This afternoon, the Green Bay Packers will be going against the Chicago Bears for the National Football Conference Title. Here’s a question: What do you think will happen if 50% of the Green Bay Packers do not believe they can win??
You know, even if just 1 major player like Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, or Tremon Williams, or even Coach McCarthy doesn’t believe in winning, they will likely lose the game.
Unbelief can have a major impact on everyone!
As Christians, how do we deal with it? No, I don’t mean the Packers, but something a little more significant, something that has eternal significance not temporal ones, our spiritual lives!
Please open your Bibles to Daniel Chapter 2………
Last week we started this new Message Series of the Book of Daniel. We noted that Israel, God’s Chosen People, were being disciplined by God because of their sinfulness. Israel was taken captive by the Babylonians. Daniel an Israelite, a man of God, was taken as a slave by the King Nebuchadnezzar.
Let us pray……
Read along with me starting with Daniel 1:18 – 2:28………
Let us summarize the story:
King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream. (v1)
The King asked his counselors not only to interpret the dream but to actually state what his dream was! (v2-6)
And because no one could do what the King requested, he ordered every counselor, including Daniel and his friends, to be executed! (v12-13)
Yes, King Nebuchadnezzar requested an impossible task; but what was the problem of the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers?
Look again at v11…….
The King’s Babylonian Counselors did not believe in God being present among people!
What about Daniel and his friends; did they believe in God present in their lives? Look again at v17-18…….
Daniel and his friends were believers of God but their lives were impacted by unbelief! The Babylonian counselors were to be executed because of their unbelief in God being able to do the impossible, but the Believers of God were also to be killed!
Unbelief in God will impact even those who believe! There will be times when innocent people will be caught up in the sins of other people! This is what happened to Daniel, and the same thing can easily happen to us! And so, let us learn how Daniel handles it!
We can note 4 things that Daniel did from v14-16:
1. Daniel spoke with wisdom and tact to the first person in charge.
And how do you think Daniel was able to have wisdom and tact??
2. Daniel was a man of prayer!
And we note that the 3rd thing Daniel did was ask “why?”
Here’s one of the things I’ve learned in my life that Daniel did as well: Don’t expect an answer unless you ask!
But I think there is one more important thing that Daniel did; since Daniel had a door available to him to ask; he confidently went straight to the King!
3. Daniel did not only know what to ask but he knew when and who to ask!
You’ve heard the saying “Timing is everything!” but we should also note that “Talking to the right person is crucial!”
And we can note that the King did not say no to Daniel but there was still the problem of knowing what the dream was! And so, what was the next thing that Daniel did??
We note in v17-18 that 4. Daniel sought his faith partners and urged them to pray!
And we see in v19 that God answered their prayers! And what was Daniel’s response to the answered prayer??
5. Daniel praised the God of heaven!
In 2 weeks, as we celebrate in Communion, I would like us to revisit Daniel’s prayer and make it our own. Next week, we will look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
There are a couple of more things we can note from our passage today. Look again at v24-25……
How can Daniel approach Arioch with such confidence and how can Arioch respond to Daniel so quickly? Arioch trusted Daniel because he witnessed how Daniel lived!
6. Daniel was true to his word!
We would say today that Daniel walked the talk! You see, a Christian can talk and talk and talk about believing in Christ but if they don’t live it out they will not have many listeners!
And finally, look again at v26-28 with me…..
Could Daniel given himself a pat on the back and claimed the power of knowledge? Absolutely Daniel could have easily claimed the power he had to know and interpret dreams!
There are 2 main reasons why Daniel didn’t claim that great ability he had for his ego: 1. Daniel knew that power was only from God and God deserved that honor and 2. Daniel was accountable to God and to his faith partners.
This is another reason why each one of us should have faith partners.
Let us conclude with application of Biblical principles to our lives.
Let us not be surprised,
1. bad things can happen even to faithful Christians!
Unbelief in God will impact even those who believe! The question is, how are we going to respond?
2. Let’s us follow Daniel’s example:
a. be a person of prayer (praying always must be a habit for every Christian)
b. live with complete trust in God (do we really read the bible as God directly talking to us?)
c. Ask God for wisdom and tact
d. Have godly friends (we all should have close friends who we can freely talk about the Lord Jesus Christ)
e. Always praise God and give Him the glory (Don’t be a Christian zombie, be a WAMB! – Worship God always with our Attitudes, Minds, and Bodies!)
Unbelief in God will impact even those who believe!
But did you notice what happened because of Daniel’s belief??
Daniel said in v24, "Do not execute the wise men of Babylon.” And we don’t read anyone being executed after Daniel interpreted the dream!
Unbelief in God will impact even those who believe! But, the good news is belief will also have an impact on unbelievers!
Are we letting unbelief impact us or are our beliefs impacting unbelievers?