SHADOWS

DANIEL 3

Have you noticed?
Daniel’s friends were facing a crisis because of 
their faith, but Daniel was not there!

Read that chapter carefully, even the name Daniel 
is not mentioned; We all know that Daniel was number 
one in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom(Daniel 2 : 48 ), but 
when so many threatening things were happening in 
Babylon, some how Daniel was not there!

Where was Daniel?
Being the chief administrator of Babylon, whether he was 
sent on duty to some remote place?

Whether the enemies of Jews used the opportunity to 
take revenge on Daniel’s friends?

We are not having the full picture, but that crisis brings out 
a challenging truth; the truth about shadows!

See, in the first and second chapters of the Book of Daniel, 
his three friends were directly or indirectly shown in the 
shadow of Daniel; Even their promotion was because of 
Daniel’s request! ( Daniel 2 : 49 )

But in the third chapter, the crisis brings out the truth that 
they were not in the shadow of Daniel but in the Shadow 
of the Almighty!

In the first two chapters, the fourth person in their team 
was considered as Daniel, but the test of fire revealed 
that the fourth Person was of Divine nature!

See the consequence!
Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree which prohibited anyone 
to speak anything against the Living GOD!

Compare his response in chapter 2, when Daniel interpreted 
the dream; It was not so strong compared to chapter 3.

How much we all need this kind of test of fire?
Most of us wish to be in the shadows of some men of GOD 
and rests on their faith instead of having a closer walk with 
the Living GOD; If our faith rests on this and that persons, 
when the fire tests us, we can not shine!

Respect all servants of GOD, but remember we all are 
children of GOD and hence expected to have a personal 
faith encounter with GOD.

You may reach some position because of some Daniels, 
but by your faith, you have to prove that you are worthy 
of your calling!

Daniel’s friends proved that! ( DANIEL 3 : 30 ).

Welcome the test of fire!


HE WHO DWELLS IN THE SECRET PLACE OF THE 
MOST HIGH SHALL ABIDE UNDER THE SHADOW OF 
THE ALMIGHTY. ( PSALM 91 : 1 )

ART OF NEGOTIATION

1. DANIEL 1 : 8.

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile
himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies; But
he didn’t rebel or became silent about his conviction,
rather requested the authority regarding that.
Remember, Daniel was just a slave but, by the grace
of GOD, he didn’t consider the appointed chief as an
enemy! He humbly requested the chief.
The art of negotiation!

2. DANIEL 1 : 10 – 13.
When the chief expressed his inability to accept Daniel’s
request, Daniel didn’t give up. He didn’t change his stand
but asked the concerned person to test him for ten days.
The art of negotiation!

3. DANIEL 2 : 13 – 16.
Nebuchadnezzar’s command to kill all the wise men because
of their failure to tell and interpret his dream brought death
to Daniel’s doorsteps. Even in that confusing and threatening
situation, Daniel didn’t give up; Rather he found out the
reason for king’s anger and asked the king to give him time.
Negotiating to buy time in an almost impossible situation!
The art of negotiation!

4. DANIEL 2 : 49.
When Nebuchadnezzar promoted Daniel, he petitioned for
his prayer partners and got better positions for them in that
kingdom. Daniel didn’t act on his own because of his new
position or hesitated to request the king for his friends.
But he petitioned in a convincing way!

The art of negotiation!
If we, the people of Truth, use our words in a wise way in our
daily walk, we can make our life more peaceful.
GOD gave grace and wisdom to Daniel to handle his words
in a convincing way and hence whatever might be his personal
position, he was able to move forward.

Crisis or promotion, Daniel knew how to turn things in his favor.
Of course, not by dirty manipulation, but by the grace of GOD!

Dear friend,
Some times we try silence and some other times we try angry
outburst and confrontation to express our convictions; But by
the grace of GOD we should learn when to be silent and when
to engage in healthy confrontation; Most of the times, neither
silence nor confrontation will bring the required outcome!
Rather, negotiating in a proper way by trusting GOD will bring
surprise results!

