walk in the word
“Daniel went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.” Daniel 6:10
Any child who has spent time in Sunday school could tell you the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. This story is popular because it’s so practical. It answers the question, “How can I be faithful to God without compromise in this dark world?” The series that’s on the broadcast this week, “Faith in the Fire,” addresses that question in the life of Daniel.
Last week we talked about teenage Daniel’s “no compromise” policy. Now as an adult, we see he continued on that program. Day after day, week after month, he distinguished himself head and shoulders above his peers. “Because he possessed an extraordinary spirit.” The dude had a phenomenal attitude. He spent his personal time with God and nothing could get him down. He had such a great reputation that “the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.”
Now Daniel’s integrity blew a hole in his co-workers’ yacht. They got so jealous of him that they plotted to take him down. “Then the commissioners and satraps began to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no evidence of corruption.” They scrutinized his life but couldn’t find any dirt. The conclusion, “he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.”
So somebody had the bright idea, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”
If there was any place that Daniel would not compromise, it was in his faith. That’s where they would target him. So they schemed and strategized and eventually Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den.
Well, you know the end of the story—Daniel passed the test. But how? And how can you also pass the “no compromise” test? Daniel’s life illustrates five principles on how to stand for God. We’ll cover three here—tune into the broadcast or listen online to catch the other two.
Here’s the first thing: Establish consistency in your walk with God. Daniel didn’t roll out of bed that morning and randomly decide to be God’s man. The victory in his public life was because he was very successful for a long time in his private life. There will never be success in the crisis until there is success in the process. If you’re not walking with God today, it is only a matter of time until you fail and fall. Set the clock. You and I will never stand consistently until we are walking consistently with God.
One thing that will help you with this is to establish a long-standing appointment with God. “When I get around to it” and “when I’m not as busy as I am now” doesn’t cut it. You say, “I want God to use my life. I want to do something great for God.” No one is great for God publicly who is not first great with God in private. We may fool each other, but there’s no fooling God.
So let me just ask you straight up, “How’s it going with your private appointment with God?”
You say, “Great!” Glad to hear it.
You say, “Well, it’s been better.” Then get it back!
You say, “It hasn’t been good for a long time.” Then get on your knees before God and make a commitment to walk with Him. Ask Him to help you and He will.
So first, establish consistency. Next, Expect opposition. Deep six the false notion that following Christ means fewer hassles and hardships. No—it just means different ones. You will face opposition when you follow Christ. There’s gonna be resistance. From family. From neighbors and coworkers. From the government. And worst and most painful of all, from carnal Christians. Don’t worry about any of them and take a stand for the Lord. Second Timothy 3:12 says, “All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” So expect opposition.
Here’s a third thing: Maintain consistency. Keep praying, stay in God’s Word, keep on flying the flag. “When Daniel knew the document was signed (in a way this was his death warrant), he entered his house. Now in his chamber he had windows opened to Jerusalem. And he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day praying and giving thanks” (6:10). Did you notice the subject of his prayers? “Giving thanks before His God, as he had been doing previously.” “Thank You, God, for this opportunity. Thank You that You’re gonna show Yourself strong in my life. Thank You, God, that I’ve proven You faithful and I can trust You even in this.” Daniel was strong in public because he was consistently strong in private. That fires me up!
If I could give you one thing it would be persevering faith. God can get so many great things into your life if you’d just keep trusting Him. If you had to honestly look back over 2003, how many days would have to be crossed off the calendar as ones in which you didn’t trust God. How many days have you walked by faith this year? How many days have been wasted? If we had persevering faith like Daniel, day after day after day after day, the heights that he reached would not seem so far to us.
A couple years ago I saw this slogan in an African American church in Kansas City. I just think it is so cool. “Wake up, sing up, pray up, and pay up, but never give up or let up or shut up till the cause of Christ is built up in this world.” Is that great or what? That should be true of all of our hearts.
What do you say? There’s no room for backing up here; no retreating. I’m not pulling back from anything. In fact, I’m pressing forward in this thing for God.
Are you with me?
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