Faithful Followers: Daniel

Daniel is known for his incredible faith in the Bible and is someone we could all learn from. But why his story so different? What exactly makes it so incredible? While we skim through his life quick, see if you can guess the answer:

At a young age, Daniel is torn from his home, his family, and everything he loves by Nebuchadnezzar’s men. Nebuchadnezzar is the king at this time, and his orders are for the soldiers to find youth of good looks and apparent wisdom. Daniel happens to be one of these people. As he is forced into the room he’ll be staying in, all seems hopeless. But Daniel is different: there is one thing that has not been taken from him, nor can He be, because it is God himself.

This is how his story begins: A child with faith in God.

The king’s plan is to educate these children for three years, after which they will be interviewed by him and the most worthy will be chosen. Throughout this time, Daniel constantly stands up for and trusts in God. He sticks to God’s law no matter what and is not afraid to speak about Him, because he knows and trusts that God will protect him. God finds favour with Daniel and gives him knowledge and skill above anyone else there, and soon enough, Daniel is promoted to a high position at court: one of the most powerful jobs you could get under the king.

Are you seeing it yet?

Skip ahead a bit to one of my all time favourites: Daniel in the Lions Den.

Daniel is a lot older now. King Darius is in power and Daniel is in an even higher position; One of three high officials to rule over the kingdom. Imagine that! But Darius sees Daniel’s crazy reliability and skill and plans to make him ruler over the other two as well! This does not make them happy at all. Why does Daniel with his God get to be above them? In the King’s eyes, he is flawless.If they can fault Daniel in some way, perhaps the king will change his mind.

So they search him from every angle, but he is so faithful that they cannot find anything wrong with him. They talk amongst each other and realise; the only way they can find ground for complaint with Daniel, is to somehow connect it to Daniel’s God. Daniel has a reputation of not budging in his faith.

They have an idea. A little while later, they, the prefects and the satraps approach the king with a joint agreement that he should pass a law that for 30 days, if anyone worships anyone but the king, they should be thrown into the den of the lions. The king agrees and signs the document. The plan seems to be working!

When Daniel hears the news, he knows what to do. He continues the way he usually does, praying and giving thanks to God on his knees with his window open three times a day. When the rulers find him doing so, they run to the king and tell him what they have seen.

The king is distressed. This is his best man! He wants to save Daniel – so for the rest of the day, he tries in agony to get Daniel out of the situation, but to no avail. It’s law. He has no choice but to throw him into the lion’s den.

As Daniel is been thrown into the pit of starved and vicious lions, The king wishes Daniel with “May your God whom you serve continually, deliver you.” And a stone is brought to seal the entrance.

The king is so distressed that he fasts the whole night, there’s no way that he will sleep.

At the break of morning, he rushes to the den. “Daniel! Daniel!” he cries in anguish. “Servant of the living God, Has your God saved you?”

We all know the ending to this story…  But I’ll finish it.

“O king, live forever! My God sent his angel to shut the lions mouth, and they have not harmed me because I was found blameless before both Him, and also you!” (Daniel 6:21-22)


Now don’t tell me that’s not a cool story! Did you figure out what makes him different?

Faith?

What made him stand out was not just his faith, but his being active in his faith.

He didn’t just believe in the living God. He showed that he did! The law that King Darius made was only for 30 days. Anyone could have hidden the fact that they worshiped God for 30 days… I know I could. But he showed his faith no matter what. He had active faith.

But how does this apply to us? How can you have active faith?

Here are a few things we can learn from Daniel in this regard:

  • Pray often
    Thank him for what you have. Ask him when you’re in need. This is the first step in being close to God.Daniel had a crazy relationship with Him where he trusted God with his life, and could come to Him with anything. How awesome is that?! This is the type of relationship God wants us to have with Him.
  • Consistently read the Bible
    This is another important aspect of our faith. If we are to have a relationship with God, we need to know more about him.
  • Work on your character
    Keep molding it around the image the Bible portrays. “They will know we are Christians by our love” In order to have an active faith, people need to see it!
  • Focus on eternity
    Looking at Daniel’s story, does it look like he invested his life in material objects like money or treasure? No way! He had his mind set on the bigger picture.

I hope this post encourages you the way reading the book of Daniel did to me! (seriously though, you should read it :p) and I really hope this inspires you to look at your life in a different light.

And last but not least, I challenge you to look at the list above and ask yourself questions about what you can do and change in your own life to change your faith into an active faith.

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