May GOD give us all the wisdom and grace to use our words
in a healthy and prosperous way!


COUNSEL IN THE HEART OF MAN IS LIKE DEEP
WATER, BUT A MAN OF UNDERSTANDING WILL
DRAW IT OUT. ( PROVERBS 20 : 5 ).

ELITE FORCE

DANIEL 1 : 3 – 5

King Nebuchadnezzar was powerful and mighty enough
to establish a great kingdom. But he didn’t stop with his
military campaigns, instead he envisioned a great plan
to govern the kingdom in a proper manner.

See his foresight!
Even from the subdued countries, he tried to get the
maximum mileage!
His instruction to identify and recruit gifted and talented
youth of Israel, his appointment of an exclusive official
just to take care of the new recruits, his willingness to
invest in the necessary training of the youth, his attitude
of sharing even the exclusive food of the king with this
group of potential youths and the time frame of three years
he fixed for the rigorous training even though the selected
youths were highly qualified and skilled, challenges even
the HR practices of this millennium!

But his kingdom was temporal and limited; even for that he
envisioned and executed this kind of strategy!

Think about us!
We are satisfied with our little successes here and there,
not having any clear strategy for the follow-up but we claim
to represent the eternal and everlasting Kingdom.

Whenever and wherever possible, we try to label the youth
as irresponsible instead of identifying their potential.
We squarely reject the next generation as useless instead
of prayerfully planning and investing in the Daniels.
We think and assume that GOD will take care of the fruits
and avoid any noteworthy involvement with the young blood.
Every generation assumes that the next generation is not
up to the mark and so sell and send them to the world.

Compare our attitude with that of Nebuchadnezzar!
What hope he had that he could use even the youths of a
defeated nation?
Was it not risky to put them in strategic positions?
Nebuchadnezzar risked, planned, invested and executed!
The result was obvious!
He got faithful and highly talented people like Daniel!.
If Nebuchadnezzar failed to take that risk, the talented
youth might have ended up as rebels!

Is it the reason most of our missions and ministries sadly
either die in one generation or become a family business?

Come, let us identify and appreciate the Daniels!
Let us invest time and money in their lives!
Let us follow our Master, who even in his short span of
earthly ministry invest so much in the ‘twelve’!

Pray, identify, support and sponsor at least one Daniel, on
behalf of your family, for the rigorous training in the proper
place so that the channel seeking potential of the youth can
be utilized in the enlargement of the Kingdom!.


THEN HE SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES, THE HARVEST
TRULY IS PLENTIFUL, BUT THE LABORERS ARE
FEW. THEREFORE PRAY THE LORD OF THE
HARVEST TO SEND OUT LABORERS INTO
HIS HARVEST. ( MATTHEW 9 : 37 & 38 ).

MEANINGLESS MOURNING

I SAMUEL 16 : 1

The LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king
over Israel; And so Samuel mourned for Saul!,

The very first king of Israel messed up his call;
And the LORD rejected him as king over Israel!

Was that an end?
No! Read GOD’s instruction to Samuel.
‘ How long will you mourn for Saul?’
Yes, that was the time to anoint a new king!
Samuel was expected to continue his mission.

Dear friend,
Some times we all mourn like Samuel for the lost
opportunities; As our first attempt backfired and
brought reproach to GOD’s name, we lose hope
and mourn as if all the doors are closed!.

Even though it is necessary to mourn for the things
that grieves our LORD, again and again reminding
and remembering that disgrace is also not acceptable
to GOD;
Cry, mourn and repent; But don’t dwell there!
Be practical! Get up ; Face the reality!
Ask GOD to reveal the next step!
Things which can’t be revived should be removed!

Remember, even though the first choice grieved GOD’s heart,
the next choice, David, became a man after GOD’s own heart!

Never allow a single failure in your life to make you a failure!
If you are with GOD, he will surely open new avenues for you!


