Monday, August 25, 2014

The Same God

I am writing this to remind myself as much as anyone else. It is always "easier" to have faith when things are going well. It is in the ups and downs and struggles of life that fear and doubt can try to invade our thoughts.

Recently, I was reminded of Daniel from the Bible. ( Focus on the Family ) 

We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right. - Dr. Ravi Zacharias
Even though the time of Daniel was many, many years ago, the times seem eerily similar. The God of Daniel was slowly being removed from society. Eventually, the law became that the people could ONLY pray/worship the current king under threat of being thrown into a den of lions. Daniel had a choice to make: follow the law OR continue to follow the God that he knew and loved and had proven Himself true time and time again. I'm sure Daniel struggled with the decision. Certainly, a den of lions would be a frightening deterrent to continuing his current practice of depending and trusting his God. Daniel continued to follow his heart and prayed to his God.

Daniel was discovered. Thrown into the lions den. BUT lived to be released the next day. In fact, the very king that tried to destroy Daniel ended up turning his life over to the God of Daniel as well.

Today, there are places in our world where this same faith is threatened. It may be a different deterrent than a den of lions. Denounce your faith or lose your head or watch your children be murdered. We are blessed to still live in a country where we are free to have the religion of our choice. To follow the God of our choice. To have a relationship with that God. However, those freedoms are slowly eroding. Do we even pay attention? Do we care until it happens to us? Do we have the faith and conviction to continue to follow our God even if threatened?

I am reminded that the same God of Daniel and many others in the Bible: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Israelites, Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, Esther, Job, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Disciples, is the SAME GOD that enables US and (put your name here) today to continue to follow Him.

The same power and promises that were true then to the people we have heard Bible stories about is still available to us. We do not walk alone, ever. Our brothers and sisters that are being persecuted for their faith are not alone. May our prayers continue to lift them up and remind them that the same God that was available back then is still available and working in all situations today and in our future.

Daniel 6:19-23 (NIV) At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.