Believers’ courage and convictions – Part 2
Daniel’s decision was the decision of a single-minded believer. He knew his duty towards God and he did not waver or confer with flesh and blood. He did not seek the advice of worldly-minded people. His faith was steadfast; he was calm and unruffled; his conduct remained consistent with his conviction. His conscience affirmed obedience to God above allegiance to any man on earth. God’s Word, not the decree of earthly kings, was his guide in life. He had decided for the truth and he was not going to sell the truth at any price. Oh, for a heart like Daniel’s to follow and obey Christ at all hazards. To be a real Christian and be steadfast till the end, a man must possess such decision of character. So many people fail and falter, they fall from the Christian race because of lack of a firm purpose. They start with great enthusiasm and glowing testimony, then they allow themselves to be diverted from their purpose.
A man of unswerving decision learns to keep his mind on the Lord. Keeping our eyes on eternal things makes sin and compromise lose their attractions. A firm commitment to God and His will, whatever may arise, keeps us standing for the truth at all times. Such a firm decision keeps our hearts at rest and we leave the outcome in God’s Hands. The great thing for us is to know the will of God and do it.
Decisions make the man. Firm decisions make firm men with strong backbone. Break a man’s ability to take decisions and you break and destroy the man. It was Babylon’s determination to break the will and overthrow the faith of the three faithful worshippers of the true God. Babylon failed and the old-time faith was purified and preserved in the fire. It was Medo-Persia’s determination to destroy or weaken Daniel’s resolve. Daniel’s commitment to the law of God was stronger than their determination. Because of the faithfulness of believers who have lived before us and their willingness to be cast into the furnace or into the lions’ den, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” still lives.
Daniel’s devotion took him to the lions’ den, but also brought him in contact with an angel of God in the lions’ den. His consistent devotional life was the result of his fearless disposition. He was about 90 years old at this time and his purpose of heart as a young man was still vibrant in his old age. His heart was fixed. No decree of man could swerve him from his devotions to God. Compromisers are never open and above-board. They conceal their real character. Daniel’s commitment to God was well-known before the decree and that commitment continued during the period of the decree. Daniel and his devotion to God outlived all his persecutors and their decree. The decree could not conquer his spirit of devotion, neither could the lions crush the bones of his body.
Daniel’s conscience would not allow him to keep his conviction and devotion secret. He was too honest to live under false pretence. He was not ashamed to confess and serve his God openly. Faithful as Daniel was to the king, there was a point at which his earthly interests stopped. Once earthly relations and authorities demanded that he should disregard or dishonour God, he was instantly inflexible. No desire for worldly recognition and no fear of royal punishment could lessen his consecration or devotion to God. This has ever been the mark and moral strength of all true children of God in all the ages. The world may try to frighten us with edicts and decrees or entice us with promises and privileges, but they will try in vain. Nothing will diminish our love for our God and our Saviour. Let us prayerfully trust and obey our God and the fear of man, which brings a snare, will have no hold on our hearts.
Further Reading (King James Version): Daniel 6:10; Ruth 1:11-18; Nehemiah 6:9-16; Esther 3:1-4; 4:10-16; Job 13:15,16; 27:3-6; Acts 5:27-29; 20:19-24; Psalms 119:51,83,109,141,143,157; Daniel 6:10; 3:15-18; Job 1:8-12,19-22; 2:3-10; Psalm 27:1-4; Isaiah 50:5-10; Acts 4:19,20; 21:10-14; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Romans 8:35-39.
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