I WILL MAKE RIVERS FLOW ON BARREN HEIGHTS,
AND SPRING WITHIN THE VALLEYS.
I WILL TURN THE DESERT INTO POOLS OF WATER,
AND THE PARCHED GROUND INTO SPRINGS.
( ISAIAH 41 : 18 ).

PERFECT CHURCH

LUKE 2 : 36 – 38

Anna, daughter of Phanuel, never left the temple but stayed
there day and night, worshipping GOD with fasting and prayer!

Think about her age, eighty four years!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about her loneliness!
Only seven years of married life; a widow and aged!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about the political situation!
The nation was governed by foreigners; no freedom!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about the religious situation!
Pharisees and Sadducees; hypocrisy and manipulation were
at the peek; Priests behaved like politicians!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Think about the spiritual condition!
Nearly four hundred years of spiritual darkness; No WORD!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Think about the economical confusion!
Even in the synagogue, the nexus of businessmen and
priests dictated everything including the offerings!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Dear friend,
Waiting for a perfect church?
Expecting a favorable condition?
Trying to list out the reasons for avoiding church?
Justifying your lack of interest to worship?

Just think about the eighty four years old Anna!
She had every reason to avoid the temple and
worship, but she went and worshipped!

You know the reward!
She was given the privilege to see Jesus!
She met JESUS, not in a perfect place but, in that corrupted
synagogue!
In fact, she was the first person to preach about Jesus(verse 38 ).

Finding fault with every church?
Making hasty judgments against this and that?
Blaming the corrupt servants as the reason for your decision?

Better be careful!
Who knows how many personal encounters with JESUS you lost
because of your attitude about your church?
If your church is not up to the level, you are also a reason for that!
If there is no doctrinal deviation, you have no excuse for avoiding
your fellowship!

Go there! Be there! Pray and Worship!
Today you may have a Divine encounter, like that old widow!


FOR A DAY IN YOUR COURT IS BETTER THAN A THOUSAND
OUTSIDE. i WOULD RATHER STAND AT THE THRESHOLD OF
THE HOUSE OF MY GOD THAN DWELL IN THE TENTS OF
WICKEDNESS. ( PSALMS 84 : 10 ).

THE FIRST MISSIONARY

MATTHEW 2 : 13 – 15
Happily lived ever after!
The dream of having a secure and settled life after marriage!
What was the dream of Joseph?
What was his plan about his married life?
The Divine intervention changed his dreams upside down!
Immediately after his engagement, his dreams distanced
themselves from reality and so he tried to distance himself
from Mary!
He was a just man but he was just a man!
His plan to break the engagement quietly was not approved by
GOD and he set aside his dreams because of the dream!
He obeyed, he sacrificed and he cared.
His obedience brought any immediate blessing?, No!
Again he got a dream, a warning, a command to flee to Egypt!
Reason?
To protect JESUS from Herod!
See the command, was it not peculiar?
A man who obeyed so much was not allowed even to stay in
that place!
He was not even asked to go but flee! That too in the night!
Why not some other option?
Why not instant removal of Herod so that the obedient Joseph
could have lived in the comfort zone?
Because, it was a fulfillment of Scripture!( MATTHEW 2 : 15 ).
But Joseph obeyed!
See, Joseph got up and fled to Egypt with Mary and JESUS,
not to protect himself or his dear wife but to protect JESUS!
The calling of a missionary!
The attitude of keeping JESUS, the WORD, as the reason
for all the moves and stops!
He didn’t even send but went! For Jesus sake!
The first missionary!
Dear friend,
Come out of your comfort zone!
Listen to the High calling!
Let the WORD decide your moves and stops!
If any of your move, vertical or horizontal, is going to hurt the
WORD, then you are not in his perfect will!
If necessary, let us suffer but not the WORD!


