Who Do You Rely On?
By Kris Robinson
What happens when the most powerful person, a king, has a ‘normal’ reaction to stress in the middle of the night, or nightmare? Logically, upon awaking, that troubled king would summon all the people who are close to him (who just so happen to be magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers; must be a WOW enthusiast) in order to figure out what the nightmare means; and, oh by the way, doesn’t tell what the nightmare is, while threatening the rest of his WOW buddies with being cut into pieces if they can’t figure it out (vv.1-8).
The obvious reaction would be, “there is not a man on earth, who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men” (vv.10-11).
Good job Frodo; you just put an entire death sentence on the wise men of Babylon (vv.12-13).
While this is the Pastor Kris version of what took place in the first part of chapter 2, Daniel’s reaction is key to answering the question: ‘who do you rely on?’
Daniel had no control over his current circumstance, he was going to be put to death. Instead of panicking, he calmly talked to the nearby commander, went to the troubled king confidently asking for more time, and did what all Christians should do; plead for God’s mercy in the situation, urging friends to do the same.
In my last post (Genesis 35 – 3 Things Before Talking to God), I referenced the book of Genesis and what Jacob told his tribe they should do before talking to God. Now, Daniel gives us an illustration of the why & how God’s children should approach and talk to Him.
- The ‘Why?’ – God’s Sovereignty – A word often used in Scripture, but less used in current vocabulary referring to ‘God is in control’; a common emphasis throughout the book of Daniel, and later revealed in verse 47. One of my favorite pastors defines His Sovereignty this way:
“God’s sovereignty means that there isn’t anything that will enter your life that God does not either decree or allow. And nothing will ever enter your life that, if you are willing to trust in Him, He cannot work out for your good.” – Chip Ingram
- The ‘How?’ – Pleading & Praise – Isn’t it funny how circumstances effect the way one prays? If everything is ‘normal’ we go to God with very vague, general ‘make me happy’ prayers. However, when things are out of our control, we quickly go to Him with succinct prayers pleading with great boldness for what is needed. Secondly, Daniel doesn’t forget to praise the God of heaven for divine revelation; a point we often forget when things do go back to ‘normal’!
Next time you have a nightmare, or find yourself in a pickle, here are some questions:
- Are you focused on perceived outcomes that only a God who knows all things actual & possible can handle?
- How many times do you find yourself in circumstances that were no fault of your own? How do you react?
- Are you in control? Can you define control? Or would it be better to rely on the One who is always in control?
- How can I make the choices that create the best possible story?
- When things went back to ‘normal’ for you, did you stop thanking Him for getting you through?
Kris Robinson is an Assistant Pastor at Free Life Community Church helping teenagers & Millennials connect & transform their spiritual journey through Christ Jesus.