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Grace For Exploits- The Company of Daniel

Grace For Exploits; The Company of Daniel

Read Dan.1:1-21.

From generation to generation, God has always surrounded us with a cloud of witnesses who blazed the trail, whose lives serve as great examples and challenge us in our spiritual walk and journey towards Heaven. (Heb.12:1). One of such witnesses of faith is Daniel whose purpose, testimony and entire life continues to be a great motivation and challenge to saints of all time.

Daniel’s Background and Identity:

The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered the Land of Judea in 597 BC and destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. As was the standard practice of invading rulers of that time, Nebuchadnezzar deported Jewish young men and exiled them to Babylon. Among the group were Daniel and his three friends – Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, best known by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from the tribe of Judah, all extraordinarily gifted young princes, selected to serve as workers in the royal court. The book of Daniel is silent about the parentage and family upbringing of these Jewish youths but their conduct showed that they had good spiritual upbringing.

The teenage Daniel found himself in the midst of a strongly polytheistic religious culture, meaning that he had ample opportunities to fall into spiritual compromise. However, he stood firm in his faith among the Babylonian people on several significant matters—including dietary regulations and worship practices. (Daniel 1:8–16; 6:6–12).

Daniel realised that God was miraculously working with him and preserved his life for a divine purpose and assignment in Babylon. As a result, he demonstrated God’s superiority over the pagan gods of Babylon and used every opportunity he had to establish godly values and God’s kingdom in Babylon. He also left a legacy of commitment and obedience to God in spite of grave persecution, trials and difficulties.

Daniel’s Purpose and Determination

Daniel had to choose between loyalty to God and loyalty to the king. He and his three Hebrew colleagues were instructed to eat the king’s meat but rejected the provisions from the royal table and instead chose a simple diet of vegetables and water. This is because the royal meat might be that of animals not slaughtered in the proper manner (Deuteronomy 12:23-24), or of animals prohibited to be taken by the Jews as food (Leviticus 11:4-7Leviticus 11:10-12; Leviticus 13-19, 20); both meat and the wine could have been dedicated to the Babylonian gods by portions having been offered to them in sacrifice, so that partaking of either would be tantamount to the recognition and the worship of Babylonian deities. (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:201 Corinthians 10:27-29). 

On another occasion, due to his uncompromising integrity, his fellow gentile officers conspired against him and made the king to issue a decree targeted at him to the effect that he must not pray to Jehovah God except to the King alone for thirty days. Daniel objected and he was thrown into the lion’s den but God miraculously delivered him. (Daniel 6:1–28).

Vital Lessons to learn from Daniel:

1. He did not severe himself from the godly upbringing and heritage he got from his parents: It was very obvious that he was given quality spiritual training and upbringing by his parents (although their names are not mentioned in the book). He did not see his sever from his parents as an opportunity to derail from the godly values and virtues they had imparted on him while growing up in Jerusalem. This is highly commendable. Are you manifesting this type of virtue as a young person?

2. He was purpose driven and foresighted: “But Daniel purposed in his mind that he would not defile himself….” Dan.1:8. His choices and decisions showed that he was a man of strong convictions and purpose who also saw the future ahead of him.

(a) He strongly purposed to withstand every system that was against his spiritual convictions. (Dan.1:8-15).

(b) He was purposeful no matter the persecutions around him and the consequences of the same. (Dan.1:12-13, 6: 10-11.)

(c) He was willing to be a standard bearer for Yahweh in the midst of religious and spiritual pollution.

(d) He was sure of divine backing and knew that with this he could get to the top in the kingdom of Babylon.

(e) He saw the future that many others couldn’t see. Cf. Heb.11:24-27.

Do you have these virtues as a young C.A.C academic?

3. Unwavering allegiance to God:  In all circumstances that he faced, he clearly demonstrated his commitment to God. His choices and decisions showed that he knew God, served Him, obeyed Him and feared Him more than anyone else. He also maintained a good relationship with God. Daniel 1:8–16; 2:18-23, 28; 6:10–12, 22, 4:12, 5:18, 23-24. Young Christ “Apostolics”, can these be said of you?

