Over the past few weeks our messages have taken us to the book of Daniel where we’ve asked a tough question, “In the midst of trying, chaotic times can we as followers of Jesus live fearlessly? If so what does that look like?” To be honest, the only person who did it perfectly was Jesus Christ, Himself, but lots of good examples Biblical and throughout history have come close. Here are just a few take away points from our journey:
- God has to have first place in your life.
One common theme throughout scripture is that God doesn’t like to be in second place. God doesn’t just deserve first place, in fact He is deserves every place and every moment of our being. Daniel’s story is a great example of how we can make sure that God always retains first place in our lives.
Daniel turns down the King’s choice wine and meats in Daniel 1 to stay pure to the dietary restrictions he knew following Yahweh. Daniel steps out in faith to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2, giving God the glory and sparing many, many lives of the wise men of the Kingdom. His mind and heart are focused on lifting up Yahweh and making Him great above all earthly pleasures, comforts, or even people thinking well of him. Daniel is a great example of how to give God first place in your life.
2. A second reality is to be the same person at all times.
This can be very difficult. I struggle with being the same and genuine quite a bit, because there are people who push my buttons, people who say one thing and do another, and people who we flat out disagree with, I’m inclined to believe that authenticity and genuineness is a struggle for most people, not all people, but most. Daniel even in the midst of great political unrest, Nebuchadnezzar running into the fields and becoming somewhat wild and deranged, he never loses sight of who he is and never stops being real and authentic in the story.
Pastor Levi Lusko had a great word to remind us how to stay the same person at all times, he says that when we know who Jesus is, our identity becomes very apparent. Meaning if we know Jesus is the great shepherd, there’s no doubt we are in fact a sheep. Daniel knew Yahweh was a God of love and grace and his protector. Daniel knew God could be trusted and that shaped all of his time in Babylon. Know who God is and who you are will become apparent.
3. Don’t be afraid to jump in the water.
My daughter is a three year old diva. She is three probably going on fourteen. But, she does have certain things she is afraid of. We are working with her at being able to jump into the pool without being afraid. We’ve always told her that Mommy or Daddy will catch her, but she’s afraid of having her head under water, afraid she won’t be caught, and the list can go on. We as humans are great at making lists, but after awhile she jumped, she was caught, and she loved it!
This life is an amazing adventure, don’t be afraid to jump into something unknown, because God will catch you and be with you through it all.