August 17, 2008
On Wednesday night at Living Waters, I preached on “How to Tame Lions” from Daniel 6. I began the sermon by pointing that when his opponents tried to trap him, Daniel didn’t change anything he was doing. And when they talked King Darius into passing a law that for 30 days all prayer must be made to the king, Daniel didn’t have a decision to make. That is, in the moment of crisis, he didn’t have to make a decision because he had already made up his mind many years earlier. And during that 30 days, he didn’t change anything. Check out Daniel 6:10.
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. (NLT)
Daniel “knelt down as usual” and prayed three times a day “just as he had always done.” Talk about being cool under pressure.
For many years he had prayed three times a day, with his window open toward Jerusalem, and he didn’t change anything. That point is the key to everything else. We tend to think that the lion’s den is the real point of Daniel 6, but it isn’t. The real point is Daniel’s godly predictability. He purposed in his heart to do right, and when the challenge came, he didn’t change anything he was doing.
It’s a good thing to get your convictions settled so that you don’t constantly have to decide what you are going to do. Daniel made up his mind much earlier so when the time came, he was perfectly consistent. People who live from moment to moment always have to decide, “What will I do next?” Having godly routines of life can help you greatly when the pressure is on. If you have to constantly decide, “What will I do?” you’ll probably end up compromising your convictions.
Daniel 6:18 says that the king in his palace couldn’t sleep that night. Daniel came through the lion’s den without a scratch. Take a lesson from an ancient prophet who passed a tough test without breaking a sweat. Make up your mind now so you won’t have to make up your mind later.
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