June 22, 2022
Thank you for joining in prayer for our prodigals and for revival.
As the Hebrew writer continues his list of faithful people, he described the faith of someone who “stopped the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11:33). While there may be others not recorded, the one we know is Daniel (Daniel 6).
Daniel was faithful in his youth, and now, as a grown man having served God through 3 foreign leaders in Babylon, he remained faithful. This is consistency.
John Maxwell said, “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. That’s the law of consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is the key.”
Daniel was a beautiful, living example of true consistency.
First, he was consistent in his honest behavior before God. Behavior is a direct result of belief. What you truly believe will come out in your actions.
Under King Darius, Daniel was promoted to the highest level of government, and those under him were jealous. They tried in vain to find some area of accusation in Daniel’s life.
“Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him” (Daniel 6:3-4).
The outworking of his faith was of such a high caliber, that the only area of his life in which they could accuse him was how he lived before God (Daniel 6:5).
Second, he was consistent in his thankful spirit to God. Remember that Daniel was in captivity, yet 3 times a day he knelt to give thanks to his God.
His work associates wanted to destroy his life, but Daniel made it a point to thank God through it all. They went to the king, and deceptive tactics stroked his ego for further kingdom-wide admiration and worship. It became law that no one could pray to any other god or human being during the next 30 days but to the king or they would be thrown to the lions. The law of the Medes and the Persians was irrevocable.
Lions are not called the king of the beasts for no reason. They are fierce, strong predators that have dominance in the wild. In ancient times, they were captured, starved, and used to ensure the horrible death of any who disobeyed the monarch.
Some argue that Daniel was being unreasonably foolish and arrogant in his choice to continue his habit of daily prayer. From the text, it is abundantly clear that he valued his time with God and wasn’t going to be bullied into changing his practice of prayer.
Third, Daniel was consistent in his affection for God’s dwelling in Jerusalem. They were more than just prayers of thanksgiving, they were prayers of earnest appeal. Daniel postured himself on his knees and positioned himself in the window facing west towards God’s holy temple in Jerusalem.
Each day he knelt with his God, he was linking himself with the prayer of dedication that Solomon gave at the temple's opening (1 Kings 8:22-54).
He was acting in faith upon God’s previous promise, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
And last, he was consistent in his dependance upon his God. Prayer is acknowledging weakness and relying on God’s strength.
“Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help” (Daniel 6:11). Daniel prayed because he recognized the need for God’s help both personally and nationwide. He was essentially saying, “If I am going to be preserved through this trial, I cannot do it alone. If God’s purposes are going to be fulfilled and His people are going to be back in the land, then God will have to do it.”
While Daniel lived in a different time period and under much different circumstances than us, the need for consistent, faithful living is still just as valuable.
Consistency means keeping at it, day-in and day-out. It’s not glamorous. It’s not popular and it is not easy, but it is key to our spiritual lives.
The end of the story takes a major twist. God in His sovereignty delivers Daniel from the hungry lions, but the lions did get their food.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel