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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Going Through the Fire

Going Through the Fire:

-A Character Study on Daniel-

          This blog that I have written was actually just a section in my notes on my phone. I was studying the book of Daniel, and felt compelled to jot down some notes into my phone. The notes then became a lesson for the Youth Class that I teach, and now I have converted it into a blog. The following is simply a character study on Daniel.

          From the very beginning of Daniel, the reader becomes immediately immersed in this story of national destruction and general upheaval throughout the nation of Israel. Daniel, along with many others are abducted and taken to Babylon where they will train to be servants of the King. They are forced to partake of the customs of this foreign land and immerse themselves in the culture of Babylon. In other words, Daniel was placed 100% out of his comfort zone. This really spoke to me. I think so many times we focus on bettering the obvious talents and gifts that we have, instead of allowing God to take us out of our comfort zone and into new dimensions. I personally relate to this tremendously. There are certain things that I have always felt comfortable doing in the kingdom, and things that I know I have been called to, however there are also areas that I assumed I would never venture into. Sometimes we have this mental list of things that we feel too scared to attempt, because we don’t want to go out of our comfort zone. We don’t want to leave that safe zone, however I have found that if you tell God, “I will do whatever you want me to”, you are then allowing him to have full control over your life. I promise you that greatness occurs when you step out of your comfort zone, and let God use you to your full potential. Daniel is a prime example of this. His entire world was in shambles, but because he allowed God to use all of him, he becomes ones of the Heroes of the Bible.

         Daniel went through many tests and trials throughout his life. I can almost guarantee that when you think of Daniel your mind immediately jumps to the lion’s den, because that is what his name is linked to. Sometimes your name will be linked to your trial. Sometimes your identity will be linked to the situation or circumstance that you are going through. Sometimes, you may just have to go through the fire. Often God allows us to go thorough situations that may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to go through, but the Bible assures us that we will come out of our situation without wounds. Daniel 6:23 says,
“The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

         I think sometimes that we tend to focus on the great exploits and highlights of the life of Daniel, but we often fail to remember that Daniel was a man of prayer and fasting. Daniel was a man who had a prayer life. He had a relationship with God that was not dependent on what other people were doing. He had a consistent prayer life on the floor of his bedroom. In other words he lived a life of prayer and consecration to God when nobody else was watching. I believe that is the sole reason that Daniel was elevated by God. Daniel was a dream interpreter, a man who survived the lion’s den and a man who was given great visions of the end times, yet he reminded humble through it all. His humility is the main reason that he was highly esteemed by God.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this next point really hit me. In Daniel 6:3-5 it says,
Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

When God elevates you, people are going to make it their mission to find something wrong with you.

          When God takes you to places that may be more public than the usual, and gives you opportunities on opportunities on opportunities, there are some people that will resent you and do their very best to point out your flaws and weakness and your issues. It is then that you must realize that you are in this position for a reason. God has placed you where you are like Esther “For such a time as this”. Like Daniel, continue to live for God no matter what your current station is in life and you will be blessed and highly favored by God.

Love you all.