Having a Strong Conviction
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and
he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this
way. (Daniel 1:8)
While in captivity Daniel resolved not
to eat the king's food for two obvious reasons: (1) The king's food
especially the pork was forbidden by Jewish law; and (2) To accept the
king's food and drink would have been the first step toward depending
on the king's gifts and favors. To accept gifts from your enemies is a
way of being lured into their traps.
Resolve is a strong
word that means one is devoted to principles and committed to the
corresponding course of action. When Daniel resolved not to defile
himself, he was being true to his lifelong determination to do what was
right and not to give in to the pressures around him. Too often we
compromise our standards just to comply with others. Merely wanting and
wishing and hoping to be committed to God is NOT enough. We must
RESOLVE to stand up against temptation. Like Daniel, we must RESOLVE to
obey God even to the extent of refusing gifts from our enemies.
request was granted because of his strong conviction. What is it that
you have a strong conviction about? Or are you compromising your
standards just to be like those around you?
"If It Be So . . . But If Not . . . "
it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning
fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if
not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods,
nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18
Most of us remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego who were cast into the fiery furnace that was heated seven
times hotter. Nebuchadnezzar ordered those three Hebrew boys to be
thrown in because they refused to bow down and worship the golden
image. The three Hebrew boys were confident that God would save them.
Even if it did mean death for them, they would not worship a
Their trust in God was illustrated when
they said, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us
from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine
hand, O king." They also stated, "But if not, be it known to you, O
king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image
which thou hath set up." In other words, the Hebrew boys believed God
would deliver them, but if not, they still would not bow down. If death
was an option, they would take it before they would worship idol gods.
you be willing to stand up for God even if it means death? Are you
willing to go into the fiery furnace for your Christian belief? Can you
say like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, "If it be so . . . but if not
. . ."?
Having a "But-Even-If" Attitude
we are thrown into this fiery furnace, the God we serve is able to save
us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if
he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your
gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 3:18)
are several lessons we can learn from the three Hebrew boys. They knew
God was able to save them and rescue them from the hand of the king one
way or another. They were confident God would do what was best for
them; therefore, they never prayed to be kept out of the furnace or to
be removed from the furnace. Instead, their faith was based on the fact
that God was able to save them by His methods; not theirs. However, if
God deemed it best for them to die, they were ready. BUT EVEN IF He did
not save them, the boys still would not worship the image of gold.
often we pray that God will get out of the fiery furnace. That might
not be God's plan. God's plan might be to get in the furnace with us to
deliver us in a way that we won't even smell like smoke. Have a
"But-Even-If" attitude and leave your method of deliverance to God. His
method is better than you could imagine because after all . . . God is
Allow God Into Your Bad Situation
Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed,
and the fourth man looks like a son of the gods. (Daniel 3:25)
Too often we ask God to deliver us out of our mess. Too often we ask
God to remove us from a bad marriage. Too often we ask God to take us
off a boring job. There is a more rewarding thing to ask for than
asking to be delivered out of, off of or from something. Allow God to
come into that bad situation with you.
According to the story based on the above scripture, the Hebrew boys
never asked God to blow out the fire even though He could have done so.
They never asked God to prevent them from going into the fire even
though He could have done so. They trusted God, and God showed up with
them in the fire.
Instead of asking God to abolish the situation, let's begin to ask God to come into the situation with us. Why is that better?
There are two main reasons we should invite God into our situation.
- To allow our faith to be activated and perfected while in a bad place
- To learn from the situation so we can help others in similar situations
It is easier to say, "Lord, help me out of this mess." However, it more
rewarding to say, "Lord, help me while in this mess." And before long,
your mess will become your message.
Also, in the words of my pastor, Rev. Lois Blakey Paige, "What you are
going through now is not for now but for what God is going to do
through you." Learn all you can while you are in a bad situation
so that you will be in a better position to accept the assignment God
is custom designing just for you! At this point, it is all right to
When God Intervenes
Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants!" (Daniel
Intervening means to come between two things, two
points or two events as an influencing force in order to modify,
settle, or change an action. It also means to enter a course of events
for the specific purpose of protection. With definitions like these, it
is no wonder we pray for God to intervene in our lives.
is a difference between God ordering your steps and God intervening.
When you follow what God has ordered you to do, there will probably be
no need for intervention of any kind because God is already there.
However, when you are between a rock and a hard place, that's when you
need God to come in with His mighty hand and help. "Between" in this
instance does not necessarily mean "halfway." In fact, when God
intervenes, it is usually just in the nick of time. God allows us to
get to a certain point before He intervenes. A good example of God's
intervention is when the three Hebrew boys were in the fiery furnace
and God intervened with all power and saved them (Daniel 3:13-27). Did
God stop them from being thrown in? No, He didn't! Was the furnace
heated seven times hotter? Yes, it was! This explains that God does not
eliminate the problem; He comes into the problem with us. Surely, he
could have blown out that fire with one breath. But, He didn't! Surely,
He could have snatched the Hebrews boys out of the furnace. But, He
didn't. Instead, He intervened!
