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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Daniel and the window

Pastor Jonathan Bergsma

City Impact

288 North Main, Cedar Springs

Recently I’ve been stuck in the book of Daniel. Many have heard the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. The story (in Daniel 6) tells how God shut the mouth of the lions and saved Daniel from the penalty of a bad law written by dishonest men, with bad motives. They wanted to destroy the life of a good man (Daniel) who was standing in the way of their selfish personal agendas. Sounds like the world we live in today, minus the lions. 

As I meditated on the story, I noticed how even the title of the story glorifies the problem (the lion’s den). When we think of this situation, the deliverance from the problem is the thing that we celebrate; and when we encounter problems in our lives, we also should look to God for deliverance.

What captures my attention though isn’t the lion’s den; it’s Daniel kneeling and praying at the window (Daniel 6:10). Daniel’s faith and consistent pattern of prayer was the only non-negotiable in his life and everything else flowed from there. When opponents to Daniel tried to find anything wrong with him, they found nothing except a continual pattern of prayer three times a day. When the law was changed, turning Daniel, a good man, into a criminal, it says Daniel went up to his room and opened his window and thanked God, “just as he had always done before.” I love it. He didn’t freak out; he didn’t suddenly remember in a crisis that he needed to get back to church; or start to pray again. He had a consistent lifestyle of giving thanks to God—the same God who had preserved his life many times before. 

When we face suffering like Daniel did and we look to God for deliverance, are we facing this trial in our life because of our faithfulness and obedience to God? Or is it possible we are reaping fruit from bad decisions we’ve made or doing things the way we want vs what God says? 

I have faced many trials in my life and gone to the Lord in prayer for help. But as I look back, many of those tough places I found myself in were a result of my own selfishness or poor choices. We often come to God in a crisis, and when our prayers aren’t answered, God gets the blame. People write him off as something they tried and say, “it didn’t work for me,” or “my prayer wasn’t answered.” God does not work for you and I; God is not something we add to our life to give us the life we want, to ignore him and then step in during a crisis when things aren’t going as we think they should. He is not added to our plan; we are added to his plan, and apart from Him, we have no good thing. 

I’ve changed the name of this story from “Daniel and the lion’s den” to “Daniel and the window.” Without the window, there would have been no lion’s den; and without the consistent deep relationship Daniel had with God, Daniel would have been just another nameless man in history eaten by a lion! 

If you’re going to go into the lion’s den and you don’t want to get eaten, make sure you’re going there for the right reason. May it be because of your consistent obedience and love for God. He is faithful to see you through.

My prayer in front of the window for you and I today is that we would be a people of God whose lives are marked by daily time set aside in prayer, to go deep in relationship with Jesus. Don’t focus on the problem–focus on Him today and every day!

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