Last night in our community group we had a great discussion on the life of Daniel and his encounter in the lion's den. What an incredible man he was. It's amazing that when scrutinized by men who wanted to destroy him, he was found without any fault!
But something that can be overlooked in this story is how Daniel got to the lion's den. His actions leading up to his miraculous encounter with God. (Pete Wilson gave an incredible message on this passage if you'd like to listen to it. You can find it here.) It is absolutely fascinating watching Daniel's obedience to God in the big and small things.
For example, look back at Daniel 1:8-21, you see some relatively small ways that Daniel obeyed God. He refused to eat the king's food or drink the king's wine, so he and his friends only ate grains and vegetables and only drank water. And God blessed him and his friends and they found favor with the king.
Over and over you see where Daniel continually served God and obeyed His commands. And over and over, God showed favor upon Daniel and he advanced one way or the another.
What's interesting, though, is that Daniel continually obeyed. Even when it meant that he would be in danger of losing friends, breaking a crime or even facing death. He valued what God said and thought above what man said or thought.
Through Daniel we see that courage begins with obedience. And not just in the big things, like defying the injunction that commanded him to pray to no one other than King Darius. But the little things to, like eating only the things God commanded him to eat.
We know the verse "Be strong and courageous". But have you ever thought about it this way..."Be strong and obedient". That gives it a different spin, doesn't it?
"Be strong and obedient in loving others like I love you."
"Be strong and obedient in spending time with Me daily."
"Be strong and obedient and take that small step of faith I'm asking you to take."
Be strong and courageous. Be obedient. Take that step of faith.
What is that small step of faith God is asking you to take? Will you take it?