“I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” Dan2:23
Daniel Inspires Us to Live Radically in the Face of Politically Challenging Times
Daniel is one of the most amazing figures in the Old Testament, his life is probably more aligned with more of us today than any other biblical figure. Yet many of us have missed the central theme of his life and how he can inspire us to live radically in the face of adverse and challenging political times. When Daniel was a young man he was taken captive to Babylon where he lived for around seventy years and he most likely served at least four different kings. His capture was most likely vicious as most of his family and friends were probably slaughtered. He was then forced to live among these people who were Pagans and their practices would have been in direct opposition to the God he had faithfully served.
With all this, there is no record of Daniel ever hating these people. In fact, scripture testifies that he faithfully served them and helped them to succeed. He didn’t carry a grudge nor did he feel entitled to have an attitude against them. As he lived through four different kings he became the stable influence of the day and a trusted confidant to each one of them. Daniel epitomizes the word being in the world but not of it, because he completely fits into the culture of their kingdom without ever losing his faith or changing what he believed. If we ever want an example of the way to live and serve others Daniel would most likely be the best example in scripture of this lifestyle. At a time when many of us wouldn’t even talk to someone with opposing political views, Daniel went one step further and faithfully served on their court and was able to change the heart of the king in the process.
Daniel Discovers His Purpose is Wrapped Up in the Challenging Situation He Was Forced Into
We don’t know when it occurred, but at some point Daniel must have realized that his purpose was different then he had dreamed. Instead of growing up as a leader of Israel he found himself in a completely different situation. He continued to give God thanksgiving and praise and knew that his purpose was wrapped up in this situation. Rather than complain and give in to fear and doubt he chose to become an instrument that God could use and he simply stood ground on his principles while also providing the wisdom and understanding God had gifted him with and doors began opening. Most of us know his story, but few have the character to live it out. Daniel only had a few opportunities to make a difference in those seventy years, but when they came he didn’t fail to recognize he was placed there to do something even if he paid for it with his own life. God used the most unlikely circumstances to bring about his greatest revival in both the ungodly and his own people and Daniel was used to help prepare Israel for the return to their land. There is a very little chance he could have ever imagined how his life would make this kind of difference.
Discover Your Purpose
Where have you been placed and what are the circumstances that surround your situation? God has anointed and appointed you to make a difference right where you are. Don’t think your opportunity is around the corner as soon as you get that promotion or get the degree you’ve been working on. The doors of opportunity that lay in front of you will begin to open as you step into the mantle of your own calling and purpose. You are called today, just as you are and exactly as you are equipped. All the education in the world will not yield a single ounce of God’s presence before others. I am not saying that we should not be taking every advantage to better ourselves, but what I am saying is your future is now not tomorrow. Ask God to show you how your today fits into his plan and stop looking towards a brighter future. God is in your today! Stand up and stand out and live life to its fullness. You are the right person to make a difference.
We Were Made To Thrive in This Hour and This Day!
In the 2nd chapter of Daniel he gives God thanks and praise for giving him the wisdom to know exactly what the king needed and the strength to do what God purposed for him to do. Even when it was something he probably wouldn’t have wanted to do in the natural. God intends for each one of us to know our purpose and live it out fully. We also need the courage to accept what God may be showing us even when its not what we want. Like Daniel it may not look like we thought it would, but we can’t be afraid to take the risks that go with it because the reward is so great. Take the time to thank God for your unique callings and gifts for each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. There is no one else like you. That means your purpose may have many paths, but the road is yours alone. Ask God to provide the wisdom and strength needed and get moving towards a life of purpose! Thank you Lord for the unique gifts and talents you’ve created in me. I choose to give you complete access to using me how you see fit. I say yes to your will and your way. Amen!