Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Daniel
Scratching the Surface of Daniel
When the going gets tough...
Yes, we've heard it so many times and it's not a stretch to fill in the blanks with the right words.
How about incarnation?
Now that's a real stretch!
A desert hermit concluded, "Idle talk is wasted time...There is plenty of chattering going on today, but what we need is action...God prefers the application of faith instead of pointless conversation."
That's a pret' near perfect paraphrase of James: "Put the word into action...Do what it says...Show me your faith!"
Not too long ago, I had this painful exposure of my resistance to stretching enough to the right thing for His glory and my own benefit:
I met her in the grocery store.
It had been a long time.
Then she asked, "Do you want to know
I did not indulge that curiosity; inquiring
instead, "Do you recite the Lord's Prayer
With a smile unable to conceal her
incredulity, she snapped, "Of course,
why, of course, yes, all the time; but
why do you ask something so silly?"
To betray belief, spice was added, "I
was wondering how we can relate to
the part about forgiving and being
Faith is more than theory.
It is or is not acted out.
More often than not, faith's integrity is tested most when the going gets tough.
Do we walk the talk when it's a personal path called Calvary Road?
Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego come to mind.
They were Jews living far from the holy land in Babylonian captivity - drafted to serve pagan kings with ego issues larger than guests on late night television; meaning they expected to be idolized.
The heat was turned up when they refused to worship anyone but God.
Daniel's friends were thrown into a furnace; but protected by God's intervention.
Daniel himself was thrown into a den of hungry lions because he refused to accommodate his faith for anyone who demanded allegiance due God alone; but protected by God's intervention.
God knows there are lots of funky visions and images and dreams in Daniel that have caught the attention of the eschatologically obsessed; and while some think they know who and what and where and when and why and everything else that no one of any lasting credibility seems to get, I don't get it and I'm not even going to add another guess to the mix.
Besides, as Grandpa Kopp said, "Don't miss the forest for the trees!"
The big thing about Daniel is God protects people who walk the talk sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end.
Though Daniel and his buddies were in deep do-do because they refused to bow down before anyone but God, God is deeper and broader and bigger and truly divine enough to pull people out of the pits who stick with Him even when things get really tough.
Even when captive, believers remain confident in God to deliver!
God's people are always released from captivity through confidence in Him - sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end.
When faith is more than theory, His salvation is factual.
When we walk the talk, salvation's path is certain.
When the going gets tough, the faithful don't turn back or turn aside or turn away but turn towards Him and are safe and secure sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end.
Of course, it's impossible to walk on water unless we get out of the boat and take His hand.
Think about it.
Really, what are the choices?
When the boat is gonna sink anyway, the only logical as well as faithful decision is to take His hand.
Whether we're caught in the blazing furnaces or lions' dens of life, we can escape.
It's so simple.
Turn to Him!
O.K., I guess we can serve two masters; but only One saves.
I guess it all depends upon which kinda fire concerns us most.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!