Zev Porat

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Continually Serving God: Daniel 6:16

Being a believer in Jesus Christ brings with it a new nature; this new nature is characterized by the grace of God making the individual righteous before God. Moreover, accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on Calvary's cross means that one has placed Jesus Christ as the Lord of his or her life. Thus, the life lived by the individual post-salvation experience is lived under the mastership or lordship of Christ. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Therefore, the lifestyle of a child of God is such that the life of the individual no longer belongs to or is controlled by the individual. Rather the life lived by the believer in Jesus is lived through the inhabiting nature of Christ, the Holy Spirit.


Now, before you think I am going to dive off into a theological tirade, I want you to stick with me. The idea of a believer living his or her life through the leadership and guidance of God through a relationship with Him is demonstrated through many biblical characters. One of those characters is Daniel. You may recall over the past couple of weeks I have journeyed through Daniel pulling out different principles that are applicable to the life of a believer today. Last week we looked at the events that preceded Daniel's experience of being thrown into the den of lions. Remember, the officials within the empire were jealous of Daniel's rising authority in the kingdom but they knew they could only trap Daniel if there was a law affecting Daniel's relationship with God. Thus, the presentation of the law to ban prayers offered to anyone except the king of Persia. Today I want us to examine what the king said to Daniel just before he was put into the den. But first, let us observe the context of Daniel 6:16.


After the kingdom officials caught Daniel praying to God (which was not hard to find because Daniel spent time in prayer every day), they brought information before Darius that someone within the kingdom had broken the law. However, these men appealed to the law first and then dropped Daniel's name as the offender of the law. The king tried to rescue Daniel from the law, but under the Median and Persian empires laws could not be reversed after the king enacted them so even the king was stranded in an effort to save Daniel. As the decree stated, Daniel was brought and placed into the den of lions; however, just before Daniel was lowered into the pit, Darius said, "May your God, whom you serve continually, save you" (Daniel 6:16b).

Daniel had lived his life under the direction of God Almighty even though he was a slave in a foreign land. Daniel carried out his responsibilities of overseeing Darius' kingdom in a manner that honored God and stood as a witness to those around Daniel. On a daily basis Daniel honored the Lord with his decisions, speech, and lifestyle to the point that King Darius took note of the God Daniel served. Thus, Daniel was living his life as God directed and Daniel's faithfulness to honor God was acknowledged by Darius. In reading this story I am reminded of 1 Peter 2:12. It reads, "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." Daniel is a prime example of a man who honored God while surrounded by evil to the point his actions led to a pagan king acknowledging God (Daniel 6:26-27). Therefore, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, understand your life does not belong to you but to Christ. A believer's actions and lifestyle should reflect the leadership of God Almighty as He directs our steps in life. We never know who is watching our lives and we never know the extent of how far our witness for Jesus Christ reaches. Let us seek to honor God with every part of our lives so that we can direct others to a knowledge of God Almighty.

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014. 

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