Feeling and experiencing God is the most awesome thing I have ever experienced. The on-going “presence”…the “peace that passes all understanding”… “the revealing of His will”. The comfort of knowing He not only approves, He is smiling, “riding piggy back” when you are in circumstances where you feel you have no legs. “Oxygen” piped straight to your lungs…when you feel that you are smothering…when confronted with the “jaws” of evil, persecution, false accusations….and even feeling as if you are free falling….there is this “gentle, strong, tremendous hand” that reaches over, scoops you up…and instantly…you feel safe, warm and protected. God has been all of that and more to me and His character never changes. He desires for anyone and everyone to seek Him and experience the exact same things.
I love the whole book of Daniel….there are hundreds of lessons in that book alone that we can all apply to our lives today. One of the very first lessons is that God is sovereign and He controls the universe. He is all-knowing….all-powerful…and His will prevails despite what man chooses or chooses not to do. Daniel 1:2, “And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim King of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.” And verse 9 in chapter 1, “Now, God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel.”
The book of Daniel is a go to book for me as I seek more of God and His power…in my own life.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are FABULOUS examples and ROLE MODELS for me and anyone seeking to live and please our great God. They were friends, praying friends, who through much adversity and captivity prayed and look to God for:
their courage, and
they remained faithful to God…and STOOD STRONG…in the face of evil, threats, and a literal inferno furnace that killed others but not them! That same God that they prayed to is who they looked to for deliverance. Daniel 2:17-18, “Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends. He urged them to plead for mercy from the mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
Point of this post….What are you pleading for today? Do you believe God hears you? Do you believe He has you? Are you willing to say, “Not my will but yours”? No matter what…even if it means death by evil?
Side note here: Do you realize as a Christian when you plead for mercy it can even protect the non-believer as well. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s prayer was granted and heard and the astrologers were even spared. These were the very ones who were seeking to destroy them and told the King of their unwillingness to obey the King’s commands. Yet, their lives were saved!
Look at how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego spoke the “truth in love” to…King Nebuchadenezzar…Daniel 3:16, “KIng Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
They were willing to accept God’s will…even if they had to die. They trusted. They were unwavering in their commitment to a Holy God.
Get with your praying friends today. Ask them to agree in prayer with you today. Read God’s work in the whole book of Daniel. Ask God to empower you with the faith, the desire to please Him no matter what! At this point….and only at this point…can others see Jesus’ name magnified in your life. It is God’s desire for you to stand strong and He is more than willing and able to walk in the fires of life, stand with you in the face of evil and do GREAT and MIGHTY things.
But never forget, we have a job to do…Trust, Obey and, yes, sometimes stand alone and in the face of fear.