Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 13 Tidbits From Daniel #2!!!
Today I’d like us to consider more of the book of Daniel, and looking at chapter 3 (yes we’ll come back to chapter 2 later) and delve into the importance of our confidence in God and our willingness to pursue His will knowing that HE is our hope, assurance and strength in all things.
I recently heard an interview with a Christian business owner who was talking about finding and fulfilling God’s purpose in their work/business, and I couldn’t help but think, as I listened to the owners, that they were fulfilling God’s purpose, as they set out to serve others with a godly environment and a pleasant place for people to spend time, and encourage each other daily. I think God’s purpose is fulfilled when we strive to live out what God calls all of His children to do; and we can learn much from the scriptures as we consider the pictures it paints of God’s purposes being fulfilled through His servants.
When asked by His disciples about prayer, Jesus gave us a beautiful and practical approach to communication with our Father God; and yes prayer is communicating with God—not just a dictatorial session where we submit our list of wants and complaints to God! Prayer is intended to be a time of sharing our heart with God, and seeking His face and heart in order to know Him more, learning to discern His voice and follow the leadership of His Spirit (who dwells within His own) and reflect His way to a lost and dying world!
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day
our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13
We are blessed beyond measure, whether we are paying attention or not, yet God has called us to walk in His ways—even in our prayer life. I think our ultimate purpose can be found in the elements of this ‘Model Prayer” which Jesus shared with us. With 0ur heart, mind and soul we are to love God, and be seeking HIS kingdom
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things
shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:32
Seeking God’s kingdom in our lives—the pattern that Jesus gives to us:
Our Father who art in heaven—God is God and not us—
Hallowed be thy name—HOLY and to be revered—
Thy kingdom come—IN me, prevailing in all—
Thy will be done—IN me—not mine—
On earth as it is in heaven—not earthly ways dressed
up to fool God and/or man!
When we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, we are “born again” by the Holy Spirit of God; and when God’s Spirit comes to dwell within us, He makes all things new—a newness that will be reflected in our everyday living!
“He was in the world,
and the world was made by him,
and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own,
and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.” John 1:10-13
We are born of God’s Holy Spirit:
“Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God
Born of God, to seek HIS will, HIS purposes, HIS ways in all that we do—because we are made new creations in HIM!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
God’s kingdom purposes are to be lived out in us where ever and whatever God leads us to! We don’t have to be a “professional” Christian to have a purpose before God! God’s kingdom come “in me”, is ‘me’ being God’s child where ever I am: at the coffee shop, delivering mail, serving others in a bank, a grocery store, a dollar store, maintaining a home and family, or being a professional or executive—whatever my ‘job’ may be– my calling is to serve God and live out “Thy kingdom come” in all my ways! Even if we’re digging ditches or scrubbing floors, we are to do “all” to His glory and for the increase of HIS kingdom.
“But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast,
in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know
that your labour is not in vain
in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“All” to God’s glory—His “kingdom” coming in, me—that the world may see God by my life and actions. His purposes seen in me, no matter when, where, what or how! That means God’s servant is to serve HIM 24/7—not just on Sunday, or whatever day of the week that you worship! Real worship isn’t just singing, or praising, or being fed by the Word of God—real worship is a life lived in obedience to the Spirit of God who dwells within the children of God, not by our own power but by His power within us!
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
“And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:5-6
Jesus died for the “ungodly”—that’s all of us before we are born again!!! Yet Jesus loves us so much that He died for “the world” and when we know Him, our life should be a reflection of HIS love and glory to the world!
So how do we practically pursue this kind of life? It’s simple but not easy—we must seek Him to know His servant heart, and then trust HIM to direct our steps—ALL of our steps!!
“Trust in the LORD
with all thine heart;
and lean not
unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways
and he shall direct
thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Just as God commands us to “have no other gods before me”, we can’t serve God and anything else! And our example from Daniel reveals the heart of three men who knew what it meant to be totally devoted to God—no matter the cost–men who stood firm even in the face of death.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king,
we are not careful to answer thee
in this matter.
17 If it be so,
whom we serve
to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
and he will deliver us
out of thine hand, O king.
18 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.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
therefore he spake,
and commanded that they should heat
the furnace one seven times more
than it was wont to be heated.” Daniel 3:16-19
Three young men with a choice to bow and please the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, or to stand and face what seemed to be certain death. Yet these three servants of God stood firm, and faced the ire of King Nebuchadnezzar, and a fire that he commanded to be seven times hotter than normal. And while we know that God delivered them, they simply stood on the surety that God could deliver them, yet even if He didn’t choose to deliver them, they knew they would still serve only HIM no matter what. How about you? Me? How can we stand and follow God’s calling and purposes in our life? There is a good way revealed by the Apostle Paul as he instructs us to put on the armor of God—enabling us to face the “principalities….powers…rulers of darkness…and spiritual wickedness” by putting on the armor of God, and walking in the power of it. Who are you depending on to fight your battles? Are the armor, power and provision of God, your strength? Or are you depending on your own flesh and wisdom? As we close for today, I want to share a few thoughts regarding the armor of God, and trust that you will spend some time rehearsing and taking to heart the message of Ephesians 6:10-18. With God’s armor on, we can “withstand in the evil day….and having done all to stand…”, knowing that “the battle is not yours, but God’s”!
Put on the armor of God—
His truth—JESUS is the truth–
His right—His righteousness applied to my heart–
His gospel of Peace—in our every step—
with a mindset of servanthood—
not pride and arrogance–
Faith in HIM, HIS will, HIS provision—not ourselves—
HIS Word— as our only offensive weapon—
THE Word-both spoken and written!)
The battle is the Lord’s—when we walk with HIM in faith, pursuing HIS purposes, and trusting to HIS sufficiency!
“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you,
Be not afraid
by reason of this great multitude;
for the battle is not yours,
but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
Amen and Amen!!!