2 Peter 3:18, Colossians 3:22-24, Confidence, Daniel, Daniel 1:8, Daniel 2:17-23, Daniel 2:27-30, Daniel 2:44-47, Ephesians 6:5-9, Faith, Faithful God, Faithfulness, Isaiah 55:6-11, James 1:5-8, John 3:17-19, Power, Romans 8:28-29, Sovereign God, Trust
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 22 Head>Heart>Hands??? (More Tidbits from Daniel #4)
I’ve been thinking about Daniel lately and wanted us to search it out again for more that can help us live a “Daniel” life—a life of faith, confidence and power with, from and for God. That is something worth spending our time on. We’ll be looking at Daniel chapter 2, and while we’ll touch on the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, I want us to focus on the things surrounding that encounter. Lord willing, we’ll address the dream and it’s content in the next week or two.
It is important to remember that Daniel was part of the captives who were taken to Babylon to serve the king, yet his demeanor was always an honor to God and never a detriment. Oh, that we could live that kind of life and hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when we face our Lord. So many today have a head knowledge of God and The Son Jesus, but don’t know Him, and it is important that we take that knowledge from our ‘head’ to our ‘heart’ and on to our hands.
When Daniel was confronted with a threat of death because of the ‘wisemen’ and their inability to know and interpret the king’s dream, Daniel had only one course of action—and it should always be our first recourse rather than our last!
“Then Daniel went to his house,
and made the thing known
to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
18 That they would desire mercies
of the God of heaven
concerning this secret;
that Daniel and his fellows
should not perish
with the rest
of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then was the secret revealed
in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” Daniel 2:17-19
Many times when we are confronted with difficult situation, crises, or uncertainty we work on a solution, try to figure it out, run to get answers from others, or just run head-long into situations without the wisdom of God. Daniel knew what James knew and shared with us.
“If any of you lack wisdom,
let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith,
For he that wavereth is like
a wave of the sea
driven with the wind
7 For let not that man think
that he shall receive any thing
of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable
in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
God wants us to bring every part of our lives to HIM! I hear so many people say that some things just aren’t important to God, but I must disagree, and I think that I can say that on the authority of scripture. God wants us to come to Him about everything, for HE often sees things differently than we do—God’s ways are the ways that we must seek, and He is ready and willing to reveal Himself and His way to us—we have but to ask! When we “lack wisdom” God wants us to “ask of God” and do so in faith, having total confidence in the ‘giver’ of “every good gift and every perfect gift”. God wants us to know HIM, to walk with HIM and to grow in HIM:
and in the knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both
and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
Knowing Him and His ways and provision was always on the heart of Daniel, and Isaiah had written these words long before Daniel caught Himself in trouble. In fact remember His decision in the beginning of the book:
“But Daniel purposed in his heart
that he would not defile himself
with the portion of the king’s meat,
nor with the wine which he drank:
therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs
that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
Isaiah said it clearly:
“Seek ye the LORD
while he may be found,
call ye upon him
while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts
are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways
saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens
are higher than the earth,
so are my ways
higher than your ways,
and my thoughts
than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down,
and the snow
and returneth not thither,
but watereth the earth,
and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed
to the sower,
to the eater:
11 So shall my word be
that goeth forth
out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me
but it shall accomplish
that which I please,
and it shall prosper
in the thing whereto
I sent it.” Isaiah 55:6-11
God is ever at work to draw people unto Himself, but He has given every person born into this world the freewill to choose to believe Him or not. God has made His love for us clear and Jesus paid the price for our sin—“For God so loved the world that He gave”—yet Jesus made it clear that we must choose, and there is a consequence for our choices. If we choose Jesus and trust to His blood to save us, we have life, but if we don’t choose HIM, we have chosen death, whether consciously or not—it’s still choosing.
“For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:17-19
We can choose Jesus and life, or not; we can cling to our sins—our evil deeds, even though we excuse our sinful deeds and think our sin isn’t as bad as the sin of others—and miss life. Why would we do that? Because when man sinned in the beginning, he chose to believe a lie, rather than God, and we’re still doing that today! I beg you to be sure that you have made the right choice!
