Read His Words Before Ours!
“Am I good enough?”
“How could God ever use me? I’m so weak in my faith, in my trust, in my understanding of You, God.”
These questions regularly pop into my head. Sometimes, when I look at the Bible Greats (those characters who *seem* to have it all together and act perfectly before the Lord), I get discouraged. I’m sure my name will never go down in recorded history for doing anything amazing. I’m a hot mess just trying to consistently read my Bible every day. How then do we approach the accounts of people in the Bible doing extraordinary things for the Lord?
Daniel is a Bible hero well-known for faithfully praying to the One True God, despite being forbidden by the king. He was thrown into a den of lions and the king expected him dead by morning. (Daniel 6:16-18)
Miraculously, when the king reached the den the next day, “Daniel said to the king, ‘May the king live forever. God sent His angels and shut the lions’ mouths; and they haven’t harmed me, for I was found innocent before Him. And also before you, Your Majesty, I have not done harm.’” (Daniel 6:21-22)
Wow. Daniel’s faith must’ve been great to be considered innocent before God Almighty. Who was Daniel really? How did he get into this pickle?
Daniel and many others were captured and taken from their home in Israel to foreign Babylon. Forced to leave his family, along with everything familiar, Daniel was taken to a strange new place with many different customs and values.
His whole identity shifted to become Babylonian; he was even given a new name. In the midst of this upheaval, he needed to decide if he would continue following God Almighty or worship other gods, as was expected of him by the king. (Daniel 1:1-7)
As Daniel navigated such challenging circumstances, we see that behind every holy choice Daniel made, God was at work, revealing Himself as the true champion.
Daniel chose obedience when he and his friends decided to break the cultural norms and follow God.
The Lord gave them favor with the king, who then entrusted Daniel and the others with great responsibility.
By living in authentic community, they were able to support and encourage each other onward in obedience. (Daniel 1:17-21)
The Lord empowered Daniel to interpret dreams of several successive kings, a feat impossible for Babylonian sorcerers.
Daniel was humble, giving God the credit and glory for his ability. He was able to recognize his limitations and his need for God’s power.
“No wise man, medium, magician, or diviner is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen[.]” (Daniel 2:27-28)
Notice who Daniel didn’t mention?
Standing before the king, in possession of an extraordinary ability, facing an opportunity to curry earthly status and success in a new land . . . and Daniel recognized this as an encounter between the king and God, with Daniel simply present as God’s voice.
Daniel demonstrated this understanding as he closed his speech before the king.
“As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king[.]” (Daniel 2:30)
Repeatedly, the Lord provided perfectly for Daniel.
The Lord showed Daniel how to be wise with heavenly wisdom.
The Lord gave Daniel strength to be faithful to the truth.
The Lord God Almighty carried Daniel through every trial he experienced;
he was never alone.
At first glance, it’s easy to think we could never do what Daniel did.
In all actuality, he was a boy who was kidnapped and forced to live in a new place.
His God, however, was and is extraordinary.
Daniel chose to be obedient, and the Lord provided for him.
Ladies, the Lord is faithful to finish the work He’s started in us until He returns again! (Philippians 1:6) He is our champion, our rescuer and redeemer!
Lord God Almighty, we long to be great for You. Give us pure hearts when we do what You’ve called us to, humble us if there is any pride in us. Give us favor with those in positions of authority over us. Let us respond with faithful, simple obedience, Lord. Jesus, give us courage to live in community that will keep us accountable. We wait for you to show Your face to us, so we might follow You. We trust you, Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!