is just. . .waiting.
But did you know that waiting is actually a weapon of Satan’s warfare that he uses to wear us out? To fatigue us? To frustrate us? In fact, one specific passage in the Bible tells us of at least two specific weapons that Satan utilizes for the purpose of wearing us out. Exhausting us. Bringing us to the brink of surrender.
Turn with me to the book of Daniel. Daniel is a unique book. There is the first half that we love to teach our children. Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace. The whole “we will not bow down” story of faith. Might even get into the handwriting on the wall. Nebuchadnezzar turning into some big hairy, cow like beast. Great stuff. Great Veggie Tales material.
But then, in chapter 7, things turn weird. Daniel moves from interpreting the dreams of others, to just having some strange ones of his own. And the more I began to explore and study these visions and dreams, the greater the risk I saw approaching of getting into all kinds of exegetical work, and interpretation, and theology, and completely running out of time without any practical application.
Well, we can’t have that. Right? Who wants to know God’s word without applying it to our lives today? So you are going to have to research the background and end times meaning of all these visions and dreams on your own, if you are into that sort of thing. What I want us to see today in Daniel chapter 7 is really much more basic than that.
Let’s set the stage a bit. Daniel 7, beginning in verse 1 (read through verse 10). Okay. Like I said. I doubt I’m the only one thinking, this is some weird stuff. Daniel probably needs to lay off the caffeine before bedtime. Right?
But in actuality this is a vision from God. And God provides Daniel with an interpretation of what all this means. But I want us to jump ahead to verse 23, and see what there is to be said about this fourth beast. Daniel 7:23 (read through verse 24).
Okay. You with me so far? If not, don’t sweat it. We are getting to the good part. Verse 25 (read).
Now, look at these words in verse 25. The prophet Daniel is giving us this warning of a time when Satan, through the Antichrist, will look to actually wear down the strength of the saints of God. Future vision stuff. Going to happen down the road, probably at the end of all times, right?
Yet this would be a point I would make today regarding spiritual warfare. Here is my contention: I believe that when we read God’s Word, and read the prophetic images of how Satan is going to move in the end times, we can catch glimpses and clues to how he is already at work today. Heavy stuff, so let me say it again. I believe that when we read God’s Word, when we read the prophetic images of how Satan is going to move in the end times, we can catch glimpses and clues to how he is already at work today.