What if you had no church to attend or pastor to teach you? What if you were raised and trained by witchdoctors? Would you be a true believer in God?
(Daniel 6:3) Doctors have developed a test to determine the amount of stress in our lives. They measure stress by giving it a numerical number, such as the death of a spouse or a divorce equals 100 points. 100 points on the stress test means you will be experiencing emotional problems. 300 to 400 points means you will probably have an emotional breakdown. Daniel is estimated to have had 700 to 800 points on the stress test. As a boy, he saw his country conquered and his city destroyed. He saw his family killed and was taken as a slave to a foreign country where he was taught idolatrous religions. How did he keep from losing his mind and pulling out his hair?
Daniel understood that authority came from God. No one can do anything unless God permits it. (Daniel 1:1-2) Those who abuse their authority will give an account to God. (Romans 13:1) Daniel showed proper respect to the authorities God had placed in his life. (Daniel 1:12) Because of God’s favor on his life, Daniel was soon placed in authority as the Prime Minister of Babylon. (Daniel 2:46-48) When we place ourselves under proper authority, it increases our authority. Daniel excelled in leadership and was a leader in Babylon under four different kings from three different countries. It did not matter which country the king represented, he quickly recognized the wisdom of Daniel and placed him in a position of authority.
There was no church for Daniel to attend in Babylon, but that didn’t stop him from meeting with his friends. He was a part of a small accountability group. (Daniel 2:17) When trouble came, they met together and prayed. (Daniel 2:18) They helped to promote one another. (Daniel 2:49) It’s in small groups with people who love us and care for us that we can reach our potential. We can hide in a crowd, but we can’t hide in a small group. They hold us accountable for our actions.
Daniel understood the importance of prayer. He developed the discipline of a life of prayer as a young man and continued praying until the end of his life. He prayed with his friends. He prayed alone. (Daniel 9:3-4) When his political enemies wanted to destroy him, they knew there was only one way they’d be able to trap him and that was through his life of prayer. (Daniel 6:5, 11) What a wonderful testimony of a man of God. Our prayer life determines our walk with God.
Daniel lived in a world of the occult and magicians. (Daniel 2:2) These magicians had special influence over the king, but Daniel knew the power of God was greater than the power of witchcraft. Through prayer, he and his friends sought God for supernatural wisdom and understanding. (Daniel 2:18) Through prayer, Daniel became a friend of God. We give gifts to our friends, and God gave Daniel the gift of interpreting dreams. (Daniel 1:17) God also gave him visions and revelations of the future. (Daniel 7:1) God did supernatural signs for him and his friends. (Daniel 3:25-27, 6:27)
Daniel was an excellent student. As a student, he devoted himself to studying the Word of God. “I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord by Jeremiah the prophet.” (Daniel 9:2) These words were written by Daniel when he was an old man. He was still studying the word of God. We will never outgrow our need for the word of God. “The books” shows that he was studying more than one book. “Jeremiah, the prophet” shows that he recognized God’s anointing upon other men of God. What makes this outstanding is that he was a contemporary of Jeremiah’s day. He recognized Jeremiah as a prophet when many people were rejecting his ministry.
WE MUST LEARN TO BUILD OUR LIVES UPON THE WORD OF GOD!