Summary: In order the be strong in the Lord, you must spend time alone with God. See the impact of a quiet time and some tips on developing a quality quiet time.
Today we will study another of our favorite heroes of the Old Testament. One of the things that is true of every virtually hero story is that he or she has a secret hideout or lair to which they retreat. It is the place where they prepare, recover, train, etc. Think of Batman’s cave, Superman’s fortress of solitude, and on and on. It is a key to their strength because it is where they purpose in their hearts who they are.
That characteristic is ever so true of us as believers. We need a place of solitude where we do the same things: prepare, recover, train, heal, and grow. In this series, we have seen that every one of these Old Testament heroes had a personal experience with was key to their faith and therefore their faith.
Today we will look at Daniel as the next of five favorite heroes. God shows us an example of both the power of this time of solitude with Him and how to develop one for yourself.
Read Daniel 6.
I. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON WITH A QUALITY QUIET TIME
Chapter 6 highlights what we see throughout the book of Daniel – that he is an unusual man. Notice verse 3 that describes him as having “an excellent spirit in him.” A person who walks with God has just such a spirit. They have a spiritual nature that causes hem to be different. In John 15, Jesus described it this way, “Abide in Me and I in you, and you will bear much fruit.” If you are meeting alone with God regularly, then He is able to work on your mind and heart in such a way that it will change you and make you different. Abiding in Jesus by developing a personal relationship with him alone in private WILL change you.
Who you are in private is who you rally are. Any real inner strength you have is developed in your quiet time alone with God where he teaches you and grows you. It is clear that Daniel is such a man. Look a just a few of his character traits that result from being a man who prioritizes being alone with God.
First, he is a man of INTEGRITY. Verse 1-5 tell the story clearly. He is a governor and along with three others is responsible for auditing and managing the affairs of the government so there is no theft. He is so honest and effective that King Darius considers making him the ruler overall of the government affairs. He also has spiritual integrity. Verse 10 states clearly that he did not go and pray in ignorance of the law. It says “when Daniel knew that the writing had been signed” that he went and prayed. He made a choice of faith to be faithful to the Lord despite the consequences.
Second, he was INSULATED by God’s grace through his relationship with the Lord. When you walk with God and abide in Him, there is an incredible effect of His grace in your life that protects you in life. Note that Daniel still went through this and other struggles, but he did not fail and the worldliness did not affect him. He was victorious in the struggle. He did not lose his integrity. He was not destroyed by the jealous satraps. His influence was protected.
It is sometimes hard to explain and much easier to see. God just covers you in His grace and protects and guides in and out of life’s struggles. This effect is very real and noticeable in the life of a strong believer. Daniel has the insulating grace in his life and it can be yours and mine if we learn that it is a character trait of walking with God.
Thirdly, he was a man of INFLUENCE. His testimony was powerful. He impacted the King. In fact, this would be the fourth king that Daniel would serve. That was impossible in those days. No king would keep around someone loyal to another king. Yet Daniel’s influence was strong that he was placed consistently in places of authority. It was the result of his testimony.
In this event, God used him to influence the king and the entire country for Jesus. After Daniel is saved, King Darius decrees that “in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God…” (26)
In our American culture, we have lost our passion for a deep relationship with God. We are spending our time, energy, and resources running around doing everything else but spending time with God. That is why we are losing influence so profoundly in our culture. It is as simple as that. Our strength is being choked to death by the