God blessed Daniel and he rose in status and authority in the Babylonian government. Under King Darius Daniel was soon to become his #2 in command. However, the other government administrators were jealous of Daniel and set out to discredit him. When no fault in leadership or integrity could be found, they decided to get at him through his faith. They convinced King Darius to decree that no one could pray to anyone but him (Darius) for 30 days under penalty of death. Knowing Daniel’s daily prayer schedule, they felt certain this would take Daniel out of the way. Daniel continued to pray to God, just as he had done for so many decades before, and was thereby found guilty of violating the decree. Now Darius was very fond of Daniel, and he realized that the other administrators had tricked him into signing the decree, but it could not be revoked. Daniel’s reliance was on God alone as he was put into the lions’ den. Darius couldn’t sleep; he fasted all night. Scripture doesn’t say he prayed, but we get the notion that he did seek the God of Daniel, the one true God. The next morning the King ran to the den and called to see if Daniel was still alive, the king was overjoyed to learn that God had spared Daniel’s life. King Darius demanded the lives of the other administrators and their families, and he decreed that everyone should worship the God of Daniel.
Dan 6:3-10, 16, 20, 23, 26-27
…”Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Dan 6:20) The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. (Dan 6:23)
When you stand strong for what you believe, you will have opposition. Often Christ-followers think that once they are saved it will be smooth sailing. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Satan will use anyone, even your friends, family and other well-meaning people to try and drag you down. If you are not experiencing opposition, you should wonder why. When you face opposition, prayer is the key; it shouldn’t be the last resort, but rather the first! Daniel didn’t shrink back from what he had decided long ago, to follow and worship God. He prayed 3 times each day and continued to do so even after the decree. When you have access to the creator and sustainer of the universe, you have it all! Go to God; get on your knees, as Daniel did. Humble yourself and submit to God’s authority. Ask for his guidance and wisdom in your situation. And then, you must trust God with the outcome. Daniel was still thrown in the lions’ den. Maybe he thought something would happen beforehand and he would avoid the penalty, but even though he spent the night with hungry lions; God protected him. God’s power was revealed by Daniel’s safe emergence from the den, and God was given all the glory. Things don’t always turn out as they did for Daniel. Many of God’s prophets followed God and served faithfully and for whatever reason God didn’t rescue them. Trusting God for the outcome acknowledges his sovereignty. His understanding and His ways are higher and greater than ours.
If prayer were a crime, would anyone have enough evidence to convict you? How do you respond to public expressions of faith? Do you face criticism because of your stand for Christ? Do you ever kneel to pray? Why or why not? What is the power of kneeling? Do you have a pre-determined time for prayer each day? Think about Christian martyrs around the world? How do they stand strong facing death just as Daniel did. How do you respond when God doesn’t rescue you or answer a prayer? How do you interpret God’s sovereignty?
Pray every day, read your Bible; get to know God. It is by building a relationship with Jesus Christ that you can stand strong when opposition comes. You have to decide ahead of time! Decide now!
Lord, thank you for being available to me every minute or every day. Help me to look to you first in the face of opposition and trials. Keep my focus on you and my trust in your plan. Thank you for holding me in your hands. I’m amazed and grateful that you want to have a relationship with me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.