I REFLECT AT NIGHT ON WHO YOU ARE, O LORD, AND
OBEY YOUR LAW BECAUSE OF THIS. ( PSALM 119 : 55 )

SHOWCASE SOLDIERS

I SAMUEL 17 : 16

Goliath presented himself forty days, morning and evening;
This means he challenged Saul’s army eighty times!
Was it not too much?

Even though Saul and all his soldiers heard the words of
Goliath again and again, they didn’t do anything constructive
to manage the situation!

Just think about the Israel’s army!
To the people of Israel, they all looked brave men;
The way they dressed, the weapons they carried, the place
they stayed and their position in the army all impressed the
common people so much and they all believed that the army
was doing something great in the battlefield; That is why even David’s father sent David to that place with some extra items!

But what was the truth?
Not even one person acted like a true soldier!
If they were not ready to accept the challenge, why they were
simply sitting there for forty days?
Even if the challenge was so difficult, why they didn’t bother
about any other alternate strategy?
How was it possible to be so passive when the enemy was
humiliating them?
Showcase soldiers?

Dear friend,
Is not true about our fellowships too?
Some times we also behave like the showcase soldiers!

Some of the secret sins entrap and mock at us, but we simply
respond by labeling them as minor weakness; we never bother
about the way they ruin our effectiveness and hence instead of
finding a solution to that problem, we move passively here and
there.

Some times, even though we hear the challenges of the enemy
again and again, because of fear we sit quietly in a corner but
projecting ourselves as warriors in our own circles!

The WORD we carry, the place we assemble, the company we
keep and the name we have force other believers to consider
us as super saints but what we do in the battle field for a long
time is so pathetic!

Do you know that the army of Israel was so settled in their
passive state that they tried their best to discourage even the
courageous David?

Is it the reason for our not so enthusiastic Christian life?
We know our problems but instead of challenging them, we
somehow simply accept them as unsolvable.
We see it regularly, hear its threatening and mocking but
not trying or planning any constructive strategy!

Remember,
We are changed to challenge the world
and challenged to change the world!

Don’t wait for a David; we all are Davids!
Be a warrior! Get HIS strength and be an over-comer!


FOR YOU HAVE ARMED ME WITH STRENGTH FOR THE
BATTLE; YOU HAVE SUBDUED UNDER ME THOSE WHO
ROSE UP AGAINST ME. ( PSALM 18 : 39 )

EXTRANEOUS EXPOSURE

2 CHRONICLES 35 : 20 – 24

The sad end of King Josiah!
The king
who was instrumental in the spiritual revival of Judah,
who began to seek the LORD when he was just sixteen,
who destroyed all the pagan shrines when he was twenty, and
who purified the land and the temple when he was twenty six,
died when he was just thirty nine!

Reason?
Extraneous exposure!
Unnecessary interfering in another man’s battle!

King Nero of Egypt was on his way to battle against his enemies,
but Josiah decided to fight against king Nero unnecessarily.
Even the King Nero’s patient explanation didn’t have any impact
on Josiah. He went ahead, embraced his own death!

See all his spiritual works!
His desire to purify the temple, his respect for the WORD of GOD,
his pledge to obey the LORD, the way he celebrated passover
and his tireless efforts in the restoration of the temple!
He was an excellent example in the list of kings of Judah!

But the strategic truth is even his spiritual standards were not able
to protect him from the consequence of his stubborn foolishness!

Dear friend,
An important strategy of the enemy is to sidetrack a sincere
believer to get entangled in another man’s battle. Whenever
a servant of GOD is having a steady growth, the possibility of
getting tempted to interfere in matters outside his boundary will
also come.

Expecting supernatural protection, because of your spiritual
achievements, in the areas outside GOD defined boundary is
highly dangerous!

Remember, even our LORD JESUS CHRIST declined to obey
the enemy when he misquoted the WORD about angelic
protection!( LUKE 4 : 9 – 12 ).

Discern the difference between acts of faith and adventures of presumption!


A PERSON WHO STRAYS FROM HOME IS LIKE A BIRD
THAT STRAYS FROM ITS NEST ( PROVERBS 27 : 8 ).

