Ramblings of a Curate!!
How do we respond when things become uncomfortable when we face opposition and those who are supposed to protect the freedom of faiths are creating legislation and laws to prevent us from openly sharing our faith?
Do we shy away, wish to create a community of fellow believers sheltered and away from the rest of the world? Or do we adapt the Gospel to win favouritism from the secular world?
I read an article where a church is now offering beer at their services to bring more people in. At what point does church stop being about God and becomes about entertainment? No longer placing their hope and trust in our sovereign God, but giving over to culture and allowing that to shape our churches.
The book of Daniel is a great revelation to what happens when you fully trust and place your hope and identity in God. Especially when living in an anti-God culture. A culture that worships and glorifies every man-made idol including the king himself.
Chapter 6 has King Darius tricked through his pride to make a decree that if anyone prays to anyone else except the king for thirty days will be thrown into the lion's den.
The reason for such a strange decree was, Daniel was known as a man of prayer. Every day he would pray to God three times. The satraps and other administrators knew this and knew this was the only way they could get Daniel in trouble with King Darius.
They knew Daniel was obedient and trusted in God and would not do anything to break his relationship with God.
This was Daniels response to the threat of his life. Daniel chapter 6:10 tells us that he did exactly what he always did, he didn't panic or stop praying. He continued faithfully praying, placing his hope and trust in God for help.
Though Daniels enemies were against him and even though Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, God saved him.
The bible tells us that we will go through these difficult times but what is revealed is that our sovereign creator, who has chosen us to be adopted into His family. He is with us throughout those trials. He was in the furnace with Daniels friends and he saved Daniel.
We too can trust in the same God as he does not change, He is still the same sovereign God of the Old Testament just as he was in the New Testament and is today and will be in the future.
When trials or pressure comes our way, what will we be known for? Will, we still stand in prayer trusting in God's word and promises? or will we bow down to the idols of this world, idols that have been created in the image of mankind, idols that can not save us from God's judgement.
After Daniels witnessing to God's power Darius could not deny God anymore and decreed in verse 25;
Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
May the way we testify through our faith and trust in God call others to bow down and call upon Jesus, that through His death and resurrection we all may be saved.
Reverend Darren Dalton
St Andrews Church Kinson Bournemouth