Daniel: God Is In The Details!

(NOTE: This Continues A Series Of Posts On Daniel’s Life)

-Even When We Don’t See Him!

There’s a fascinating true story, in the Old Testament of the Bible, that illustrates how God is involved in all the details of our lives; even, when we don’t see Him! The story is about the Prophet Elisha; and, it’s at a time when the Aramean’s are waging war against Israel. Every time the King of Aram lays out a strategy for setting up a camp at a certain place, God tells the Prophet Elisha the details; and, he passes it on to the King of Israel who takes counter-measures to avoid their attack. As you can imagine, that kind of ticked off the King of Aram. He figured there had to be a mole in his army that was tipping off the King of Israel; so, he confronts his army & one of his intelligence officers says, “It’s not our people sharing secrets with Israel! It’s the Prophet Elisha; and, he’s even telling the King of Israel every word you say in your bedroom.” It’s determined that Elisha is in the city of Dothan; so, the Aramean King sends a massive army to surround the city & capture him.

-Open His Eyes & Let Him See!

When Elisha & his servant, Gehazi see that the Arameans have surrounded the city, Gehazi says, “Master, what are we going to do?” So, Elisha told him not to be afraid because, “Those who are with us outnumber those who are with them,” Gehazi looks around with a “what are you talking about” kind of look! And, Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see!” So, the Lord opened his eyes; and, when he looked up he saw that the mountains were covered with heavenly horses & chariots of fire, ready to go to battle against the Aramean’s on Elisha’s behalf.

-What Was Really Happening?

For one brief moment, God peeled back that layer that divides our world, from the spiritual world, to reveal what was REALLY happening! Now, that story encourages me; and, I hope it encourages you, to know that God is IN the details of our lives! That He’s at work for His Glory & for our good! Because, some times it doesn’t seem that way, does it? This world can be a pretty dark place; especially, if you intend to live your life for God like the Prophet Daniel did—he was willing to do the right thing, in a spiritually hostile environment, and trust God with the results!

-You Can Trust God With The Results!

Doing the right thing does not insure that everything will go right! But, you can trust God with the results! They may not be the results you hoped for; but, they will be what’s best for you—even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time! If you could just peel back that layer that divides our world, from the spiritual realm, you’d see that! Daniel managed not only to survive; but, to THRIVE in a spiritually hostile world! As our own world becomes increasingly more hostile, to our faith in Jesus, we can identify with Daniel! But, like him, you can survive & thrive if you’ll trust God with all the circumstances of your life! We’ll get into Daniel, chapter 6, next time; and, learn how to tame a pit full of lions!

 

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What About Near Death Experiences?

They’re Wildly Popular!

If it’s your goal to write a popular book, you might want to consider making “heaven” your subject matter. Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes In Heaven, was so wildly popular—with more than 7 million copies sold in 50 languages—that they made it into a movie, Heaven Is For Real. It’s about a 4-year old boy’s near death experience. Another popular book, Miracles From Heaven, is about a sick girl’s near death experience; and, it also was made into a movie.

What Does Scripture Say?

So, what are we to make of these near death experiences? What light, if any, does Scripture shed on the subject? What we must affirm is that these experiences are subjective to the individual claiming to have experienced it; and, can not be held up as revelatory or inspired on an equal plane as the Word of God. If someone claims a near death experience that is contrary to Scripture we must choose Scripture and reject the experience.

Confused About Heaven?

There’s a lot of confusion, in the church, about heaven! I’ve talked with believers who assume it’ll be “boring”—sitting in the clouds & strumming a harp for all eternity! Where have we come up with all these fanciful notions about heaven? It’s not as if the Bible is silent about heaven! There’s enough revealed in Scripture that should convince every believer that heaven is too good for anyone to miss; and, that the alternative is too horrific to wish on anyone.

Keep It Gospel-Centered!

Our conversations with people need to be centered on & saturated in the Gospel, not heaven! Heaven might be the starting point because of all the books and movies out there that have captured people’s attention; but, we need the Spirit’s help to steer the conversation toward the gospel! We’re commissioned by Jesus to make disciples; not spend time hypothesizing what heaven might be like. So, the next time you find yourself in a gab session, about heaven, direct them to Revelation 21. Tell them it’s the most detailed information we have about what God & His Word says about heaven!

God Will “Pitch His Tent” Among Us!

God’s dwelling will be “with humanity, and He will live with them” according to Revelation 21:3. That word “dwelling”, in the text, means “tabernacle” or “tent.” The Apostle John is saying that God will pitch a tent and live with us in the new, heavenly Jerusalem. Try to grasp the beauty of what that means! Our struggles, in the flesh, to know God; to walk with Him; to know His heart, His will & His mind; will be ended! No longer will God be far off, distant, transcendent above His creation. We will see Him face to face; and, we will know Him!