Sunday, June 8, 2008

Seeking His Face: Daniel Nine

Why seek His Face?

of Who He is PLUS we are called to!

How? Desert Fathers did it. Mission trips might help. Deep devotional acts might be the way to go. But it is simple yet hard to do. There is a real pull from the World BUT...

I turned to the Lord…seek His Face and not His Hands.

Seek First the kingdom of God...

pleaded with Him

If it was stated that they would return in 70 years, why pray? Answer: It is our role/purpose/right/to do this.

in prayer and petition: Request or appeal for action from a higher power.

in fasting: abstention from all or certain types of food, especially as an act of religious observance. Draw attention to the real needs of the soul...not the body. Fast for one meal, one day--40 days, or over 70 days like the ‘Heavenly Man.’

in sackcloth and ashes. Clothes made from the type of coarse cloth usually used for sacks, which were worn as a sign of mourning or penitence. Visual, in the open, humble act, not seen much anymore… but a sign of complete humbleness. Worn for a season of time. This word was used 47 times in Bible:

First used in Gen 37:34 when Jacob tore his clothes and put this on and mourned for Joseph’s ‘death’. In 1 Kings 21:27, King Ahab put this on and fasted and went around meekly. Esther, Job, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, the two Witnesses in Rev 11 for 3.6 years or 180 weeks or 1,260 days---all use this as a sign/object of an inner sense of sadness or remorse.

I prayed and confessed--
Identified with the people-- “We” this “We” that ... used this form FOUR TIMES in this passage.

Verse 7: Drawn to look at Him
Your are righteous when you look at Him, you see His quality: you see His Character of being RIGHTEOUS! What does that enlist? Praise AND seeing yourself as you really are! but this day WE ARE COVERED WITH SHAME!

You have scattered us ... because of our unfaithfulness to You
We are covered with shame
BECAUSE we have sinned against You.

Your are Merciful Nehemiah 9:13 But in Your great mercy You did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God.

You are Forgiving Ps 86:5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
even though we have rebelled against Him
We have not obeyed the Lord
or kept the Law He gave through His servants
ALL Israel has transgressed You Law
ALL Israel has turned away
ALL Israel has refused to obey

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

THEREFORE curses and sworn judgments
have been POURED out on us
because WE have sinned against YOU!
YOU have fulfilled the WORDS YOU spoke against US.
(even) yet, we have not sought Your FAVOR by turning from our sin WHY?
Selfishness on our part to the MAX!
(or to) give attention to YOUR TRUTH
...for the LORD our God is righteous in everything He does--yet we have not obeyed Him(!)

Please look with me at the passage in Luke 18:1-8. When we ask the question WHY did Daniel pray for such a long period on something he knew was going to happen, I believe this parable of Jesus will help us. There is an emphasize that “we should always pray and not give up.” His disciples most likely remembered and retold this story as they passed the hours, reeling from the trauma and the wonder of resent events and patiently anticipating His promise of another helper.

The teaching of that parable is what? Never give up.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
"Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race." ~ Winston Churchill's famous "Never give in" speech of 1941 to the students at Harrow School.

Here we have Daniel, getting down on his knees for three weeks, passionately and with perseverance, in prayer, because he believed the strong promise of his God that He would do all this in 70 years. Still, after those three weeks, we still find him persevering in prayer.
He fasted.
He prayed.
He confess.
He identified with the sins of his nation.

Long in this spiritual warfare--trying not to change His mind nor that God is slow to act, but to lay hold of His highest willingness.

Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

This kind of Power of Pray reverses the Fall, in which Adam pushed for his self-control of life. We fight this battle along with Daniel so that we too can say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
We fight in Prayer with God to liberate enemy-occupied territory, all the time knowing the victory is certain but the length of the battle is not certain.
Some material for this sermon was found in Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig:
a GREAT book of the 24/7 Prayer Movement.

Next week: For Your Sake. Daniel 9:15-23
Next week is Father's Day. Plan to attend and help celebrate Dad-hood by wearing your best Hawaiian Shirt (or your most comfortable summer shirt). This is also the time for our monthly Covered Dish (Bring food to share with others). Next Sunday the service will start at 10:30 BUT the week after, the Worship Time will be at 10:00 AM...summer schedule!
See you there!