4. Commitment to God in a distant land: Daniel and his friends were forced to live in Babylon, far from home but he maintained his true identity as an ardent worshipper of God Jehovah even when his name was changed. As stated earlier, the teenage Daniel found himself in the midst of a strongly polytheistic religious culture, meaning that he had ample opportunities to spiritually compromise. However, he stood firm in his faith among the Babylonian people on several significant matters—including dietary regulations and worship practices (Daniel 1:8–16; 6:6–12).

What is your spiritual testimony on the campus when your parents are not there with you? What is your attitude to your spiritual life and convictions anytime you are far from places where people know you? 

5. Quest for purity: His choices and decisions reveal his heart and passion for purity and righteousness.(Dan.1:8).

6. A man of Integrity. His life of integrity was outstanding to the extent that his testimony was a threat to his work colleagues who witch hunted him. There was no scandal nor allegations they could bring up against him. His accounts and records were so clean that no accusation could be levied against him.(Dan.6: 1-4).Young brothers and sisters, can we say this about you?

7. A man of prayer and fast. His life of fast and prayer was very notable and outstanding. (Dan.6:1-12, 10:1-3). Dearly beloved young brother and young sister, what is your testimony about prayers and fast? Are you on fire for God or you are in the cold room of slothfulness and prayerlessness?

His Reward from God

1. God gave Daniel an unequalled excellent spirit. (Dan.6:3).

2. Daniel had wisdom that surpassed the wisdom of all the wise men of the gentile nations combined. (Dan.5:11-12).

3. Daniel had the gift of prophetic dreams and interpretation of visions and dreams (Dan.5:11-12).

4. Daniel received divine elevation and honour on several occasions. He was highly honoured and promoted by kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and Darius.  Dan.1:10, 2:46-49, 5:29, 6:1-3, 25- 27, 28,

5. Daniel had victory over persecution. Dan. 6:1-28.

6. He had deliverance from dangers. Dan. 6:1-28.

7. He was given the opportunity to promote God’s name and establish God’s kingdom in the land of Babylon. Dan. 2:46-47, 4:27, 34-37, 5:18, 6:25-27.

Take Note: God can also give you all of these blessings opportunities if you will be another Daniel and have his commitment.

The Required Conditions

1. Genuine salvation: You must surrender your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ and be genuinely regenerated from sinful life to holy life. (John 3:3-5).

2. Transformed heart: You must possess a transformed heart that is willing to walk in holiness and righteousness, (Ezek.36:25-27); a heart that will not embrace compromise of sin, cutting corners or being hasty to get rich. 

3. Equipped mind: You must possess a mind that is equipped to resist temptations, worldliness and all forms of sinful pleasures. Your mind can be equipped through

(a) Commitment to daily reading, studying and meditation on the Word of God. (Jos. 1:8, Col.3:16).

(b) Regular fervent prayers and fast. (1 Thess. 5:17).

(c) Robust relationship and steady walk with God: receiving regular instructions from God and obeying it.

(d) Regular participation in spiritual programmes such as Conferences, Seminars, workshops, etc. Heb.10:25.

(e) Daily spiritual and physical subjection of your appetites. 1 Cor.9:27.

4. Be mindful of your association. In this regard, Daniel was helped by the team of his 3 Hebrew friends. (1Cor. 5:11, 6: 15:33, 2Cor.6:14-18). Keep good distance from so called friends and associates who don’t share your spiritual values and convictions.

5. Put yourself under the oversight of right spiritual fathers and godly mentors who can monitor, correct, rebuke and punish you when necessary. Do you have anyone in this regard?

Conclusion

God is still in the business of raising Kingdom giants who will promote His name and establish His kingdom in all spheres of life (academia/education, business industry, civil service, Gospel ministry, etc.). WILL YOU BE ONE OF THEM? CAN YOU AND WILL YOU BE ANOTHER DANIEL?

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