WILL YOU STAND STRONG FOR GOD PUBLICLY?
Unshakable: Thriving in the Tests of Life — Part 8 (Life of Daniel)
October 22-23, 2016
Daniel's 8th test: Daniel 6:1-28
WHY DID DANIEL KEEP GETTING PROMOTED AT WORK?
- HIS PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCY MADE HIM STAND OUT.
"Now Daniel so distinguished himself above all the other governors and administrators (satraps) by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to put Daniel in charge of the entire kingdom!" Daniel 6:3
- HIS PERSONAL CHARACTER MADE HIM STAND OUT.
"When the administrators heard the news, they tried to find a reason to undermine Daniel in his work and accuse him of misconduct, but they were unable to do so. They could not find anything to say against him! He was honest, reliable, hardworking, and incorruptible. He was never lazy or negligent in any task." Daniel 6:4
ACTION PLAN: Leaders are learners. Choose one new skill or subject to learn and set a little time aside every day or every other day this week for it.
- HIS PUBLIC COMMITMENT TO GOD MADE HIM STAND OUT.
"His coworkers concluded 'Our only chance of finding any grounds to get rid of Daniel will be to find something to accuse in his religious practices.'" Daniel 6:5
How did Daniel respond to this new test?
"When Daniel learned that the new law had been signed, he went home and knelt down to pray as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows wide open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done his entire life, thanking and praising God. So Daniel's enemies went together to Daniel's house to catch him praying and asking for God's help." Daniel 6:10-11
ACTION PLAN: Make a plan to spend the start of everyday this week offering your day to God. Use this time to ask God to use you for his glory.
WHY WAS DANIEL UNAFRAID TO STAND OUT
AND SPEAK UP FOR GOD AT WORK?
- HE REMEMBERED THAT GOD HAD BEEN FAITHFUL IN PAST TESTS.
ACTION PLAN: Keep a journal of how God is working in your life. How has he provided you wisdom and discernment in times of need? How have you seen him work in your conversations or your actions?
- HE HAD A CONVERSATION WITH GOD 3 TIMES A DAY.
ACTION PLAN: Make a commitment to pray like Daniel for five minutes — three times a day — for 40 days. Fill out a commitment card on the weekend or check the commitment box through our Online Campus http://saddleback.com/visit/locations/onlinecampus.
- HE KNEW THE REWARDS WERE GREATER THAN THE RISK.
6 WAYS I BENEFIT EVERY TIME I STAND FOR GOD
- STANDING FOR GOD IS A VICTORY OVER FEAR.
- Fear is just a feeling & it cannot last.
- Fear is uncomfortable, but it won't kill me.
- Fear grows when I give into it, but lessens when I move against it.
Pray like the first Christians: "Lord, you know the threats people make. So help us as your servants to speak your Word without fear." Acts 4:29
ACTION PLAN: Put a 3"x5" card with Acts 4:29 at your desk as a reminder to speak openly of your faith without fear. The way to overcome fear is to face it and walk through it.
- STANDING FOR GOD BUILDS MY FAITH AND CHARACTER.
"You must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer if necessary to share the Good News." 2 Timothy 1:8
- IT GIVES GOD AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO A MIRACLE.
"At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the pit filled with lions. When he got there he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, 'Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?' Daniel answered, 'O king! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions, and they have not hurt me at all, because God knew I've done nothing against him or you, O king!' The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the pit. And when Daniel was lifted out, there was not a single scratch on his body because
he had trusted God." Daniel 6:19-23
- IT ENCOURAGES OTHER BELIEVERS TO STAND UP.
Paul: "Because of what I've been through, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ." Philippians 1:14
- IT'S A POWERFUL EXAMPLE TO UNBELIEVERS.
"When the Council saw the boldness of Peter and John, they were amazed, since they knew they were just ordinary men but they had been with Jesus!" Acts 4:13
- The King becomes a believer! Daniel 6:25-28
"He is the God who rescues and saves!"
- Then 18 generations later! Matthew 2:1-
ACTION PLAN: You can stand strong for Jesus publically by committing to bow your head and offer grace at every meal — no matter where or with whom you may be eating.
- The King becomes a believer! Daniel 6:25-28
- I WILL BE REWARDED IN ETERNITY.
Jesus: "Consider yourself blessed if people put you down or throw you out, or speak lies about you because of me. If that happens, be happy, knowing that you will be rewarded greatly in heaven! And remember you are in good company — they did the same to all my witnesses before you." Matthew 5:11-12