God is working to call men and women to Himself—it’s why Jesus came, and He is ever working to make His own into the image of Jesus, in everything in our lives!
“And we know that all things
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed
to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29
The evidence of His presence in our lives is the work of His Holy Spirit working in and through us and seen through the godly works of our hands. For when we truly consider God and come to Jesus, moving that information to our hearts in repentance and faith, then God does a work of transformation that appears in our lives, our walk, our speech, and our reactions and responses to people and situations. We are to be living testimonies to God’s grace and transforming power.
obey in all things
your masters according to the flesh;
not with eyeservice,
but in singleness of heart,
23 And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily,
as to the Lord,
and not unto men;
24 Knowing that
of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward
of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:22-24
Paul also repeated these things to the Ephesians because we are to live our lives as servants of God—not as “as menpleasers”, but like Daniel, men and women, boys and girls, who are committed to live undefiled lives before God and man!
be obedient to them that are your masters
according to the flesh,
in singleness of your heart,
as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice,
but as the servants of Christ,
doing the will of God
from the heart;
7 With good will
as to the Lord,
and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing
any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord,
whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters,
do the same things unto them,
knowing that your Master also
is in heaven;
neither is there respect
of persons with him.” Ephesians 6:5-9
Whether we are the ‘master’—the boss, or the ‘servant’—the employee, God calls us, saves us to live His glory before a world of sin and darkness. Daniel was a man of God who showed us how to live right no matter the situation, trial or difficulty.
Being people of character not just lip service. As I’ve heard it said, “Real godly character is when you do right when no one is looking.” Or “Real character is revealed by what you do in the dark.” And we can be those people of character because we are saved and kept by the same God who met the needs of Daniel and His friends. And when Daniel received the answer to his prayer, He didn’t forget God, but gave us a wonderful picture of who our God is, and how to truly worship HIM!!!
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said,
Blessed be the name of God
for ever and ever:
and might are his:
21 And he changeth the times
and the seasons:
he removeth kings,
and setteth up kings:
he giveth wisdom
unto the wise,
to them that know understanding:
22 He revealeth the deep
and secret things:
he knoweth what is in the darkness,
and the light dwelleth with him.
23 I thank thee,
and praise thee,
O thou God of my fathers,
who hast given me wisdom and might,
and hast made known unto me now
what we desired of thee:
for thou hast now made known unto us
the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:19-23
What an amazing prayer of praise, may we come to know our God as Daniel did; may God’s character be seen in all of our actions, deeds, works and words—may God be praised in our living! Daniel’s faithfulness gave him a great opportunity to share the truth of The Lord God Almighty before the great king Nebuchadnezzar.
“Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said,
The secret which the king hath demanded
cannot the wise men,
shew unto the king;
28 But there is a God in heaven
that revealeth secrets,
and maketh known to the king
what shall be in the latter days.
Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
29 As for thee, O king,
thy thoughts came into thy mind
upon thy bed,
what should come to pass
and he that revealeth secrets
maketh known to thee
what shall come to pass.” Daniel 2:27-29
And yet Daniel never took the credit for God’s work!
“But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me
for any wisdom
that I have more than any living,
but for their sakes
that shall make known the interpretation
to the king,
and that thou mightest know the thoughts
of thy heart.” Daniel 2:30
Daniel’s crisis was an opportunity for God’s Word and ways that Daniel knew in his head, would stir his heart and work out through his hands and feet! What do others see in us? Nebuchadnezzar saw something in Daniel—God! What do others see in our lives—from our head, to our heart and out through our hands and feet, our every day lives!
“And in the days of these kings
shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,
which shall never be destroyed:
and the kingdom shall not be left
to other people,
but it shall break in pieces
and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand
46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said,
Of a truth it is,
that your God
is a God of gods,
and a Lord of kings,
and a revealer of secrets,
seeing thou couldest reveal
this secret.” Daniel 2:44-47
May others be brought to say of our God, “that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings”! I pray that our God will help us stand fast in this evil day, that others will see the power of God in our lives. From our head—to our heart—seen by the world through our hands and feet!
Amen and Amen!!!