Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God


16 Alone with God in the Lion’s Den

Daniel 6:16-23

16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. 19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

We want to grow in our relationship with God but are we willing to become uncomfortable to do that? Sooner or later we are confronted with the reality of own limitations, humanly speaking, Daniel’s situation was without hope. Verse 16 tells us that he had just been thrown into the lions’ den and there were three limiting factors that made for a humanly impossible situation.

  • The first limiting factor was the law of that day (referred to in verse 15 as the law of the Medes and Persians.) This law dictated that a king’s decree could never be revoked—not even by the king himself.
  • The second limiting factor was the stone referred to in verse 17. This large stone was placed over the mouth of the den to ensure that there was no physical way for Daniel to escape
  • The third limiting factor facing Daniel was the placement of the royal seals on the secured den. Verse 17 tells us that “the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel” The king and his nobles took moist clay and sealed it over the stone, pressing their signet rings into the clay so that if someone did try to save Daniel, they would first have to break the seals, which would have brought upon them the decree of their own execution

Every precaution was taken to make sure that the deliverance of Daniel was humanly impossible; no one could rescue him not even the king! Daniel’s close relationship with the king didn’t make any difference now. In verse 16b we read that the king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” That is quite a statement. Because of how Daniel lived his life the King knew about this God Daniel constantly served, your time alone with God will show.

Some of you feel like you are facing personal impossibilities and you are on the verge of giving up. For some of you it’s an employment issue, for some it’s an ongoing financial problem, for others it’s relational, you’ve almost given up on your marriage. In spite of all you have done, things just are not improving in fact they seem to be getting worse. For some it’s your kids, for some it’s a health problem or a recurring sin or addiction that you wonder if you will ever be able to conquer. No matter what you do, there just seems to be no way out. No hope for change. Whatever lion’s den you may find yourself in, now or in the future, sooner or later you must come face to face with your human limitations. To face all our human limitations seems counterproductive and defeating! The truth is that it is the most spiritually productive place you could ever be! You see God meets you in the lion’s den because he loves you. It’s only as we come to the end of ourselves that we will be able to taste the joys of truly knowing his presence and power in our life. It is only in dying to yourself that you can come alive to God. None of us like the lion’s den but it’s where we come face to face with God, where He leads us into deeper levels of dependence on Him as we wait for deliverance.

We don’t know what exactly happened in the den, all we are told is that the lion’s mouths were shut and Daniel was saved. The Lord takes great pleasure in taking the most difficult situations in life, those that seem humanly impossible to us, and using those impossibilities as a way of increasing our faith in his unlimited capability. Daniel chose time alone with God, he chose character over comfort, what will you choose?

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15 Alone with God when it’s not Politically Correct

Daniel 6: 3-10

3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. 4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” 6 So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! 7 We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. 8 And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” 9 So King Darius signed the law. 10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.

Here is a man who would not give up his time alone with God, even when it was not politically correct and disobeying the king’s command meant death. He would not give up his time alone with God even if it meant time alone with the lions. There were those who were jealous of Daniel so they began searching for some fault but he was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy so in order to find fault with him they looked to his relationship with His God. What an incredible point of examination, would we be found so guilty?

Daniel had three choices when it came to time Alone with God and each came with a price tag.

Cease his time alone in prayer – cost him fellowship with His God.

Close the window and hide his relationship with God – cost him the ability to influence those around him.

Continue to pray – cost him his life!

Most of us want a comfortable life but in the face of adversity character is either forged or foiled, adversity is good for us.  For Daniel time alone with God was more important that life because time alone with God is life. Daniel had a special place and time when he got alone with God and prayed, his upper room, where is your upper room of prayer, do you frequent this room? What happens in our private life becomes evident in our public life, Daniel prayed with an open heart and open windows and people saw. Daniel teaches us many things through his prayer life in his time alone with God but I want to focus on four.

1.            The Position of Prayer – Humility “knelt down” he humbled himself before God.

2.            The Practice of Prayer – Persistency “three times a day”

3.            The Pattern of Prayer – Established “just as he had always done” Daniel was accustomed to praying about everything Daniel developed a consistent prayer life

4.            The Posture of Prayer – Thankfulness “gave thanks” Daniel praised God in the midst of it all.

Have you thanked God for your circumstances, or do you just complain about them? Are you seeking God in your circumstances or just a solution?

Is it time to get alone with God? Don’t Compromise Your Time Alone With God, Daniel would rather spend a night with the lions than miss a day in prayer!