PENALTY CLAUSE

DEUTERONOMY 4 : 23 – 28

Have you noticed?.

The Israelites who murmured against GOD and doubted HIS goodness, because of the wrong report of the ten spies, were
denied entry to the promised land.
But their leader Moses, who never murmured against GOD but
always interceded for the Israelites, also got the same kind of punishment. No entry to the promised land!.

Compared to the rebellious nature of those Israelites in the
wilderness, Moses’ sudden outburst and the consequent action,
of striking the rock instead of speaking to it as commanded, looks like an infinitesimally small mistake.

But strangely, he also got the same punishment!
Even his pleading to enter the promised land was rejected!

Is it not a warning to all the leaders?
Many times people in leadership role assume, because of the
way GOD uses them, that they are privileged and hence GOD
will ignore their small mistakes. But, on the contrary, GOD’s
expectation and standard of leaders is much higher.

Leaders are expected not to cross even the minor commands.
GOD is gracious, no doubt, but the leaders are expected to use
HIS grace in such a way to hallow HIM! (NUMBERS 27 : 14).

More power means more responsibility!
More growth means more depth!
More time with people means more time with GOD!
More limelight means more hidden life!
More useful means more careful!

Leaders, who are gracious in their dealings with others but
strict with themselves with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT, are
needed!
Are you ready?


WHO KNOWS THE POWER OF YOUR ANGER?
FOR AS THE FEAR OF YOU, SO IS YOUR WRATH.
SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS,
THAT WE MAY GAIN A HEART OF WISDOM.
( PSALM 90 : 11 & 12 ).

COSTLY COUNSELLING

JOB 42 : 7 & 8

Eliphaz, Bidad and Zophar, friends of Job.
Excellent friends!
They heard of all the adversity that had come upon Job.
They decided to go to Job’s place to meet him!
Purpose of their visit?
To mourn with Job and to comfort him (Job 2 : 11).
But when they met Job, they crossed their limit and instead
of comforting him started counseling him and tried their best
to prove that that he was responsible for his sufferings!

But GOD’s wrath was aroused against them!
Reason?
In their attempt to counsel Job, they some how lost track and
spoke of GOD what was not right!

In fact, when they met Job, they didn’t speak even a single word
for seven days and seven nights. But when Job spoke, they got
disturbed and responded by giving their own explanations.
Just check, there are approximately 200 verses that covers all
the three friends’ arguments!. So few verses!
But GOD condemned that and not their seven days of silence!

Consequence?
They were commanded to offer seven bulls and seven rams as
burnt offering; And Job was supposed to pray for them!
Their love and affection, burden, sacrificial visit and seven days
of silent mourning have lost the meaning because of their folly!
And they were forced to spend extra money for the burnt offering!

Dear friend,
Is it not our problem too?
Even though we are not having any specific word to comfort and
encourage our wounded brethren, we, because of our over zeal,
try to explain the unknown in a fleshly way. We insult and isolate
them by our words!

Remember, any wounded person will always connect his present
suffering to his past and will have unnecessary guilt. When they
pour their heart, we are expected to listen silently, and if possible
help them to overcome the guilt in a scriptural way!
That is not the time to prove our spiritual superiority by uttering
words that will increase their guilt.

If you are sure of a word from GOD, speak;
If not, just sit there silently and that will be a real comfort!
Why play with GOD’s wrath by entering the unknown?
It is not our knowledge or experience, but the time we spend in
HIS presence only will give us the right word at the right time!
Want to comfort others?
First, go to HIS presence!


THE LORD GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE TONGUE OF THE
LEARNED, THAT I SHOULD KNOW HOW TO SPEAK A
WORD IN SEASON TO HIM WHO IS WEARY.
HE AWAKENS ME MORNING BY MORNING, HE AWAKENS
MY EAR TO HEAR AS THE LEARNED. (ISAIAH 50 : 4)

%d bloggers like this: