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Faith Which Results in Promotion

Faith Which Results in Promotion

We just completed a whirlwind trip to Trinidad where we were able to experience new dimensions of God's goodness. Let's first give a big shout-out to Apostles Emanuel and Jemma Duncan of Divine Destiny Worship Centre for providing the platform for us to minister the gospel. Thanks to Sis Michelle and the youth ministry of David's Company for an amazing youth conference. Thanks to Sis Franceine and the Coffee Shop Conversations team for an excellent session. Thanks to the Police Academy for allowing us to address the upcoming graduating class of recruits.

Now Atlanta, it's your turn. Coffee Shop Conversations returns to Starbucks in Midtown this Thursday night and The Body Bible Study returns to Vinings on Saturday. If you want to join us let us know. Nonetheless, today's blog is an excerpt from my latest book, "Faith Science".

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Hebrews 11:32–34 kjv (emphasis mine)

Let’s continue looking at case studies that support our hypothesis: biblical faith is “complete trust in the invisible evidence provided by the Word of God confirmed by commensurate action.” Near the end of the Hall of Faith, the Apostle Paul grouped several men together, including the prophets. He then listed their accomplishments. We’ve looked at each person whose name is mentioned on the list. In an effort to be thorough, let’s look at those men whose accomplishments were mentioned but their names were not. Among the names mentioned, we have studied faith that subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and obtained promises.

Now let’s deal with the faith of the prophet that stopped the mouths of lions. This speaks of none other than the outstanding faith of the Prophet Daniel. His recorded visions are some of the most detailed concerning the end times, and as history proceeds, they will increase in importance. All the same, before we get too deep in his life, let’s build a foundation first.

Daniel: Faith to Pass the Food Test

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel 1:3–8 nkjv

The food test is common in God’s kingdom. Adam and Eve failed the food test in the garden of Eden. Jesus passed the food test in the wilderness after a forty-day fast. Let’s take a look at how this one was conducted. Daniel was the chosen of the chosen. After the Babylonians had taken over Judah, he was one of the outstanding young men who were handpicked to serve the king. In contrast to the rest of their people, they were the elite. Not only were they royalty in their own kingdom, but they were placed among royalty in the kingdom that captured them.

Hence, they could easily have developed a sense of complacency toward the things of the Lord. Except for Daniel and his three friends, that’s exactly what happened. Most of them succumbed to the pressure of their new environment. How many of us do the same thing in our own lives? Instead of maintaining the standard of God, we conform ourselves to fit into a certain social circle. We try so hard to be socially acceptable that we gladly do what we know contradicts the Word of God.

It’s that attitude which causes those who are chosen by God to fade into the background. A desire to blend in or stick with the status quo limits the impact of many Christian people. Daniel separated himself by maintaining his faith in God and refusing to compromise his standards. As a result, God chose him out of his peers for a special role in history that spanned several kingdoms and generations. Long before Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and saw God shut their mouths he was in preparation. Like the lion and bear that David slew before he ever heard of Goliath, Daniel grew with each test. Even though great emphasis should be placed on his victory in the lion’s den, there is much more we can learn from his preparation.

Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.” So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
Daniel 1:9–16 nkjv

In direct response to Daniel’s decision to maintain his integrity, God gave him favor with his superior. What an important lesson for all of us! One of my favorite pastors has the following saying: “You will lose anything you compromise to keep.” If you are willing to drop your godly standards to gain something he doesn’t want you to have, you will eventually lose what you gained. In contrast, the Scriptures say, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires,” (Psalms 37:4 nlt).

While other young men tried to fit in by doing just what they were ordered, Daniel obeyed God and stood out for all the right reasons. The Bible says, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another,” (Psalm 75:6–7 kjv). It also says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” (2 Chronicles 16:9 kjv). God judges based on the content of our hearts, so when it’s time for promotion the people with integrity will rise. Let’s examine the first physical miracle recorded in Daniel’s life.

By the wisdom of God, Daniel and his friends made an offer that could not be refused. Instead of expecting the eunuchs to accept their position based on moral grounds, they chose to put their faith into action for a physical manifestation. Their choice to believe in God’s Word was not based on physical evidence but only on faith. In fact, Jesus said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” ( John 20:29 kjv). On the other hand, when dealing with someone carnal, they understood the need to provide tangible evidence.

We should learn from their example. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
1 Corinthians 2:14 nlt

Sometimes people need to see that God’s way is the best because even though we believe what we cannot see, they don’t. What happened with those young men was nothing short of a miracle. In only ten days, from a biological perspective, a diet of vegetables and water won’t have such dramatic effects on your appearance. Yet, when done in obedience to a word from the Lord, nothing is impossible. The lesson learned from Daniel and his friends passing the food test is that faith in God’s invisible Word can visibly affect your physical body.

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