Summary: When God gives you a promise; how should we respond.
Remember Daniel’s Way? (v3)
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”
Illustrate the difference between sitting back and waiting for a blessing from God verses chasing after the blessing of God
A good friend finds out that you have a great financial need. Your good friend is able to meet that need so he puts a check for the full amount in the mail.That good friend forgot to put a stamp on the envelope. That’s bad news because the post office has a firm policy.The policy says; no postage no delivery. The Post Office will not deliver that blessing to you because it does not have the proper postage.
Here is my application
God is like the post office. There are blessings that God will not deliver to us because we have not paid the proper postage.
What is the proper postage?
Look at V3 again
He turned to the Lord, he prayed, he petitioned, he fasted and he put on sackcloth and ashes.
(He put on sackcloth and ashes –we could say that Daniel put on humility)
Now some people might say to me
There might have been postage to be paid for those who were living under the Old Testament covenant But there is no postage to be paid for those who are now living under the New Testament covenant. Don’t we all love the envelopes that say “No postage necessary if mailed in the United States.”
Listen to James 2:20
“…Faith without deeds is useless.”
The identity of James
Was he an apostle? Was he a pastor?
My theory is that James may also have worked part time in the post office!
He worked in the post office and he oversaw the delivery of all the letters that were addressed to God.
And every now and then he would take one of those letters, shake his head and
say …We have to send it back. “Don’t these people ever get it; No postage no delivery” means “no postage no delivery.”
But when James the post office worker held a letter addressed to God that has been written in prayer, written in petition, written in fasting, written in ashes and sackcloth …
It must have felt like … he was holding the envelope that wins the blessings of God.
Ask and you will receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened to you.
Where did Daniel find the will to turn to the Lord?
Where did Daniel find the time to pray and petition?
Where did Daniel find the self-control to fast?
Where did Daniel find the courage to put on sackcloth and ashes?
He found everything he needed to do all these things in the promises of God!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29v11)
In order to start a prayer life you need a promise from God to start praying about.
In order to fast you need a promise from God to fast about.
In order to put on sackcloth and ashes (humble yourself) you need a promise from God to keep you humble.