What is wrong with our country? What is wrong with our world?
Our world is in turmoil. Every day there are more reports of terrorist strikes. There is so much anger throughout our country and the world. We see so much hate – so much suffering – that it pierces our hearts! What happened to the days where people worked together to make things better??
Somewhere along the way we have gotten off course, and it has impacted our lives, and those of our children and grandchildren. It will continue to have a negative impact upon our lives, unless, we do something about it.
We’re in the midst of a wicked world and it’s not the first time. God’s people have often been in a wicked world. What did God tell them?
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV)
We must “stand in the ways” and stop going down the wrong path. We need to ask the Lord to help us to find the right path for our lives and to give us the power to live godly lives as many of our ancestors once did.
What can we do?
Let’s take a look at the book of Daniel. I believe it is a book of hope – a God-given blueprint we can follow today.
Think about Daniel and what he had to go through. He dedicated himself to prayer and was faithful in the place God placed him. He was a simple man from Jerusalem who had great faith and humility.
After Babylon attacked Jerusalem, Daniel was taken into exile. He had to live among the people who plundered his home and somehow he had to remain faithful to his God while being pressured to conform to the Babylonian way of life. They wanted him to bow to idols, eat unclean food and worship the King. What was he to do?
In the book of Daniel we see a man’s unwavering devotion to God, even when his very life was in danger. He was faithful to God’s call to live in obedience to God’s Word at great risk to himself. Because of his obedience, the mighty hand of God protected him through it all.
We each have our own battles to deal with. We have our own Babylon to navigate and the same struggle to remain faithful that Daniel had. Are we as obedient as was? Do we pray like Daniel?
If we could step into the pages of the Bible, we’d find Daniel on his knees talking to His Father in heaven.
Even after the king signed the law, forbidding anyone to pray to God for 30 days, Daniel continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem and he got down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise Him, just as he had always done. (Daniel 6:10)
Nothing interfered with Daniel’s prayer life – it was his lifeline to heaven. With God’s help, Daniel was able to “stand fast”!
Daniel is one of the few people in the Bible that was so close to his LORD that we find no blemish in his life. Throughout his captivity in Babylon, he stood boldly for God in a heathen land. He never wavered in his allegiance, never compromised his faith, and always stood for truth and principle.
“Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”~ Daniel 10:12
Take time to read Daniel’s powerful prayer in Daniel Chapter 9:4-19 (KJV)
“And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”
Daniel poured out his heart in prayer– a prayer birthed under pressure, heartache, grief and desperation. What happened when Daniel prayed? Heaven was moved, a nation was changed and generations felt the impact.
This tells us that God wants us to set our hearts on Him and humble ourselves in prayer. Daniel cried out to his Father in a time of uncertainty and there is no doubt He wants us to do the same. God wants to hear His people – as He heard Daniel.
The phrase “Stand Fast” is mentioned many times in the Bible. God doesn’t waste words. If it’s mentioned that many times, it must be pretty important! That’s exactly what we need to do. To “stand fast” you must be equipped to stand. Equipped how?? You must be equipped with the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (KJV) tells us exactly how to be equipped:
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with Truth, having put on the breastplate of Righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of Peace; above all, taking the shield of Faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints….
We are living in a world filled with uncertainty, a world that has, for the most part, turned it’s back on God. It’s a world that is wicked, yet a world that is like the world that Daniel and many of God’s people have lived in. God has given us the perfect example in Daniel. God wants us to remain faithful, equip ourselves with the full armor of God, pray like Daniel prayed, and make a difference in this world.
When we begin to feel overwhelmed with the adversities we face, with all the evil and sadness in this world, remember Daniel……… and STAND FAST!
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