One of the flaws in the past few generations within the church is that there has been great emphasis on gifts and charisma. Our gifts, talents, and charisma, void of a strong solid foundation, has resulted in many great Christian leaders falling and bringing much hurt and shame. I understand and fully agree that we, the church, need to demonstrate the power of God to our generation (I Cor. 2:4). This requires that we submit our God given gifts and talents to be used for His glory and Honor. But we need to ask ourselves, “why then do we not see more of His miracle working power in our churches and why have there been so many people of God who have fallen victim to various sins?”
The answer involves simply getting back to the basics of life. Jesus said in Matthew 7:24, “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock” (AMP). Building requires a strong foundation. Gifts and showmanship will draw people for a little while but it never lasts because people like this do not have the foundational characteristics that produce the fruit of the Spirit, the radiance of Jesus, and enables one to endure life’s hardships as Joseph did in the book of Genesis. As I read about the Prophet Daniel, the Lord showed me Daniel’s impeccable godly character that enabled him to prosper. The book of Daniel teaches us that God specializes in bringing good out of every bad situation to those who put their trust in Him! But how do we accomplish such faith and trust in these last days?
Some of the foundational characteristics celebrated throughout the Bible, as demonstrated in the life of Daniel for example, commitment, discipline, focus, endurance, courage, bravery, integrity, valor, honor, defending the weak and helpless, and standing up for righteousness.
In Dan. 1:8, we first see Daniel’s tremendous commitment where “he purposed in his heart not to defile himself…” Now that’s commitment, commitment to someone he knew personally and had tremendous trust in. In December, 2009, a very godly and seasoned Pastor in upstate NY told me that 2010 will be a year of separation unto the Lord. His word bore witness to my spirit; we need to separate ourselves unto the Lord more and more as this world drifts further and further from the Lord. We cannot continue to defile ourselves with the ways of the world, feeding our flesh and expecting blessing and closeness with the Lord. The apostle James tells us the same, “… keep yourself unspotted from the world,” James 1:27.
Daniel 6:2 teaches accountability. Accountability is an important part of character that we all need in order to prosper as Daniel did.
Dan. 6:3 tells us that Daniel was preferred above the rest, because an excellent spirit was within him. I admonish you to seek out what makes up an excellent spirit from the Scriptures yourself. Daniel’s character is something that we all should aspire to obtain. This excellent spirit doesn’t originate with Daniel but it is found in the person of Jesus Christ! Promotion and success comes from the presence of the Lord.
Integrity is a vital part in Godly character. Look up and study the word integrity. “The word ‘integrity’ may not occur in the New Testament, but its equivalents may be seen in ‘sincerity,’ ‘truth,’ the ‘pure heart,’ the ‘single eye,’ etc. … It is equivalent to being honest, sincere, genuine, and is fundamental to true character.” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, emphasis mine.) Daniel was a man of such integrity!
We see in Dan. 6:4 that bad things still happen even when you do the right thing. Life isn’t fair, just ask Joseph. When Joseph did the right thing and ran from Potiphar’s wife, he went to jail for it, Gen. 39. Why do bad things happen to people? The answer is that we live in a sinful, fallen world. We will understand why bad things happen, like the earthquake in Haiti, when we rightly understand the first several chapters of the book of Genesis. In Genesis, we learn about the entrance of sin that resulted from mankind’s choices. Still today we are dealing with the unfairness of life and sins effects all around us every day. Therefore, we need to go to our Saviour every day for His protection and strength to endure life’s difficulties. He has what we want and need! We may not be able to stop bad things from happening but possessing godly character enables us to overcome life’s difficulties. This is why it is vitally important to have godly character in your foundation.
The times and future we face; In Dan. 6:7, we see prophetically what we will face in our life today. “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors (the world leaders), have consulted together (as seen in Ps. 2:2) to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree (Law), that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions” (NKJV).
It was only for 30 days. Daniel could have shrunk back and laid low for 30 days and not create any waves or buck the new world system. He could have saved himself a lot of turmoil and conflict. Our nature does not like conflict. But like it or not, we are in a conflict with the devil, and the quicker we learn this the better we’ll be. If you go 30 days without praying, then you will be a weak, powerless Christian. You will be out of touch with God and His purposes, and unable to impact the culture God placed you in! You won’t have the mind of Christ. You’ll be swept away with the enormous tide of the anti-Christ spirit. Daniel was a man already rooted in his faith and possessed the foundational character needed to carry him through this conflict. Are you rooted like this? Daniel had the faith and “experiential trust” built up within him, the integrity, the courage and bravery, the valor and endurance to face whatever any anti-Christ dished out. Do you have this kind of Godly character?
In Dan. 6:10 we see Daniel was not going to bow down to this anti-Christ intimidation because he did not have a spirit of fear, timidity, or cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and love and a well disciplined sound mind (II Tim. 1:7). Daniel knew the king’s signed law could result in his death, but he responds and showed the signature of true godly character! It was signature against signature. He wasn’t passive, and he wasn’t aggressive, but he was assertive, unchanging, and standing strong for righteousness sake!
Dan. 6:16-23 – We all will experience the evils and unfairness of life. We all will be tried and our characters examined and proved to determine what we are made of. God loves us so much that He will allow things to take place in order for us to see ourselves for who we truly are. Like squeezing a pealed orange – what’s inside will come out. What’s coming out of you while the pressure of life is squeezing you? When we are pressured in life, our true character shows forth.
Nothing in life ever stays the same, and that’s alright because we are to grow from faith to faith, and glory to glory. Life is difficult, and that’s alright too because Jesus said “ be of good courage; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33. We will be leaving all this behind; we are in the world but not of this world. Another way to say this is that although we live here now, but we are citizens of heaven!
My prayer for you is that you spend time in prayer and in His Word cultivating the true character of Christ by the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that it becomes more important to you to be great in God’s sight, more so than being great and flashy in people’s sight, thereby, withstanding, enduring and overcoming life’s challenges that we face every day! May the grace and power of Jesus Christ be with you!
The mission of the “Creation Under Fire project” is to educate people with the truth of our origin as revealed in the first book of the Holy Bible – Genesis. To establish a clear understanding of the original thought and intent of the author as it was originally recorded; therewith, dispelling untrue theories of creation within the church. In turn, strengthening people’s faith and equipping them with real answers for the faith they possess and to defend it well. Also to expose the most subtle scheme Satan has ever unleashed on humanity, which has sent more people to hell than any other attack mankind has ever known. Refranzen1@aol.com www.CreationUnderFire.com