What it Takes – A Reflection on Daniel
By Kris Robinson
The book of Daniel, Mark 13
“Before he is through, Daniel has left a legacy stretching over the reins of 3 kings, both Babylonian & Persian. He was a leader who lived the life God meant him to live. As he aged, he moved from interpreter of dreams to a dreamer – providing prophetic insight into the end times. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego demonstrated leadership powerful enough to influence entire people groups to follow” ~John Maxwell~
And so as Pastor Dan’s sermon series on the book of Daniel ends, here are some questions to help you reflect on what you may have heard (if you have not heard them, please go use our app or website to).
Who is in control?
The last 6 chapters of the book of Daniel (7-12) are focused on visions and dreams. This can be very confusing, overwhelming & eventually lead to fear; one has to look no further as to how Daniel reacted to them personally. However, as is the case in Mark 13 when Jesus is addressing Andrew, James, John & Peter, He explicitly tells them to not fear, why?:
Mark 13:7-8 (NIV): “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”
Christ told the disciples such things must happen! We shouldn’t be worried about this life anyway, and so goes the theme of the book of Daniel; “Daniel assured his fellow detainees that God, not a human king, was ultimately in control.” (Tremper Longman, NIVAC).
What are we seeing?
As we look at our current contextual landscape, we see nations that have risen, they now appear as if they are falling by ‘powers’ that are anything but godlike – “impersonal forces of fate, theories of deterministic science, and Satan (the master of evil & father of lies) hard at work.” Also, the world seems to be experiencing struggles like never before (political, cultural, emotional, psychological, and relational). However, despite this appearance, God will bring victory and honor to those who remain faithful to Him; Christ says it this way:
Mark 13: 12-13 (NIV): “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children well rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he stands firm to the end will be saved.”
“Daniel’s visions encourage God’s faithful people who are living under oppression and persecution and give a divine perspective on reality that differs from what’s visible: God will ultimately win the victory, so live life with the expectation of final triumph” (Tremper Longman, NIVAC). – Would recommend listening to Skillet’s “We Walk as Lions”
What is happening beneath your surface?
As we remember the kind of leader that Daniel was, what questions can we ask in order to increase our leadership skills:
- Who am I as a leader?
- What was it about Daniel that gave him the ability to lead, be put in leadership position after position, and remain faithful to God through it all that I can apply to my life?
- Where am I trying to go?
- Daniel wasn’t trying to reach the top of the ‘corporate’ ladder, in fact he consistently wanted to go home; yet, seemingly effortlessly, he kept climbing the ‘ladder’ regardless of who the boss was. What is it then about Daniel’s perspective that we can apply to our own lives that can benefit us as well?
- What values guide my life?
- Dan. 12:2-3 says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Pastor Dan indicated, discipleship & evangelism are clearly marks of this verse; therefore, what values can we mine from this verse that a person who wants to shine like the ‘brightness of the heavens and stars’ have?
- What can I share with others?
- Dan. 12:10 says, “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” Praise God we have a means to be purified, spotless and refined, and additional knowledge that something better is coming, so who can you share that with? Why not pray about it first, because those who want to talk people about God, talk to God about those people first!
Kris Robinson is an Assistant Pastor at Free Life Community Church helping teenagers & Millennials connect & transform their spiritual journey through Christ Jesus.