Last night while lying in bed with the light on, I looked around my room. In the quiet comfort of home, I studied family photos on the wall. On my dresser stood a half-finished painting I started last summer—a landscape of a place I love. The feather comforter over my body felt light as a cloud. A fan gently droned in the corner. How easy it is to take it all for granted—to go to sleep in clean sheets, peace, and safety.
Across the world from me in a Sudanese prison cell, a woman’s fate hangs in the balance. Though she has just given birth to a baby girl and has her toddler son with her, she is shackled like a criminal for being a Christian. She faces 100 lashes and death by hanging. But she will not renounce Christ. By the time this posts, I don’t know if she will be alive or dead.
I thought about that all day. It’s easy to pick up the concerns of the world. In my mind, it compounds very quickly. For instance, at this moment, thousands of children are crossing our southern border desperate to stay in America. Iraq is being overtaken with terror beyond belief. Many days it feels like I only have two choices: get overwhelmed or get numb. I’m not the ostrich type.
Yet as I laid in the stillness of my room last night, I wondered…God, where are You in all this? What on earth is happening? What kind of world will my children and grandchildren face?
I do feel we are living in a critical time of history with many unprecedented changes. The Lord is shaking the earth so that everything that remains is unshakable. Hebrews 12:27
But in times like this, what is our hope?
For years now, I can’t even count how frequently I see the number 722. On clocks, receipts, airplane tickets, confirmation numbers, license plates, you name it—722 comes up every other day. A pastor friend once said: when you see a number sequence more often than coincidence, search it out in Scripture. So I looked up every possible verse and read the context around it.
Though the study proved interesting, only one verse stood out: Daniel 7:22
I’m not a trained theologian or an expert in the study of eschatology, but I do believe that God can show ordinary people His intentions. People like me.
9 “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
10 “A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him. The court sat, and the books were opened.”
Jesus has dominion…
13 “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming. And He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.
14 “And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away. And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”
A shift is coming…
21 “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them,
22 “until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.”
You can see why Daniel 7:22 jumped off the page to me. My favorite words are “until” and “the time arrived.”
Recently someone mentioned that a respected pastor, Kris Vallotton, spoke on Daniel 7:22. Though his talk was posted on YouTube a few years ago, it still peaked my curiosity. It’s always encouraging to see the Holy Spirit saying the same things to other people—especially those who know a lot more than me. Vallotton asked the question– “WHEN?” When will Daniel 7:22 happen. You can watch his talk.
But here’s what I want to say to you. In times like this, we need a vision of what God is doing because “without a vision, the people perish.”
Secondly, though most of what I hear from God is on a personal level to encourage and guide and warn and comfort—He may also want to say bigger-picture things to those who are listening.
Do you believe God will say important things to ordinary people?