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So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Daniel 6:16

He’d only been doing what he always did. Every morning, noon and night it was the same. Daniel would kneel before an open window where he could spend a few moments talking with his God. Unlike you and me, he didn’t have the continual presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within him. The promise of a Messiah was years and years in the future. He was still subject to the rules of the Old Testament even though, as an exile in a foreign land he couldn’t sacrifice the way he’d like. But Daniel could pray.

Daniels firm faith in God was his trademark. Even in difficult times. The king knew it and even though he didn’t follow Daniel’s god, his tremendous respect for the way Daniel lived brought huge respect for both Daniel and his God.

Daniel’s enemies knew about his faith too. But they were more interested in personal gain than in religion. As a result of their hatred for Daniel and his people they tricked the King into throwing Daniel in the Lions Den where his death was certain.

The king spent a sleepless night worrying about Daniel. We aren’t told how Daniel slept that night. Surrounded by hungry lions. The remains of previous victims bone’s scattered around. The smell of the lions. For most of us that would have been the makings of a sleepless night too. But I have a feeling Daniel slept like a baby. Daniel knew his God would deliver him.

Did he still have to endure the lions den? Yep. Just like Jonah had to endure the whale, and Abraham had to endure the emotional trauma of nearly sacrificing his son, and the disciple’s had to endure the storm at sea.

But in each situation God came along just in time to provide what was needed. Each person had a different need to be met and only God knew how that need was going to be met best. That’s the way God does things. God knows what we need, when we need it, and he comes through for us every time. The danger comes when we try to take matters into our own hands or force others to do ‘what we think God wants them to do’.

Your heavenly Father knows your situation. Every intimate detail. Only he knows the best time and method for your deliverance. The beauty of following Christ is that we don’t have to worry about tomorrow (or for today for that matter). Our only concern is to draw close to him though prayer, Bible study and fellowship with believers. He’ll take care of the rest in the best way possible and at just the right time for you.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many things going on in my life right now that scare me, frustrate me and cause me to worry and fear. Empower me by your spirit to learn from the life of Daniel. I feel like I’m surrounded by lions. Help me to see your hand in this. Empower me to trust you to deliver me in your way and your time. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 


For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

After Solomon was King of Israel, the country was divided by civil war into two nations, Israel and Judah. Although these two nations were of the same ancestry, they fought continuously. One day Asa, king of Judah heard that the King of Israel was planning to take some of Judah’s land and perhaps attack.

Asa went to the temple, but not to pray. He went to the temple to take some of the gold and silver that belonged to God and use it to pay off a neighboring king to help defend Judah from Israel. God spoke to Asa through a prophet. In effect, God’s words went something like this.

“Asa, don’t you know that I am sitting here in heaven looking over the entire world just looking for people who need my help? Don’t you realize that I want nothing more than to help you in the battles of life? Haven’t you figured out yet that I’m waiting here for you to ask for help? Yet you still go to other kings, other places to get your protection. From now on you will be subject to those around you and you will face many struggles.

Now, one would think that Asa would have listened to the prophet and confessed his lack of trust in God, but that wasn’t the case. Asa became angry with the prophet and with God. He threw the prophet in prison and tortured him.

Years later, Asa got a serious disease. Once again he refused to ask God for help in healing him and he eventually died.

The tragic story of Asa is played out everyday by people here on earth. We may think that God isn’t interested in our ‘small problems’. I was talking with a woman one day who was telling me her problems. I asked if she’d prayed about it and her response was, “He’s got plenty of bigger problems in the world to deal with. He can’t be bothered by me.” The sad thing was, she really believed that and sometimes we do to.

We may be like a stubborn child who refuses a parent’s help to get dressed. Even though we may struggle with life’s problems we are convinced that if we just try harder we will be able to conquer what ever it is that is troubling us. We may change jobs, or end relationships, or blame others all in an effort to get through this journey called life. We’d never admit it, but in a sense we are saying to God, “I know how to do this better than you. Step aside and see how it’s done!”

Regardless of what you are going through today, realize this. Your Heavenly Father is like an eagle soaring high above the earth, watching your every move and seeing what lies ahead. He not only sees your struggle, He sees your heart. He is waiting for you to let go and trust Him. He may allow you to go through consequences and pain to make you stronger, but He will never leave you alone if you call on Him and walk in relationship with Him.

Your Heavenly Father longs to be involved in every decision of your life because of His great love for you. Invite Him to walk the path of life with you.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess to you that there are many times I have taken matters into my own hands and never even thought of asking for your help. I praise you for the lesson of Asa and the reality that you are watching my every move and know my heart and desires. Right now I’m struggling with life and with consequences of my own choices. Forgive me from forgetting you and empower me with your Spirit to walk in such close relationship with you that you are involved in every decision of my life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

For years Joshua had been Moses’ right hand man. He’d been chosen to survey the Promised Land. He’d become Moses’ spokesperson to the people. He’d learned how to lead, how to wage military battle and most importantly, how to trust God. Now Moses was dead and God chose Joshua to take the lead role in bringing Israel into the Promised Land.

Being number two in command is relatively easy. If you are an assistant to the director or an assistant coach you offer advice and do your responsibilities but the final decisions are all in the hands of the ‘boss’. As a child you follow the advice and wisdom of your parents or trusted adult advisors. As a student you listen to and adhere to the guidelines of your instructor. In each situation the final say is out of your hands.

The real challenge in life comes when you step from the role of assistant to the guy in charge. You suddenly realize that all the decisions and all the responsibility are now yours. As a teacher, the class looks to you for wisdom and guidance. As a coach, the team follows your direction and expects victory. As a parent, your children watch you in order to learn the basics of life and living.

It’s no wonder then, that when life changes occur we can become fearful, even as adults. When our parents die there can be a sense of loss and fear and the thought, “What will I do now?” when in actuality we’ve been on our own for years and have children of our own. The fear of going it alone is a powerful and sometimes crippling emotion. In whatever position we find ourselves in, when the opportunity comes to step up we can doubt our own abilities to carry on. We never really get over that need to have someone direct us and support us.

The most important thing any of us can do is to surround ourselves with a support system that won’t fail. That’s the offer God gives to Joshua and to us. A support system that will never fail us regardless of anything we do or others do to us. He promises to be our source of guidance, strength and encouragement.

People will fail you, but God won’t. Religion will fail you, but God won’t. Money will fail you, but God won’t. Education will fail you, but God won’t. Technology will fail you, but God won’t. Nothing you come across in life will keep Him from being your Go-to-Guy. As you grow in relationship with God you will find Him faithful and His wisdom unconquerable.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. There are times when I’m like Joshua. I look ahead at the task before me and am overwhelmed. I experience struggles and tragedies that discourage me. Friends and even family members have abandoned me and I feel so alone. Please help me to sense your presence. Empower me to draw close to you and learn to rely on your wisdom and strength to get through my days. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

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