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God First

It was A. W. Tozar who said in his book; Pursuing the Knowledge of the Holy that: “Some are not content with shallow logic concerning God. “O God, show me thy glory”. They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God.

Tozar continued to say: “That a lack of such (desire), has brought us to our present low estate, a stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire.

Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain”

Throughout God’s word, countless men and women sought to know God. Their stories are ones that give hope and knowledge to us today. Probably one of the most intriguing of these is Daniel.

Do you remember about how Daniel had come into captivity in Babylon? How he had risen to a position of importance in the court of King Dares. Daniel had become one of only three governors in the land.

We can learn 4 things from the life of Daniel about how to:

1) Live above reproach

2) Refuse to compromise

3) Pray

4) Trust God

The text is in Daniel 6-

1) Live above reproach

Daniel 6: 3-5

3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.

5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

As hard as this might have been for Daniel it is as difficult for you today. Living above reproach is a challenge because there will be those who will accuse and challenge who you are or what you believe.

To live above reproach simply means that accusations will be made and you may well be challenged however the accusation and/or challenge have no basis of truth.

2) Refuse to compromise

Daniel 6: 7, 10

7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

There is one thing far worse than having others tear us to pieces-that is tearing ourselves to pieces by separating belief from behavior, faith from life

What are you going to do when you know that it will cost you something? Daniel knew what the decree said and yet he was not going to compromise his beliefs and his faith in God.

As a believer and as a citizen today the time has never been more important than now to not compromise. Know what you believe and believe what you know. Unfortunately, there are many today who "you can't confuse them with the facts, because they have already made up their minds".

Never compromise the truth of God's Word.

3) Pray

Daniel 6: 11

11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.

Daniel knew what was going on, his was a prayer for God to help. This was not a desperate prayer looking for a way out. As he calls to God it is from a relationship that had been matured through a lifestyle of devotion to God.

God does not offer us an escape from the consequences of our commitment to Him. He offers us the same help He gave Daniel-the strength to remain loyal to Him when the risk is real and the cost is high.

4) Trust God

Daniel 6:16

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

Service means something. Daniel was committed to his relationship with God. He would serve the Lord regardless of the cost.

Daniel 6:20-23

20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!

22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Because He will send help.

Daniel 6:26-27

26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.

27 He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”

He is the living God and He rescues those who are loyal to Him but sometimes that deliverance is different from what we would expect.

In Knowing God, J.I. Packer said:

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life with it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know God. Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you.”

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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