Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Standing up for my rights, Defending God, and what I learned from Daniel

 
Before I say anything else (because I know this is way long and most will give up before the end), I want to point out that Daniel was ORDERED to pray to King Darius (by penalty of DEATH).
 
Most things we are dealing with here in America are not situations where the government is LEGALLY ORDERING people to DO something, but are really more about people being OFFENDED because OTHER PEOPLE are being ALLOWED to do things that are offensive to them.
 
For example, Target is not legally ORDERING ladies to use the restroom with men, they ARE allowing men who identify as women to not have to use the restroom with men. Target has the right to make that choice. If it bothers me, I have the right to make the choice to shop somewhere else, and so do you... just as any Transgender person has the choice to only shop at Target because of all this. If this gets you all stirred up, please read all of this post before you comment.
 
Daniel Chapter 6... 
 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.  Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”  So King Darius put the decree in writing. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6: 7-10
Daniel went to his ROOM and PRAYED LIKE HE ALWAYS HAD.
·        First…he already did this.
o      Many church folks pray at dinner, at church and only open their Bible at church. That’s just the way it is. (That's a whole other post for another day.)
o   So it struck me that he did this JUST AS HE HAD DONE BEFORE. This wasn't something new for him.
 
·        Second…he did it in Private.
o   He didn’t go out in the street and pray so that everyone could see what a devout follower of God he was.
o   He didn’t wail and scream and protest
o   He certainly didn’t get all passive-aggressive on social media by posting things like “feeling persecuted” nor did he point out how much better he was than everyone who was praying to anyone other than God. He prayed and trusted God to do what God does.
·        Third…God did what God does, and lives were changed - (as always)
o   Daniel got caught praying … in private… in his home
o   Daniel was convicted of praying to someone other than the king and was sentenced to DEATH in the lion’s den
o   Daniel was NOT pardoned.
o   God protected him…in the lion’s den
o   Daniel survived the lion’s den, King Darius praised God, punished the ones who tricked him, and GOD got allllll the glory
o   you can read for yourself…
 Starting with Daniel 6:25…
Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:
“May you prosper greatly! “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For He is the living God
    and He endures forever;
His kingdom will not be destroyed,
    His dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and He saves;
    He performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”
 
It’s also worth mentioning that Daniel didn’t have a “God’s gonna get you for this” attitude when God delivered him.  See Daniel 6:21-22:
Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!  My God sent His angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
 
·        Gosh, can we say that?
o   In all our protesting, discussing, and “standing up for our faith and our rights”, are we INNOCENT in GOD’s sight? (what's God say in 1 Samuel?? oh yes! But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7) I don't now about you, but my HEART is not innocent, even on my VERY best days!
o   ANNNNND can any of us say that we have done NO wrong before those who are “persecuting” us?
§  Not just can we say it, but is it TRUE?
 
I am encouraged on so many levels by this.
I don’t WANT to look like all those people who are screaming and yelling and protesting in the name of “defending their rights”. I understand their desire to defend themselves. I do.
But I believe that God’s got this.
I HOPE that my behavior will bring HIM glory like Daniel's did!
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