Friday, July 15, 2016

Dare to be a Daniel: Introduction

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.  
(Daniel 1:8 KJV)

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.  (Daniel 6:10 KJV)

In last week’s post I shared a few thoughts on Daniel and how he abided in the Lord.  How he lived his life was deeply impacted by his relationship with the Lord.  We can learn much from Daniel’s example.  This week I am launching a series of posts Dare to be a Daniel, which is an edited sermon I developed and delivered in 2014.  Much of the sermon was inspired by Beth Moore’s Daniel:  Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy study.[1] 

Starting this week, we are going to consider the life of one biblical hero, Daniel.  What a mighty, godly man of faith he was!  Daniel counted the cost of what it meant to live for God in his society (Judah), as well as the Babylonian society when he was carried off into exile.  He was willing to pay the price—even if that meant losing his life.  That is commitment—a level of commitment I desire to demonstrate.

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Due to Daniel's faithful commitment to God—he was used and mightily blessed by God.  He found favor, not only with God, but also with those above him, making an impact on them—an impact that was long-term (his influence on the wise men caused them to be looking for the coming Jewish Messiah hundreds of years later).  His integrity also “won” him some enemies!  Daniel spent the majority of his life, from his teens on in Babylonia (and at the end of his life, the Persian Empire), working at the highest levels of government—he found favor with those who did not know the Lord; showing them respect.  He interpreted dreams and proclaimed many prophecies—some of which are yet to unfold.

Daniel experienced Isaiah’s prophecy to King Hezekiah: 

"Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."     (Isaiah 39:5-7 KJV)

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What can we learn from Daniel and his life of integrity?  What decisions have we made or still need to make about what we will do when push comes to shove in following the Lord?  These are decisions that we need to make before hand—before we find ourselves in a situation where we need to make a decision in a hurry.  The time to decide is now.  Waiting until a knife is at our throat or a gun pointed to our head is too late.

We cannot live a life of integrity and commitment to the Lord without determining to do so in advance.  The world will see a difference.  As Christians our lives should look different from the world—we are to be in the world but not of the world (John15:19, for example)—in other words, we are not to assimilate to the world’s standards.  And yes, this may mean ridicule at times.  The world does not understand us and our behavior.  (Consider how often Jesus was misunderstood.)

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What changes can we make in our daily lives to predetermine how we will walk with the Lord?  What is holding us back from being like Daniel, from being “all in” when it comes to the Lord?  Fear of (fill-in-the-blank)?  Not seeing the need?  Loving the world too much?

As we continue to consider Daniel and his example, may we seek ways to grow deeper in our knowledge of the Lord and experiencing Him deep within our hearts.  We really do not need to fear those who can only kill our bodies; our fear should be reserved for the One who can kill our bodies and souls (Matthew 10:28).    

To be continued…

Join with me in prayer:

Mighty God, woo us to You, causing us to experience You more powerfully than ever before—seeking Your face more than Your hand.  Direct our attention to faithful witnesses, like Daniel, who demonstrate how to live in a sinful society.  Guide our preparations in predetermining what choices we will make when deciding for You is more costly than we could ever imagine.  Do Your work in our hearts as we learn more about following You when hostility abounds.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


[1] Beth Moore’s Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy (2006, LifeWay Press) was the inspiration for many ideas in this sermon/blog post.


  1. "Do Your work in our hearts as we learn more about following You when hostility abounds."
    For reasons that recently took place, Kim, these wise words in your prayer resounded deeply within me. Yes, we need to prepare ahead of time in our commitment to the Lord, so that when trials and foes assail us, we will not waver in our stand.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration through Daniel's story today!
    Love and blessings!

    1. Martha, thank you for noticing those words in my prayer. While I wrote it recently, I simply didn't make all the necessary connections until now. Being prepared is so important in many areas of life, being prepared for hard days is no exception. I'm thrilled than my post was inspiring to you today.

      Love and blessings!

  2. I love the story of Daniel and his three friends...and how they "purposed in their hearts" to serve God and Him only. What a wonderful story for all of us today, especially with the way things are happening in the world to attempt to drive us away from the one True God. May we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12-2)

    1. Pam, your thoughts are spot on--God's timing is amazing. I had this series of posts written down on my list of possible ideas; only to select it for this time. I love the story of Daniel and his three friends (proof that we can live in a secular society, yet not give in to it). In times like these, I'm so thankful that I have the Lord to lean on! And as you stated, "May we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith."



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