God's intervention is seen
more powerfully when you are between two positions. In other words, God
intervenes when you are between where you are and where He wants you to
I had a dream that made me afraid. (Daniel 4:5)
Have you ever had a frightening dream? Some of our dreams do frighten
us, but that's not God's intent. Dreams can help us in many ways if
only we knew what they meant. Nebuchadnezzar admitted he had a dream
that frightened him. So he commanded all the wise men of Babylon to
interpret the dream for him. When the magicians, enchanters,
astrologers and diviners came, Nebuchadnezzar told them his dream, but
they could not interpret it. Finally, Daniel came and interpreted the
dream for Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 4:4-18)
There is a little Nebuchadnezzar in all of us in that we have dreams
that frighten us. On the other hand, there is a little Daniel in all of
us in that we can learn to interpret our own dreams. There are some
symbols that mean just about the same in all dreams. However, the
meaning itself varies based on the dreamer's lifestyle, personality,
and other circumstances.
You miss out on a lot and end up in a lot of trouble when you do not heed your dreams.
God gives you your dreams for a specific purpose. Learn to identify
what He is saying to you when He communicates with you while you sleep.
Don't Stop Praying and Fasting
time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat
or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three
weeks were over. (Daniel 10:2-3)
Daniel prayed and fasted for
three weeks without any results. He did everything he was supposed to
do; yet his prayer was not answered. Who was to blame? Was God
deliberately avoiding Daniel? Was God refusing to answer Daniel's
request about the great war? Daniel did not know why his prayer was not
answered, but he faithfully continued praying and fasting believing he
would eventually get results concerning his prayer.
messenger finally arrived with an answer for Daniel, Daniel was told
that his prayer was heard and answered the first day he prayed it.
God's messenger was resisted twenty-one days by the prince of darkness.
In other words, Satan held up the answer to Daniel's prayer. And Satan
holds up the answer to some of our prayers. Therefore, we need to do
what Daniel did. We need to continue praying and fasting because some
of our prayers might be challenged by unseen obstacles. Eventually our
praying and fasting will help defeat those evil forces, and we will get
Space Between Your Prayer and Its Manifestation
the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to
humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come
in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me
twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help
me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. (Daniel
ave you ever prayed for something and at the
end of your prayer you knew without a doubt that your prayer had been
answered; yet you saw no manifestation of it? It is true that God
sometimes answers prayers while we are still praying, but the
manifestation or seeing it come to pass might take much longer.
time element in the spirit and natural worlds are not synchronized.
Something might have taken place already in the spirit, but the natural
realization of it might not happen until much later. Sometimes our
prayers are hung up in the second heaven by the prince of darkness.
the above scriptures from Daniel, we see that God heard Daniel's prayer
as soon as he prayed it. Satan blocked the manifestation of the prayer
for 21 days. The delay was obvious, but Daniel continued praying and
fasting. God's messenger, Gabriel, was assisted by Michael, the
archangel to make sure the manifestation of the prayer was unblocked.
to our prayers may be hindered by unseen obstacles. Our prayers may be
challenged by evil forces. Let's do what Daniel did. Let's continue to
pray fervently and to fast earnestly until the manifestations of our
prayers are realized. [The Daniel Fast lasting 21 days is based on
Empowerment For Those Who Know Their God
Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with
flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry
out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
The above scripture describes two types of people: the wicked and the
righteous. Those who are wicked are expected to receive nothing but
corruption in the form of flattery. Contrary, those who are righteous
and know their God are strong and carry out great exploits.
What are exploits? Before you attempt to carry them out, perhaps you
need to be informed what they are. Exploits are notable deeds;
especially those that are heroic or brilliant. To do exploits for God
is to use your gifts and talents to the greatest possible advantage.
You have two choices: to break God's covenant or to carry out great
exploits for Him. In order to do the latter, you must be among those
who know their God. If you don't know God, receive His Son as your Lord
and Savior (Romans 10:9-10; John 14:6). If you do know God, get to know
Him more intimately by offering yourself to Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
The better we know God, the more exploits we can do for God; not in our own strength, but in His.
Dare To Be A Daniel
do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but
the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great
exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
One of the most important
teachings of the Bible is that God can be and wants to be known. Daniel
knew God and believed wholeheartedly in what God could and would do.
Daniel and his three Hebrew friends were in exile in Babylon, but they
followed the advice Jeremiah had given them (Jeremiah 29). They did
their best while in enemy territory. Like Joseph in Egypt and Esther in
Persia, Daniel allowed God to use him while he was far away from home.
Don't complain about where you are. God has you there for a purpose.
The sooner you start doing what you are there to do, the sooner God
will move you to another place, another level, another assignment. You
must complete the assignment God put you there to do. Then He will move
you when the time and conditions are right.
world tries to make you a "conformer," sometimes you have to be a
"transformer" like Daniel. Daniel and his friends had a new home in a
strange land. They were given new names, new teachings, and were
offered a new diet and a new god. Daniel's heart could not be changed
even though his physical location had changed.
Dare to be
a Daniel. Be a Daniel when you have to stand alone. Be a Daniel and
fulfill your purpose where you are. Be a Daniel and do not conform;
rather transform the situations. Dare to be a Daniel and never bow down
to anyone or anything but the One and Only True Living God. Dare to be