“When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.” Daniel 6:10 – Message
Imagine the moment the word was delivered. Your love for God cannot be displayed in public any more. Not only can it not be publicly displayed, but it cannot be given at all. You must give your allegiance to the man king, instead of the One True King. To do anything less will come at the cost of your life.
The truth is, we cannot even begin to comprehend this. What has our faith in God really cost us, in the comforts of our society of the free world? Can we even relate in a small sense to Daniel? True, that each day, we are provided with the opportunity to give our allegiance to things that will pass away, but have we ever really known the cost of allegiance to the Lamb? Daniel did and he was willing to throw away all of the comforts he had known, all the prestige of kingdom life, all the favour of man, for just a moment to offer his heart of gratitude to a God who is worthy.
Daniel refused to be a secret worshipper. He would not hide his gratitude. He was grateful to the God who was with him and Daniel counted no price too high for the One who walked with him. He offered his private life on a public altar to be given to the God he was grateful to. The cost for Daniel was to become live meat for a den of hungry lions. However, nothing deterred him from expressing thanks to God. Yet, how often do we find pathetic excuses of why we can’t be grateful when it really doesn’t cost us anything?
Our natural thinking might say, “Why be public, Daniel?”, “Why not close the window and hide your faith?” Maybe Daniel understood something that we miss? Can true gratitude be hidden? Does true gratitude not find a place to overflow?
Daniel woke up one day, and the laws had changed, but nothing changed in his heart. Only his external circumstances were different. His Great God was the same. So, if God was worthy and deserving of thanks when the laws were in Daniel’s favour, was He still not worthy when the lot was rolled against him? Daniel understood, true gratitude is not secret, true gratitude cannot be kept behind a closed curtain, true gratitude is not circumstantial. It is a fire burning in the heart that has known that love does overcome. Not a love offered by the world which is fickle and fades, but a love that conquers, prevails, and will hold shut the mouths of hungry lions to reveal itself to a kingdom full of idolatry.
Daniel wasn’t displaying his thankfulness and prayers publicly for attention, but because this love had ignited in him. It was a gratitude that could not be hidden. He knew that if today his life were to end because of his expression of thankfulness to God, that his present suffering would not compare to the glory that would be revealed.
God chose to rescue the life of this man and shift the kingdom from idolatry to that of God seeking. Can you imagine gratitude having that kind of impact? Is it any wonder why the enemy want to keep us in a perpetual state of ingratitude? Could a thankful heart really be this powerful?
Today I am grateful for the freedoms I know in this life. However, I ask God that He would shake up my heart so that I do not allow these freedoms to rock me to sleep with apathy. I am thankful that I have never been in a position where I have had to choose between my faith and my life, but may God give me the grace to honour Him, so that in the day that I am called upon to pay this kind of price, like Daniel, I will offer on a public altar my private life to God who is worthy.
Susan Craig says:February 9, 2015 at 3:19 am
Praying with gratitude publically put Daniel’s life at risk. The fact that Daniel was even thankful puts him in a different class than most Christians considering his life was far from ideal living in exile. But to put his life on the line by publicly refusing to put a human King above his God shows his character and integrity. To say we would be committed enough to God to do the same as he did in the situation he faced is really impossible to predict. People often say and do things in crisis situations that surprise even themselves. I would like to think I would be like Daniel and stand alone against the rest of the world if called on to do so but only God knows for sure. But being grateful in all circumstances we face in our present experience is a good place to not only start but to practice so that it becomes a habit so familiar to us that it is automatically our response to everything we encounter in life-both negative and positive. Beining thankful in everything needs to become our habitual response-PERIOD. I have to admit I am not there yet-but I pray that I do get there before I ever have to have my faith put to the test in the same way Daniel did. Practicing the habit of gratitude is important and I will practice it everyday so that I remain strong in my faith. God allows both good and bad experiences in our lives for a reason and to honestly be grateful for them all requires discipline as well as practice. Lord I pray that this would become true for me that no matter what situation I encounter in life, since I know you are with me in it,I will be thankful for your presence and will ask for your strength to be able to be thankful in everything you allow in my life. May I be found faithful to you in this.
Pat McRae says:February 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm
My first thought was ” Can I be so brave, so bold?”
Daniel knew the laws of the land, that once written and signed, King Darius could not and would not change the consequences. This did not stop Daniel from displaying his faith in the God he had come to know and trust. This faith of Daniel’s had been tested in the fire and in the court room and in his work place, it had never failed him yet, God had always been found faithful. As I read further I found Daniel’s faith had impressed King Darius also. In verse 16 King Darius says to Daniel as they take him to the loins den, “Thy God whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” He did not say I hope He can save, no he said WILL! We who know this account know God did just that and Daniel’s enemies had the curse reversed on them. Daniel was very open with his praise and worship of God. That openness had made even a King hope that just maybe this God of Daniel’s could work a miracle again. I wonder what Daniel thought as he headed for the lions den, or even if he thought anything? I will have to ask him when I get to heaven. 🙂 But I like to believe the peace of God was so evident in his life and the joy of the Lord so surrounded him, it embarrassed his enemies. Why is he so calm? Why is he just walking and praising? I wanted to hear his screams for mercy and all he says to King Darius is it is ok??? This is good what we are doing after all he has to be crazy!! Bold and brave able to hold his ground in the toughest circumstances.
