Not long ago I was in a hurry and ran in to a local chain store to pick up a few items. I really do not like shopping that much so I always make a list. That way I can get in and out in the most expedient manner. This trip was much the same, until I got to the cash register, that is.
Though I had not seen the cashier in almost twenty years, she remains to this day someone very dear to my heart. When I was a very new Christian I taught Acteens on Wednesday nights. It was the denominational missions group for young teen girls. I learned so much from that group... they all have a special place in my heart.
This particular girl, now a young woman... greeted me with, "Oh, Ms. Theresa! I teach 3 and 4 year olds at church now, and I love it, thank you!" It is always nice to be recognized for the influence you have on others... but the influence I had on this girl was nothing but God!
Her mother and I attended Sunday school class together and we had been praying for Missy's salvation for almost a year. I had picked up a paperback Bible that had the Roman's Road to Salvation marked. I had been reading those verses and had highlighted them in my regular Bible and made notes on the bottom of the page to the next verse. I had to be prepared in the event these girls, or anyone for that matter, asked what the Bible said about salvation.
Every night, I would read my Bible and pray over that prayer list especially for this one particular girl. One night as I lay there trying to go to sleep... I heard God speak very clearly to my spirit... "She is ready... you are ready... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?"
Needless to say I turned on the light and went back over those verses again. I knew with out a doubt it was me that was to lead this girl to the Lord. I called her mother, told her what happened, and asked her to rally the prayer warriors because Wednesday night I believed her daughter was going to get saved.
Wednesday rolled around and I prayed, and studied, and prayed some more... I was so nervous but I knew without a doubt that I was on my first mission from God. I asked her if she could help me clean up and she stayed late.
I started the conversation by simply asking her if she had thought about giving her life to Christ and she said, "Yes, a little." I will spare you the exact conversation but I tell you the flood gates opened! She was afraid of the changes in her life and what that would mean... I laughed and told her I was 28 when I got saved and let me tell you... I was also afraid! We read the scriptures together, she cried, I cried... and that night she walked into the sanctuary and sat down beside her mother a changed girl... and before the evening service was over the entire church was praising God!
Just as in Biblical times God reveals Himself to us in many ways. Are we really listening? Do we have a one-sided prayer life? Are we just going to Him with a list of things we want Him to do for us, messes we want Him to clean up? Are we looking for the least little 'sign' so we can twist it around to make it the answer we want it to be?
This is where daring to be a Daniel can have a major impact on our lives and the lives of others. During the time of Daniel's life dreams were considered messages from God and it was the task of the wise men to interpret those dreams. They could at least come up with something that sounded good to the king if they knew the dream. However, this time, the dream really bothered him and Nebuchadnezzar wanted the truth and figured he would get it if the wise men had to not only tell him what the dream was but what it meant as well.
The "wise men" told him what he wanted was humanly impossible, there was no way anyone could tell his dream. In Daniel 2:11 "It is a difficult thing the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." I love that part...'whose dwelling is not with flesh!' Man, those wise men were not wise at all! They trusted in a lie, in a hollow religion... in fake gods who did not communicate with them... after all, they didn't exist!
This made King Nebuchadnezzar furious and sentenced all the wise men to death... and when the captain of the kings guard came to Daniel and his three friends to put them to death, Daniel wanted to know why it was so urgent. When the situation was explained to him, Daniel asked for a little time... when granted... he rallied his prayer warriors, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He had no doubt that his God,our God, who dwells among His believers would reveal both the dream and the interpretation.
Just as Daniel believed, just as he knew He would, God revealed the dream! (v19) What was the first thing Daniel did? He thanked and praised God!
Daniel 2:20-23 "Daniel answered and said: Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You. For You have made known to us the king's demand."
Secondly, he went to the chief of the kings guard and asked that he not kill the other wise men for God had revealed to him what the King wanted to know. Daniel was not only concerned for his life and lives of his three friends but he was concerned for the lives of others as well.
Thirdly, when he went before the king... he gave God the credit! He could have taken advantage of the situation and taken all the credit for himself... you know, like... I am so special... or I am so holy... that the real god talks to me and me alone... these other slackers don't even know the real god. BUT HE DIDN'T!
Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar in verse 28 "But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the latter days," then he proceeds to interpret the dream. He also tells the king that is is his God, our God, who has given the king his kingdom, his power, his glory, everything he has... God has given him.
As a result of Daniel's reaction in this situation the king acknowledged the One True God. (v.47) "The king answered Daniel and said, 'truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.' and the king promoted Daniel and gave him many gifts.
God blessed Daniel for his faithfulness through the king... again, Daniel, did not act in a selfish manner... he petitioned the king on behalf of his three friends and they were promoted as well.
How can we be a Daniel in our lives today?
We must stand firm in our commitment to God. Always faithful, indulging in prayer, seeking Him and living our lives for Christ out in the wide open so others can clearly see Him.
We must LISTEN carefully to Him... ensuring our actions are His actions, our responses are His responses... our missions... HIS missions.
We must enlist the assistance of fellow prayer warriors. We all know who they are... we may be blessed enough to be a small part of this band of warriors... we may be a little on the outside... but a true prayer warrior never judges, never fails to bring a petition to the throne of God... never reveals the answer or gives advice before they have received the answer from the God who dwells among flesh!
We must first give God the praise, honor, and credit! Least we become puffed up and prideful... Only God can make the difference in the lives of others and we should always be mindful of that simple fact! It is nothing but God!
We must always remember God can accomplish in us and through us what is humanly impossible when he put Him first... when we seek Him first... when we praise Him first.
Will you join me today and dare to be a Daniel?