Imagine that one day, everything you know life to be changes. Your nation is invaded, your home is destroyed and you have no idea where your family is. Life as you it to be, becomes very different from the way it was three minutes ago. Maybe you didn’t get to eat that last spoon of rice. Maybe you didn’t get to finish that TV show. Maybe you didn’t even have time to even say good bye to your beloved family.
That crazy event…It just happened suddenly before you could say, ‘Ayo!’
…The Bible book of Daniel (Chapter 1-3) was on my heart last night. No idea why. I tried to read it, but ‘Mehn! That sleep was enticing’. I got to read it today, and my God…I learnt a lot on friendships, praying, growth and trusting God.
Here are Six (6) lessons God taught me:
- …What if God allows that ‘Crazy event’ to happen?
One day, the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem, and life changed for Daniel and His friends. They were in a strange country, with strange food, and strange beds. Their names were even changed. But they resolved in their heart to not defile themselves with the king’s food. They resolved in their heart to not change their attitude.
One truth I’m learning this season is that- Nothing or No one should change or re-define my values or attitude for the worse. For example, if you are kind, keep being kind…don’t stop being kind because of an unkindness. If you are determined to follow God’s rule on courtship and dating…keep doing that. It may not make sense to many. You may be seen as being stupid or old-school. But ‘waiting’ and purity is totally worth it.
So, what if God allows that ‘Crazy event’ to happen? It may be hard to put up a good face. What if that ‘crazy event’ is a loss or an illness? I know it will be hard. But resolve to not defile yourselves with a bad attitude or disobedience to God. If you must cry, cry to God. If you must whine, whine to God. But resolve to lean on God…Praising and praying. If He allowed that crazy to happen, He will see you through it. (Daniel 1:8-9)
God did that for Daniel and His friend. They refused the King’s delicious buffet. They ate vegetables and drank water only. In the end, they looked better than anyone. They were wiser than everyone.
What is our attitude like right now? Can we resolve in our hearts to be fearless and to make God proud- no matter how enticing or hard, life is now?
- Who are my friends?
One day, the king gathered His wise men together, and told them, ‘Last night, I had a scary dream. It is disturbing my spirit. Now tell me what the dream is and what its interpretation is?’ ”
Truth is, “its one thing to give the interpretation of a dream, but Dear Mr. King, ‘You have to tell me the dream first’ “. I’m sure the wise men must have thought that, for they said, ‘What you are asking O dear king is super hard. No one can do this except the gods, who do not dwell among mortals?’
The king got furious and threatened to kill them all.
Daniel heard and together with His friends, prayed. God heard their prayers, and gave a reply to the ‘wise-men’ question, ‘Yes, there was a God who could recall dreams and give its interpretation’.
But for now, my question is, “Who are your friends? Who are the people you do life with? Who is that person you want to run to and share your day with and gist with? Are your friends wise? Are your friends a people of prayer?”
I admire Daniel and His friends. I do. They prayed together. When one was promoted, the others were promoted. There was no jealousy or selfishness in their circle. They grew together. (Daniel 2:49; Daniel 3: 30)
I pray for friends I can pray with. I pray for friends that can point me to God when my heart is singing or breaking. I pray that along with my friends, I grow. I pray for wise friends.
Friendship may be hard. There might be off days. There’ll be a lot of forgiveness required. But friendship is beautiful and a love-thing. A good friend is a gift indeed. You and your circle should pray together. Find friends who can point you to God (Daniel 2:17; Daniel 3, Proverbs 17:17)
I can imagine Daniel and His friends sitting together in their old age and reminiscing on the God-adventure they had together – ‘Their first time in Babylon, refusing to bow to the Kings statue and being thrown in fire…Refusing to obey the kings order on prayer and being thrown in the lion’s den…Serving God unto death…Being promoted in a strange land…Seeing God’s hand of love and protection on them”
One day, what will you and friends talk about? Will be worth it in light of eternity?
- Did I thank God?
God is good and does good things, but how many times have I stopped to say ‘Thank You God!’
I won’t lie, sometimes, when God saves me out of a problem (‘wahala’) or gives me that next big thing or idea’, I redirect the glory to myself. I’ll act as if…the solution came from my wisdom.
But I have learned that, saying thanks to God and giving God the gory, points others to ‘My source’, and helps them give God glory (Daniel 2: 20-23, 45, 47).
Daniel and His friends prayed. When God answered, Daniel thanked God, privately and publicly .
Hey, have you thanked God today?
- Can I trust God?
Respecting authority is key. I love that Daniel and His friends were respectful towards the authority of the day. Respect is crucial.
But what if the ‘king’ says I should disobey the King of Kings- Jehovah?
What if the ‘King’ says to steal or back date that document? What if the ‘king’ ask me to do something that will hurt the heart of God?
Daniel friends said this to the king when they were asked to bow to the Kings Statue, ‘God will rescue us out of this problem, but even if He doesn’t, we will still not bow to this statue?’ (Daniel 3:16-18)
Can you trust God like that? Do you love God like that?
They were thrown into the fire. It was so hot that even the people who threw them in the fire died from the heat.
God was with them in the fire.
Daniel was asked to stop praying…’If you pray, you will die’. It was written in black and white. It was law. Daniel disobeyed that law, and was thrown in the Lion’s den. The lion’s mouth was shut up.
Can I trust God like that? Can I trust that God will save me?
But what if He doesn’t? Can I still sing that God is good and God is a king of miracles?
2 Corinthians 4:16 is slowly becoming my anthem, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”
As we serve God, let’s not give up…It may not look great on the outside, but don’t give up. He’s more than able to save us in the fire and lion’s den of life….but even if He doesn’t, like Daniel and His friend- We still have gained the greatest miracle- Jesus.
I feel like the victory is leaning on God no matter what the circumstance is. Please, trust God.
- Will God see me where I am? Will He appreciate or Honor my Obedience?
I’m always grateful for God’s favour and mercies….especially in little moments.
I love that even in that strange land, God’s favour and love was with Daniel and His friends. God saw them and Jehovah God caused the Kings Court official to favour Daniel and His friends. It may be scary to stand up for God. But you know, when we stick with God, He’ll stick with us… (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Centuries later, I’m learning about God’s faithfulness because some Hebrew boys leaned on God.
But, what if Daniel and His friends had decided to join the crowd and blend in with the society or culture of that day?
Hey, are you standing out or blending in?
- In the end:
“….In the end, God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed”. Dan 2:44
God did set up that kingdom and we are heirs to that kingdom. Jesus is king forever and ever.
Daniel was right.
“For the Kingdom of God is…… living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”- Romans 14:17
Every day, we are encouraged to reflect God’s kingdom…To live a life of righteousness, peace and joy. …and invite many into it. God sees and loves you.
“To live is Christ, to die is gain”. Right? (Philippians 1: 21)
Grateful for the lessons learned.
So, your turn, what have you learned from Daniel and His friends?
Thanks a lot for reading!!!