Can I be a Daniel? Do I pray over my meal no matter where I am, or do I only do that in my house because, oh dear, I might offend someone? Do I openly praise God for His goodness to me, or do I wait for my bedroom with doors and windows locked tight? Can I testify to anyone I meet about how God has brought me through the fire and high waters of life, or do I pick and choose whom I will speak those things to just incase they may make me look foolish?
I thank God that for most of the time I can be bold enough and brave enough, but I do have confess there are times I keep my faith to myself out of pride or fear. Father forgive me! Daniel’s enemies are rising up daily all over the world, doing things that no man should be able to comprehend ever doing. But it is not man’s ways, it is the evil one himself rising up for he knows his days are numbered. Oh, he uses those he has been able to deceive and manipulate to carry out his actions. I can’t help thinking of all my brothers and sisters that are going through such horrible times, and not denying their God. My heart aches for them! May God strengthen and protect them as they stand strong in a Daniel spirit, showing the world He who has called them is their strength.
I am thankful today that so far in life my opposition to my faith has been very mild from people. But the enemy of my soul has decided to test and try that faith and trust I declare I have. So I am thankful to the One I love, who first loved me, is teaching me how to fight the good fight of faith in all areas of my life. To turn my mind off and set it on God only. To stand strong on what I know to be truth no matter what some else thinks or says about it. Oh the enemy still catches me off guard but God is faithful to encourage, redirect and strengthen me. Can I be a Daniel? YES! 🙂 How do I know? Because He who lives in me is faithful and has promised to never leave me, promised Hi is greater then anything in this world and promised that someday He will take me home to live with Him for all eternity. Thank You God, for strengthening my faith through the trials of life so I can stand strong if today you ask of me a faith step.
Susan Craig says:February 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm
Thank you Pat-Your comments have once again challenged my heart to trust in my Redeemer because I know He lives,He never leaves me and He always has my best in mind no matter what circumstances we face in this life. <3
Sue Holmes says:February 9, 2015 at 11:28 pm
“Dare To Be A Daniel” was an easy song to sing when I was a kid. The stories of Daniel and those like him in the Old Testament fascinated me. To my young mind there was no questioning that these heroes of the faith would take a stand for their God … for my God. And an eager heart was cheering them on. You see none of those heroes who honoured our God stood alone. He stood with them whether it was in a fiery furnace, in a lions den or on a battle field.
But fast forward a few decades, does the my same fortitude and desire hold and would I honour God in the hard places? I would hope so. On a good day I’m pretty sure my answer would be a resounding yes. On a not-so-good day, if I am honest with myself, I might find myself looking for options but ultimately concluding that there are no options. There are an abundance of excuses but none of them hold water.
I am humbled by the modern day ‘Daniels’ who live in danger of having their earthly life taken from them at any given moment. The ‘Daniels’ who live overseas in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, China and so many other countries where uttering the name of Christ would be extremely costly. And yet, these precious people hold firm to their conviction that honouring God and suffering the consequences is so much better than denying Him and becoming the enemy’s trophy.
These same choices are getting nearer to our own doorsteps. They are already here to an extent. We see our courts making laws that assume to take the decision to end life out of the hands of our Father. We have laws that leave our unborn defenceless against those who place no value on them. Laws have been enacted that have destroyed the traditional meaning of marriage as God instituted it. The list could & likely will go on. And those who stand on God’s side face persecution and retaliation if they refuse to bow.
I thank God that although my outer circumstances may change at any given moment, He has promised to never forsake me, to be my rear guard and to be my Victory. I thank Him for never accepting my excuses. I thank Him that even these ‘not-so-good’ days are used by Him to strengthen & increase my passion for the God who loves me & gave Himself for me. I thank you Father that you are patient & merciful with me as you work in me to prepare me to stand for You. And as I make that choice, I thank You that You also stand with me. The one who stands for & honours You never stands alone.
Susan Craig says:February 10, 2015 at 3:48 pm
I remember singing that song”Dare to be a Daniel” as a small child in Sunday School and I remember the resolve I felt even then that Daniel was someone I admired and would want to be like should I find myself in his shoes someday-putting my faith on the line when it could cost me my life. Reading this story again,years later-so much of my earthly life is behind me and not as much of it ahead of me. Would I still have that burning desire to follow Daniel into the den of lions for my faith in God?? Another song I sang as a child was I’ll go where you want me to go,dear Lord,I’ll say what you want me to say,I’ll do what you want me to do!!! When we sing these words and hymns declaring we would put all on the alter for God if that is what He requires from us-do we really think about the words we are singing and the commitment in them??? Since we must give account to Him for every idle word we have spoken,I am challenged to think about each one of my words whether spoken or sung in a song and pray for the fortitude and strength to do what I have just spoken if God so requires it of me. Thank God He does not leave us alone in those times because humanly speaking,I am afraid that my response might be less than I have stated it would be.
Jim Holmes says:February 10, 2015 at 12:37 am
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. (from Matt.13) It is this passage that comes to mind as I read Dan.6:10. Daniel had a heart fixed (“as he always”) on God. [We look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.] Nothing would sway Daniel from this goal of being in possession of this “Treasure”. Daniel’s field was the city of Jerusalem. It was the City of His God. Where his heart was, there was his Treasure. His open window was perhaps an indication that nothing stood in the way between him and God, his Father. So precious was this Treasure, that Daniel sold all he had for this field. The price he would pay for it, would be his life, for he knew of the decree, and it’s consequences. His thanking and praising God echoed his love and intimacy for God as his Father. Thank you Father, that you are our “All in all”.