Have you ever gone to a play?
I love to go to plays. I'm fascinated by them. I love the stories, I love the characters, I love the costumes and the makeup and the sets – I guess because I really love make-believe.
I just love watching all the action onstage.
But, for everything that I see happening in front of me, there's so much more going on backstage.
I know – I've acted in a play. And believe me, there is important activity going on behind the scenes – activity the audience is totally unaware of.
It's the same way in our own lives.
We're living our lives – lives that we can feel and see and know. And yet, there is important activity going on behind the scenes. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that there is a real, active, vibrant, important spiritual realm – and we play a key role in it.
Today’s "Bible Pick 'Ems" reminded me of this truth.
Picture it as a play –
The setting is the Kingdom of Persia. One of the characters is King Cyrus. It's the third year of his reign. The main character is Daniel, who was also known as Belteshazzar. He's the hero, if you will.
He has had another vision – a vision that concerns events certain to happen in the future – times of war and great hardship.
The date is April 23, and Daniel is standing on the bank of the Tigris River.
(That's the backdrop…)
All of a sudden, he looks up and sees a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold. His body looks like a precious gem. His face flashes like lightning, and his eyes flame like torches. His arms and feet shine like polished bronze, and his voice roars like a vast multitude of people.
(Cue the bright spotlight…)
Daniel's strength leaves him – his face grows deathly pale – and he feels very weak.
Then the man speaks:
"Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you." (Daniel 10:11)
"Don't be afraid Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to be humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” (Daniel 10:12)
Daniel stares, amazed and speechless.
"But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me…Now I am here to explain what will happen…" (Daniel 10:13-14)
I'm stopping the action here – you can read the rest of the story sometime – it's well worth it!
But I want to point out a few really crucial points. In Daniel's *visible world*, he'd been fasting and praying – in mourning for three weeks.
But oh my! What had been going on backstage??
God saw Daniel.
God heard Daniel's prayer – from the moment he uttered it.
God sent an angel to Daniel in answer to that prayer.
But, for 21 days, that angel had been delayed – in spiritual battle.
Michael came to the rescue.
And the angel continued on his Heaven-sent mission.
That's a lot of action going on backstage – important activity going on behind the scenes – activity that Daniel was totally unaware of.
I find this whole passage fascinating. It's a peek behind the curtain, a peek into the wings, a peek backstage. We are given a glimpse of the reality of the spiritual realm – a real, active, vibrant, important spiritual realm.
And the Bible makes it abundantly clear that we play a key role in it.
There's a war going on. And our prayers matter. Yes, indeed, God hears them as soon as we utter them, and He responds – sometimes in ways that we don't see.
But He responds.
Let's always remember that there's a reality we don't see, but it's real. And God is saying to our hearts –
"Don't be afraid, for you are very precious to Me. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!"
And never stop praying…
"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16)
"When in doubt, search God out!"