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Be Like Daniel

There are heroes and spiritual fathers on every page of scripture - people whose example not only reveal to us the nature of God but challenges us to become more like him. I have recently been studying the life of one of these heroes, Daniel, and have seen in him some traits that I want to build into my life. His story is written in the book that carries his name, but in the reflections below I have primarily been looking at Daniel 6:1-28

I pray that God would birth some of these traits into my life – and yours!

1) Daniel was someone who distinguished himself. Not in a prideful, “look what I can do” kind of way, but with a determination to do something significant with his life despite a difficult beginning. He went on to have an incredibly successful career, serving four different kings for over 70 years. What made him have such a successful career? It was his exceptional qualities (vs 3), but also (as some versions read) his “Excellent Spirit”. He had a charisma and confidence that can only come from walking with God.

2) His life was lived beyond reproach. While his opponents tried to find some dirt on him, some skeletons in his closet or some secret scandal, they just couldn’t find anything. He acted thoughtfully, diligently and with an integrity that ultimately forced his critics to change the law in their attempt to bring him down. Let it be said of us that we are “trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (vs 4)

3) When difficult decisions came, he chose what was most important. Daniel was faced with a decision of civil disobedience, and, as one of the most powerful men in the land this would have caused much unrest. However, rather than changing his prayer filled routine, he put his hope not in the king who he worked for... he kept it in the God who he served. In the midst of difficult decisions, he did not break his spiritual disciplines. W.E. Orchard claimed, “If your acts of prayer are the most regular thing in your life, you will find it regulates all else”.

4) God kept the mouths of the lions closed to him while in their den (vs 21). There was a “Silence of the Lions” when they should have been, literally, eating him alive. We must pray often that God would silence the mouths of the lions that seek to destroy us.

5) Victory for Daniel was not won when he was in the Lion’s Den; it was won when he was in his private place of prayer. There are often many battles, attacks, fear filled situations that we face each day… but those lion’s den experiences (and victories) are not won in the midst of the battle. They are won (or lost) before hand by our intimacy and relationship with God.

6) When he came out of the den, he blesses the guy who put him there (vs 21). Impressive.

7) Daniel’s story is full of the same traits as Jesus story. This chapter in his life was full of righteousness, that lead to injustice that caused a dilemma in people that led to a situation of death and then ultimately lead to God getting an incredible amount of Glory. I want to ask the Holy Spirit to build some of Daniel’s traits into my life because they will help me become more like Jesus.

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