Daniel 6:5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
If someone were examining your life to find something they could accuse you of, how hard would it be? Is a faultless life (one devoid of ignored or habitual sin) only for some sort of special class of “super Christians”?
Daniel 6:4-5 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (NKJV)
In the Old Testament, we find Daniel in whom no charge or fault could be found. Why? Because he was faithful. Faithful to what? To the laws and words of God. He believed what God said, and he obeyed it without question. It sounds much too simple, doesn’t it? Surely Daniel had some “10 Keys to Personal Power” or “Seven Secrets of Spiritual Success”? No, Daniel simply trusted and obeyed the Living God.
The simplicity of his faithfulness is important for us to understand today as we live in a time where everyone is searching for, and frequently offering, the latest tips, tricks and techniques on how to live the Christian life. Even after serious scrutiny by those who hated him and wished to see him ruined, nothing could be said about Daniel except that he was faithful and faultless. The only way Daniel was going to be hurt was if they could hurt him for being obedient to God.
Was Daniel special? Did he know things about God we don’t know? Was he a special “super” Believer? Was there some formula or revelation available only to him? No, no, no and no. The very same God who blessed Daniel for his faithfulness and obedience, longs for us to be faithful and obedient in the same manner. Consider this about Daniel:
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (NKJV)
Daniel purposed… he made a conscious, willful choice and firm decision… in his heart that he would do nothing that defiled himself. In other words, Daniel decided that he would never do anything that would dishonor God. Can we have this type of commitment today? Sure. Purpose in your heart that you will never do anything, indulge in anything, participate in anything or promote anything that would dishonor your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You cannot do it with your own strength, but God can empower you to do it.
Why “purpose in your heart”? Because the Holy Spirit indwells your “heart” and will never fail to reveal to you, or convict you, about what honors or dishonors God. You “purpose in your heart” to honor God because your flesh will continue to war against your decision. As long as you mortify (put to death) your flesh, and stay tuned in to your Holy Spirit indwelled heart, you will not defile yourself (choose something that dishonors God).
Daniel 2:19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (NKJV)
Daniel always acknowledged God as the source of blessing and power. It is important for us to bless God and worship Him so that we never become prideful, or dependent on our own strength. All ability, wisdom, strength and success comes from the hand of God.
Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. (NKJV)
Daniel distinguished himself because an “excellent spirit” was in him. Have you ever known Christians who fit that description? They are the ones you always like to be around and can’t get enough time with. They are people who somehow just make you feel more Godly, or increase your desire to be a better Christian. They are the Christians who are so full of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit that it just spills out of them and splashes onto whoever is near. They are typically smiling and joyful and ready with a word of encouragement. Even when they are sad or very somber, they still brim with joy and Godly optimism. They have an “excellent spirit” about them. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a person who is described that way? I can only think of a few people that I know who would fit that description of an “excellent spirit” and not coincidentally, they are among the most Godly people I know.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (NKJV)
Daniel was committed and consistent in his faithfulness to God. He stopped his life three times a day to say “thank you” to God. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that prayer time must be a lengthy involved process where we plumb the depths of our souls before God. Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly appropriate and necessary to have times of deep, serious, involved and soul-searching prayer. However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the effectiveness and benefit of routinely stopping throughout the day to offer simple thanks and praise to God for a few minutes. This keeps God in the forefront of our mind, helps us to refocus our mind and heart to His presence and purpose, and serves as a witness to those around us about the importance of God in our lives.
Is “praying three times day” some magic formula? No. But neither should we ignore the example of someone so faithful and pleasing to God. God greatly blessed Daniel and faithfully answered his prayers. If God was pleased with Daniel’s daily prayer routine, would He not be pleased if we followed his pattern? Again, lest I be misunderstood, there is no magic formula here. I’m not advocating some legalistic standard that differentiates serious Christians from casual ones. I am simply making the point that we can learn what is pleasing to God by reading in God’s Word what his faithful servants did, and where appropriate, incorporating the same things into our life.
Good habits, build good Christians.
Most importantly, Daniel’s thrice-daily praying demonstrates consistency and routine which are important in every aspect of our Christian walk. Consistency and routine are crucial to praying, studying God’s Word, obedience, sharing the Gospel and Christian service. We can learn from Daniel that good habits build good Christians.
Daniel 6:23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God. (NKJV)
We can always be sure that God’s plan will be carried out in our lives if we simply believe Him. No matter what the trial, the circumstances or the need, God will keep His Word and fulfill His promises. We are to live with simple belief in our God. Belief is the essence of our faith that allows us to live in perfect peace and trust. Let it become known of you that everything you do, everything you are, everything you choose you do so because you believe in your God.
Daniel 9:19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” (NKJV)
Daniel knew God’s will and God’s Word and prayed accordingly. Because of this, he could pray with confidence and implore God to respond. Daniel prayed, “do not delay FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, my God”. When we know God’s will, we can pray for God to respond because it gives God the glory to act on our behalf. We can pray for God to act for HIS sake, His glory, His honor. Daniel had read the Scriptures and knew that it was time for God to rescue the Israelites from their captivity. He could confidently pray for God to act because it shows God’s faithfulness to keep His word.
1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (NKJV)
In the same way, when we study God’s Word, and pray in accordance to God’s revealed will, we can confidently urge God to respond according to His Word so that He might be glorified. Hear me Lord! Forgive me! Listen to me and act quickly for Your sake! How radically would your prayer life be changed if you could pray with that kind of confidence; not arrogance or pride… confidence. A confidence that comes from knowing God’s Word and praying accordingly.
The Lord gave us the story of Daniel so that we could learn from him how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Obedience, commitment, routine and knowing God’s Word brought Daniel to a point of being without fault or error (habitual or ignored sin) in the sight of men and God. The same God that empowered Daniel to this end, can empower us the same way today. The question that remains is: are we willing to live the way Daniel lived?
Lord, Help us to know that we can be faultless and faithful just like Daniel. Help us to realize that You are the same God to us, as You were to Daniel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you think of characters like Daniel as some sort of “super” class of God’s people? Can you think of anything that Daniel practiced in his life that you are incapable of practicing in yours? What keeps you from having a deeper, more faithful, more empowered walk with God? Are you willing to give up or forsake whatever it is that is hindering you?
Application: We mistakenly believe that living a blameless, consistent, faithful, fruitful Christian life is reserved for some class of elite super-Christians. That idea is foreign to Scripture. There are no special tricks or formulas. We learn from men like Daniel that there are some common ingredients in the lives of those that please God. We can learn what those things are and seek to implement them in our own life. No fault (ignored flaws or habitual sin) could be found in Daniel because he had only one purpose in life – to serve God. When we reach that point in our lives, we will be faultless as well.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?