Read: Daniel 6 NIV
We live in a noncommittal world, where perseverance is all too rare.
If a job is difficult or boring, people often think, Why not find another one? Or when a marriage becomes unhappy, many wonder, Should I be with someone else?
Sadly, this mindset is also found among believers. At the first sign of conflict, some Christians hop to another church instead of working through difficulties with their local body of believers. And when it comes to our personal walk of faith, many of us struggle to maintain a consistent quiet time with the Lord.
Daniel was a man of steadfast loyalty. Not even the awareness that he could be killed interfered with his practice of praying three times a day. Such commitment to the Lord was noted by others. Jealous officers and governors used Daniel’s consistency to trap him, but the king made a remarkable statement:
“Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Daniel 6:16).
Apparently, he believed Daniel’s devotion would be the key to the young man’s deliverance
Daniel’s victory in the lion’s den led to great influence, as it inspired the king’s decree to worship the Lord. Have you considered that the Lord was able to use him because of his unwavering obedience and worship? Imagine what God can do with you when you also commit yourself to Him.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
When Jesus commands us to do something, he knows we can’t do it unless we’re empowered by him. So, through the Holy Spirit, he joins his life with ours; thus, “Christ lives in me.”
This new life takes us where we could never go ourselves. God transforms us by the life of Christ within us, and so we “live and move and have our being” energized by being in Christ (Acts 17:28 NIV).
No matter how hard we try, some days sheer willpower isn’t enough to move us closer to where God wants us to be. And so we try harder, and things just get worse.
This is God driving us away from “try harder” Christianity. It is God teaching us, “Not I, but Christ.”
We begin to see it is no longer “just I” doing the work. We learn to say in faith: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
Our confidence is not in our ability but in God’s ability. Discuss ways that God works through us internally and externally to build our faith in him.
How would things change in your life if you traded self-confidence for God confidence?