Series: Other Speakers
Sun am 10 July 2011 – Sam Festus
Amplified Bible: Dan. 1:3-15; Jer. 24:5-6; Isa. 50:10-11
Do you sometimes find yourself in a place where you think, ‘It cannot possibly be God who led me here’? When Daniel grew up as a young Jewish boy, he had no idea that he would end up serving the kingdom of Babylon. Babylon, as we term it, would be the systems of this world;and it would be hard for a man of God to be serving those systems. Take careful note of everything that happened in his life. Daniel determined in his heart that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s dainty food. The king’s plan was to take these young men, teach them the language, the literature and the culture of the Babylonians and use these to break down the culture of the Jewish nation.
When you find yourself in a situation that does not compute with your religious concept of how things should be, ask God, “Is this for my good?” Christ is being formed in us; we will all go through circumstances and changes that we don’t necessarily like, but it’s part of God’s plan to form us; to bring us to the place where Christ is fully formed in us. It is God who took them out of Israel and put them there. Note verse 6 of Jeremiah 24, My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. What we consider to be a bad thing is actually what God considered to be a good thing. He took them out of the ‘church’ and put them out in the world. Your religious mind tells you, ‘That can’t be right.’ When Daniel was placed in that situation, he didn’t lose character, he never lost his way; he never lost what God had given him. He didn’t assume the ways of the world, the ways of Babylon. He understood that he was Jewish, he knew who he was and he knew his God. Daniel went in with some skills. He was already somebody who had been taught.
God is placing us in situations we don’t want to be in. We all have visions of how we want God to use us. Go with God’s flow. Wherever God is placing us, we are going to make the differenceby maintaining what God has done in our lives and living that out. We are the reflection of God’s image in the earth. Before God placed you there, He already saved you, you’ve been born again into the Kingdom, you are a son; you are walking towards maturity. So when God placed you there, you have already been prepared for that place.
Daniel was God’s envoy. A decree was sent out, that nobody should pray in the land to any other god except the gods of the Babylonians. Daniel didn’t just pray to his God, but Daniel made a public display; he didn’t pray behind closed doors. He was also willing to bear the consequences of his decision. How do you find favour in the sight of God and man if you are hiding? If you are in hiding, man won’t know what you are doing. When you are in a situation where you don’t want to be, the most natural thing to do is to hide.
As sons in this house, God is going to be deploying us to places that we don’t necessarily want to go to. We are supposed to infiltrate, impact, and make the changes in our families and the community around us. When He says, “You are the light of the world,” it means that when you come into a situation, that situation is no longer dark, but light. It means that when food has lost its savour, the salt that you produce will make the food taste better. That’s why God leads you to a place where you do not want to be; because they need you. That is why God takes you there.We cannot impact the world if we are just sitting inside here. For 6 days of the week we are out there. That is what God wants to impact. If you are willing to stand for what is right, forrighteousness and not compromise, then God will come through for you, regardless of the consequences.
Signs and wonders are for those who need to be convinced. At some point in our maturity, we need to get beyond the signs and wonders; beyond miracles. We need to come to that place where we are that miracle.
Daniel impressed the king on numerous occasions. His confidence was in His God. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. If we say we are the Kingdom of God, then it’s high time that we start establishing righteousness, joy and peace in our nation and the nations of the world. You are the salt and the light. God has formed you and is forming you. The seal of God is upon all our lives. He has purposed in His heart that you and I will walk in certain areas for the extension of His Kingdom, for the realization of His Kingdom in that area, and most importantly, the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. We have to get ourselves into gear, because we have work to do.
The world is shaking. People are not satisfied with the way things are. The world is ready for salt and light to take their place. God is busy deploying us. God is challenging our opinions, our mindset, things that you hold dear. God said, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. Don’t be surprised if God starts stirring you on the inside.
Wherever God places you, will not be a shot in the dark. The arrows are going to be shot and they are going to be shot with purpose. Allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the next level. Seek first the Kingdom of God; put first things first.