Summary: In crisis Daniel runs to God in prayer. For Daniel God alone is in control.
• In the life of Daniel you see several things we all need to be life giving:
o Convictions that steer his journey,
o Integrity that lives out his convictions,
o Courage that causes him to pass the tests he faces,
o Prayer that is a lifeline to his Father’s heart,
o Prophecy that is born out of the Holy Spirit empowering him to serve.
• He was a captive in Babylon, a political prisoner.
• Israel had a succession of kings who were wicked and God told them He was going to allow Israel to be conquered because of their hard hearts.
• So named Nebuchadnezzar, the king of a huge empire, the Babylonian empire came and conquered them and carried off many of their people to serve as slaves. Typical of the time. Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were all carried off.
• Most likely they were teenagers about 15 years old.
• This is the 2nd message on Daniel.
• Where do you get the strength to stand up to culture and love well in our culture?
• Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
• Chapters 1-2 - About convictions, tests. God tests convictions.
• Chapter 3 - Friends get tested in a fiery furnace.
• Chapters 4-5 - Daniel interprets the king’s vision.
• Chapter 6 - Daniel in the lion’s den.
• Chapters 7-8-10-11-12 - All visions
• Chapter 9 - Daniel’s prayers for his people.
I. GOD ALWAYS TESTS CONVICTIONS
• Daniel and his friend’s lives were one long test. They were taken captive as teenagers and hauled off to a foreign land to be brainwashed and serve their captors. That is a test.
• Daniel and his friends are marked by convictions. Things they will not compromise.
• Chapter 1:8 - Daniel is tested and he passes.
• “Daniel was determined”
Literally “Daniel made up his heart.” We say mind because we don’t get making up your heart.
Determined is about setting convictions in your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
• It means not moving when everyone else is.
• That is Daniel.
• He is tested and tested again to get off path and expand his influence in Babylon.
II. THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE
• Chapter 2:1-13
• The king is Nebuchadnezzar. He has conquered much of the known world.
• He is powerful and absolute in his kingdom.
• The king has a vision and wants his magicians to tell the vision and then interpret the vision.
• Vs. 5 - Without knowing what the vision is!
• Vs. 6-11 - The king is absolute, he will kill them all if they don’t come through.
• Vs. 12-13 - The king decrees that they all die! That is pressure!
Daniel 2:14-15,17-18, “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends…what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them His mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.
• Vs. 14-16 – Daniel doesn’t react, or lose his mind, but he thoughtfully asks what’s happening, and why the rush?
• Crucial if we are going to impact our culture, don’t react. Hold your core issues and love well!
III. WHERE DO YOU RUN IN CRISIS?
• Vs. 17-18 - Daniel runs to God, to prayer.
• Daniel’s prayer life comes into focus.
• The Bible always emphasizes the need for an intercessor.
• Daniel went between God and people.
• God is calling you to come to terms with your prayer power potential.
• The power of my prayer has nothing to do with my emotion when I pray. II Timothy 2 tells us there is peace in the land but when we don’t chaos reigns.
• We have a far greater power than political control. When we pray, even the worst order can turn around a country.
• Daniel’s prayer changed his position. The crisis turned to a blessing! Romans 8:28
• God can do the same for you!
IV. TESTS AND WORSHIP AND CONFRONTATION
• Clearly his journey is built from the inside out.
• Alone with God, worship and prayer, yielding and obeying. This is how God builds all of us.
• This is how Daniel passes all his tests.
• Vs. 20-23 - Then he worships! So important. He enthrones God.
• For Daniel, God alone is in control, not the king, not the crisis, but God.