The word "faith" has been in my head a lot the past few days.
I have been reading Daniel lately, and I am simply amazed by this man's faith. Of course, his famous triumph is Daniel in the Lion's Den, the cause of which was his refusal to interrupt his Three A Day prayers to God. I bet Daniel looked forward to his time with the God of Creation like I look forward to eating my One A Day sour gummy vitamins. I don't know where these were when I was a little girl poppin the Flinstones, but I can tell you that my life has changed. I even try to convince myself that they are my dessert when I am craving sugar. And sometimes, it works.
But I see Daniel's faith developing from the very start. God "grants him favor and compassion" in the eyes of the commander of the officials, and even gives him "knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom"! I wish I had had that in college. I know that it is God who creates us, and that He grants wisdom that comes from Him, but I never think about it in terms of intelligence or academia. Makes my literature degree seem more legit somehow...
He was even able to understand "all kinds of visions and dreams". Now I don't know about you, but my last dream involved a swirling paisley storm that Connor had to hide from in a jar of peanut butter on the back porch. So in my eyes, that gift would be extremely useful.
I love the response of the Chaldeans, magicians, and sorcerers when Nebuchadnezzar asks for both his dream and the interpretation. They say that no man could declare it, no one has ever asked anything like this of them, what he asks is difficult, and...
"there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh."
Now this statement jumped out at me. The dwelling place of gods is not with mortal flesh. I am so glad that this is not true. That the God who did actually answer the king's request, who saved me from my sins, who continues to lead me today, does dwell in mortal flesh.
He physically dwelt in mortal flesh in the body of Christ, and the end result of this dwelling allows Him to dwell in us as well. His wonderful Helper dwells in us, as believers.
God's Word says that when the wise men were decreed to be slain, Daniel replied with "discretion and discernment." In faith and confidence, he asks the king for more time, trusting that the Lord will provide the answer he needs. Then he goes to Him in prayer with his friends. When he receives God's answer, He immediately praises and blesses Him, knowing that it was only by His power and authority.
I would like to model my spiritual walk to be more like Daniel's. To respond to dire situations with peace and discretion, to walk in boldness as God's child, to go to Him in prayer immediately for answers, and to respond to His provision in jubilant praise, knowing it was only possible by His hand.
I want to be be more like Daniel. And I am thankful for his example.