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Sun am 22nd February 2015 – Pastor Kobus Swart
Gen. 2:1-3; John 5:17; (Heb. 4:11); Dan. 6:7-24; (Rom. 10:17); (Heb. 11:1); Dan. 3:9-29;
Matt. 8:23-24; (John 17:15); (Ps. 24:1); (1 Cor. 10:26); (Eph. 1:10); 2 Cor. 5:18
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made (Gen. 2:1-3). God is in rest, but Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working”. To be in rest does not mean inactivity, so labour to enter into that rest (Heb. 4:11). Rest happens in your spirit and in your mind but your mind is where a lot of your troubles come from.
There was a conspiracy against Daniel. He worshipped with open windows towards Jerusalem. Daniel was however thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel came out of the lion’s den unharmed! The reason “So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God” (Dan. 6:16-23). There is a powerful key here. There can be no rest especially in storms and challenges without you trusting God. If you do not have a deep trust in God you will be of the worrying kind. If you trust in the one and only God who you love and who loves you, you will shut the mouth of every so-called ‘lion’ and circumstance in your life. The word ‘anxiety’ should not be part of a Christian’s vocabulary. The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones (Dan. 6:24). These were hungry lions! Daniel had trusted God.
Sometimes people confuse trust and faith. Faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17); faith is now; “Now faith is…” (Heb. 11:1) But trust is an underlying relationship, confidence in God, knowing, trusting that He loves you and will care for you.
The Chaldeans brought charges against the 3 Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “O king, live forever! …. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up” (Dan. 3:9-12). But this is how they answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan. 3:16-18). It was not a bargain deal, it was a commitment. That is what is required of true Christians today. We are surrounded by Babylonian systems and they make no room for worshipping the one and only true God.
The three men were thrown into the fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar was astounded, He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” (Dan. 3:19-26). There was a divine manifestation that protected the three men; it shielded them from a fire that was seven times hotter than normal. Everybody was amazed that the fire had no effect on them. Not even a hair on their head was singed, nor was there a smell of fire on them. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God (Dan. 3:28). How many of us are being surrounded by situations and challenges? But our trust is stronger than ever, we are not affected by it. We are shielded by the fourth Man. He, with His presence is a divine shield and immunity in storms and trouble. “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon (Dan. 3:29). Amazing favour came to these men in Babylon.
When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. (Matt. 8:23-26). Can you and I sleep in the midst of a storm that is threatening to sink our “boat”? Or can we trust so that it makes us sleep? You can only rule over the storm you are able to sleep through when it rages. May the Lord give us that kind of trust in the midst of storms. The situation around us is not getting calmer. Can true Christians demonstrate this?
A lot of Christians want to get out of this world because they say it is getting messy. They pray for the rapture and to be taken out of this world, but it is an unscriptural prayer. Jesus said, I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one (John 17:15). He said, Pray then, in this way: ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:9-10). Many pray the upside-down prayer, “Let us go to heaven and give this planet to the devil.” But the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, it does not belong to the devil! (Ps. 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26) He wants us to ‘occupy’ until He comes. This earth needs heaven’s parliament functioning on this earth. God is looking for an administration suitable to administer His affairs (Eph. 1:10). We are called to be ambassadors of the one and only God in this earth. An ambassador has all the privileges of the government that sent him. We have the privileges of heaven, of heaven’s government, of the kingdom of God. God is calling us to be ambassadors with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). We must simply live, occupy and demonstrate the very finished works of Jesus on the cross.