This summer during my travels I’ve been working at finishing up reading through the Bible. It’s been a bit of a longer process then I intended… the New Testament was no problem, but I got a little bogged down in some of those Old Testament books. =) But, that’s all beside the point! Reading through the book of Daniel was incredibly encouraging and challenging. I’m still working at processing it into my life.
The phrase in chapter two-“but there is a God in heaven” caught my attention and somewhat summarized my perspective on the whole book. Again and again, God used Daniel to not only speak these words but to exemplify them through his life and actions to the entire nation. Made me ask myself—does my life make people acknowledge God’s rule like Daniels life did? What would happen if we showed the same strong faith as Daniel did in the midst of overwhelming circumstances?
How would our perspectives change if we chose to believe and live this phrase? The next time you are faced with a hopeless situation how would your actions and attitude change if you reminded yourself “BUT there is a God in heaven”? Daniel believed this, it enabled him to face some tough circumstances—it enabled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to face being thrown into a fiery furnace for their obedience to Christ. Does my life lay out the undeniable proof and testimony that there is a God in heaven—or do I try to live in my safe comfort zone which can be easily explained away by people as what I can do, not what Christ can do?
Multiple times (after seeing Daniel and his friends live out their faith in courageous ways) people confess the undeniable power and presence of God. King Nebuchadnezzar continually confessed the reality and power of God exemplified in Daniel’s life: “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of Kings, and a revealer of mysteries…” (Daniel 2:47) “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in Him… for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way… How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.” (Daniel 3:28, 29; 4:3) “I Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him ‘what have you done’?... now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:34-36)
Right now it seems a number of my close friends and I are facing decisions about what’s next… what does God have for our futures… It makes me wonder—would we take different actions and paths if we reminded ourselves: “but there is a God in heaven”? A God that wants us to step out in complete faith and do what seems irrational or impossible to us, a God who is completely faithful to those who love Him, a God who is just waiting for us to ask Him for His help and take Him at His Word.
Some food for thought!