Do you ever feel like you are “trapped” in some sort of “captivity?” Maybe the trap you find yourself in is one you brought on yourself….like…
…the way you think…negative…or financial debt…or an addiction. The addiction doesn’t have to be alcohol or drugs. It could be shopping, food, you fill in the blank.
Or it could be a “captivity” you didn’t ask for such as abuse…or neglect…or being falsely accused.
NO matter what captivity has trapped you, we can learn from the life of Daniel what we can do when we are in chains: PUT GOD FIRST.
I love the story of Daniel in the Bible. He was in captivity but it was one that wasn’t “self-induced”. It was more unjust than a self-imposed captivity. He and his friends were taken prisoner in chains and marched to captivity, a 500 mile trek, to Babylon. Uninvited chains! This story is so encouraging to read and study. It leaves me without excuse for “self-imposed” captivity and it teaches me the steps we can take to “break the chains” we find ourselves in. To find the courage to take the steps toward God and find His mercy, His forgiveness, His protection, His power and His provision.
Have you ever noticed nothing negative was ever written about Daniel? I am sure he was not perfect because he was human just like the rest of us, but he had a faith that was so grounded and steadfast in God. The positive of his life was so bright that if there were any negative, it wasn’t worth recording. His friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were equally impressive. What love and faith in God!
The first thing I learn from Daniel is that God was first in Daniel’s life. No matter his circumstance, God’s place in his life DID NOT CHANGE and he did not waiver.
Second, his walk was so close and intimate with his Father that he had the courage to stand and ask for what was in his best interest and that of others even while he was a prisoner. He asked for “different food” in Daniel 1:8. We see from his “courage, trust and resolve” in following God that “God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel” (see Daniel 1:9).
Let’s stop right here…we are no different from Daniel. God’s love for us is no different. We have the option to be like Daniel. The lesson here is to learn from Daniel. Do not let “chains or captivity” stop you from seeking and keeping the Lord first. God’s favor can be upon us even when we find ourselves in “chains”.
Third, even in chains, Daniel and his friends put God first and God increased them and grew them. “To these four men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds,” (Daniel 1:17). The Bible even states that when the King of Babylon questioned the captives he found them to be ten times better than any of the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Much more to learn and write about from Daniel’s life and that of his friends….but just for today…if you are experiencing “chains” in your life, no matter what they are or where they are from…or even though you did not do anything to be “imprisoned”…seek God. Seek to know Him…Hear Him…obey and follow Him no matter the circumstance. He is powerful and can
We just have to recognize that NO matter where we are, Jesus is the Provider, the Teacher, the Healer, the Breaker of Chains. Even while in “captivity” He is not asleep. He is fully engaged. The real question we need to ask ourselves is: are WE engaged with Jesus?
“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron,” (Psalm 107:14-16).
“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” ~Charles Spurgeon