I love the fact that everything that has been created displays God’s glory and eternal power, I love how we can understand God’s word more clearly because of his beautiful creation. Romans 1:20 says it perfectly:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
I recently experienced a severe lightning storm. Lightning is something that has always intrigued me. It is mesmerizing, beautiful and frightening all in one. I found this amazing video on YouTube, check it out (there is no audio).
So what does this amazing natural phenomenon teach us about God’s invisible qualities? What should be “understood from what has been made”?
In Revelation 5:11 we are told that there are angels numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand encircling the throne. Ezekiel 1 describes the four living creatures as seen in his vision. These four living creatures are mentioned in Revelation again, where they are also around the throne of God (Rv 4:6). The movement of these creatures is described as lightning in Ezekiel 1:14, and in Revelation, when the throne room of heaven is being described by Apostle John, it says that coming from the throne where flashes of lightning (Rv 4:5). From these passages we can understand that the flashes of lightning are describing the fast movements of the angels that are around God’s throne.
What does this mean for us? Well, according to Hebrews 1:14 angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation”, God will command his angels to guard and watch over us (Ps 91:11), and we are told that the Lord’s angels do his bidding, and obey his word (Ps 103:20-21). If these angels, that obey God and do his bidding, are described as moving as fast as lightning, then we should really start to realize the potential power of prayer. Before you can even finish your sentence the spiritual world has jumped into action.
However, we do not always feel like we are receiving these timely answers or responses. Why? Well first we have to understand what prayers God acknowledges (I’ll save that for another post), and then we have to realize that there is a battle raging in the spiritual world (God and his angels are working hard to complete his work, while Satan is working hard to stop that from happening. see previous post)
Take a look at this example from Daniel 10. Daniel sees a vision concerning “a time yet to come” (v.14) and so he mourns for 3 weeks (eating no choice food, meat or wine, and using no lotions) while seeking understanding of this vision. On the 24th day an angel arrives (v.4-6) with the explanation and answer to his prayers. This is what the angel says (Dan 10:11-14):
“He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Even though, from the very first day, Daniel’s prayers were heard and the answer was sent with the angel, Satan sent an adversary to prevent the angel from delivering that message to Daniel. The 21 days (3 weeks) Daniel spent fasting, were the same 21 days the angel spent detained by Satan. Satan did not want Daniel to receive the message, and so there was a battle in the spiritual world, archangel Michael even had to step in and help out.
Have you experienced any amazing lightning storms?