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 )
The most excellent Governor Felix;
Governor at Caesarea and having a Jewish wife, Drusilla;
As a Governor, he met so many prisoners, inquired and
set them free or punished them.
This Felix got an, once in a blue moon, opportunity to
Watch the conversation and inquiry that unfolded in
front of Felix!
In fact, Paul, under the cover of defending himself,
preached almost all the major doctrines to Felix!
He preached about the Way and what was written in
the Law and the Prophets!( ACTS 24 : 14 ).
Preached about Hope and Resurrection( ACTS 24 : 15 ).
Preached about clear Conscience( ACTS 24 : 16 ).
Preached about Faith in Christ ( ACTS 24 : 24).
Preached about Righteousness, Self control and
Judgement to come ( ACTS 24 : 25 ).
Even though Paul was imprisoned and his life was at risk,
He answered in a cheerful way!.
The attitude of a MENTOR!
But think about Felix! (Incidentally Felix means ‘happy’!!!)
He, knew not just what Paul preached but, also had more
accurate knowledge of the Way. ( ACTS 24 : 22 ).
Further, his wife Drusilla was a Jew!
With all these inputs and opportunities for more than two
years, Felix left that city without embracing the Way or
even without set Paul free! ( ACTS 24 : 27 ).
Alas, what a loss!
Do you know the reason?
Yes, whenever he met Paul, Felix had only one thought
to control him ‘ expecting money from Paul, as bribe, to
set him free!( ACTS 24 : 26 ).
The attitude of a VENDOR!.
Even after two thousand years this problem is still
plaguing the Church!
Listening to great preachers for years, making all kinds
of pious connections and having accurate knowledge of
the Way, but mind obsessed with the manipulating tools
and threats to approach the Way as an ATM!
Money! Money ! Money!.
The attitude of a VENDOR!
The most excellent Felix lost the opportunity to embrace
The most excellent TRUTH!
Are you a mentor or a vendor?
BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS
SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU. ( MATTHEW 6 : 33)
Finally it happened!
Yes, the nation lost its freedom to worship the LORD!
Many saw it coming, but didn’t consider it seriously!
After so many years of ‘open door’ unexpectedly the
the threat of ‘closed door’ gripped people’s heart!
The great WORD and worship revival brought in by
King David and billion dollar building project of King
Solomon were getting faded in the memory lane!
The new King Ahab, who himself was against GOD’s
ways, was remotely controlled by the demon personified
Jezebel of Sidon!
See Ahab’s immediate projects:
Built an altar for Baal in Samaria and set up an Asherah pole!
On the other side Jezebel was hunting for the prophets of the
LORD!. Subtle attempt to revive Baal’s worship in the land!
Cultural, moral and spiritual darkness slowly engulfed the
land!. No hope for the people of GOD?
Even the prophet Elijah, after his first prophecy, went in to
hiding. Worst time to live.
Was it not the time to cry I I O?
But even that worst situation, there was a man, yes just an
official, Obadiah in the palace.
He was in charge of the palace but he was clever and bold
enough to hide hundred prophets in caves!
Not just hid them but regularly supplied food and water!
Think about this!
The queen was trying to kill all the prophets but Obadiah, who
worked in the same palace, taking swift and courageous action
to protect the prophets!
Even the bold prophet Elijah was not having the courage to
meet the furious Jezebel, but Obadiah ?
Further, he was able to supply food and water to the prophets,
even in a situation when there was a severe drought and scarcity
of water! See, palace horses were not having grass.
How was it possible?
How he hid the prophets when the land was full of Baal’s
How he planned and executed the food and water distribution?
How he managed his network in that hostile situation?
How and when he built that kind of confidential team?
Difficult to analyse, but one thing is sure; Not just the king and
the queen but even the prophet Elijah didn’t get any hint about
Obadiah was so careful, so committed, so courageous
so incisive and his mission was so invaluable!
Yes, my dear friend,
Whenever you feel that darkness engulfs your boundary, don’t
worry too much and cry within you I I O!
But be an I I O – Incisive, Invaluable Obadiah!
In your position. to your level, think and plan what and how can
you do your part and build your small trustworthy network and
carefully execute your part!
In the right time, GOD will send an Elijah to challenge Baal!
If you are an Elijah, hearty welcome!
But if not, Be an I I O – Incisive Invaluable Obadiah!
Yes, the land needs many I I Os!
Who rules is not so important if you trust the One Who Reigns!
PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD SHALL BE STRONG
AND WILL CARRY OUT GREAT EXPLOITS(DANIEL 11:32)
MATTHEW 27 : 35.
Jesus on the cross; wounded and bleeding;
nailed and naked; trembling and dying;
But, at the foot of the cross, the soldiers gambled!
For what?; For the dress of JESUS!
How cruel! Insensitivity at its worst!
How was it possible?
When the body of Jesus was wounded and bleeding,
gambling for HIS dress?
When the body of Jesus was nailed and naked,
gambling for HIS dress?
They did not know what they were doing!
But, what about us?
When the body of CHRIST, the Church was wounded
and bleeding, nailed and naked, trembling and crying,
What we are doing at the foot of the cross?
One more Holy week; One more Good Friday;
One more Easter; One more visit to the church;
One more season of melancholic singing and sinking;
One more season of proxy fasting and pious feasting;
May be some times humbly uttering the seven words,
blood and cross, Lamb and the sacrifice and salvation;
But, how many of us actually think about ‘HIS BODY’?
How many of us are at least having some information
about the persecuted church and the wounded church?
We live, preach, worship and celebrate in a shell and
we spend our time, talent and treasure only selfishly?
Do you know some of the simple statistical facts?
Do you know the budget to decorate your church for
the Holy week is more than the annual budget of some
of the suffering churches?
Do you know the money you spend for your jolly trip to
the Holy land is more than sufficient to translate the
Holy Bible in to another language?
Do you know the dress you buy just for this Easter
costs more than a missionary’s annual salary?
Do you know the money you allocated for the Easter
party is more than the poor pastor children’s next
year academic need?
Do you know the money you waste to alter your house
again and again unnecessarily just to boost your image
can supply ten new churches in a much needed place?
Dear friend, I know, we all are experts in justifying our
way of life and life style.
But, before justifying your stand, come little closer to
the cross and have a purposeful look at HIS body!
Trying to honor the Head but ignoring the body?
In what way we are different from the soldiers at
the cross gambling for the clothes?
At least they did not know what they were doing!
How can we have a resurrected life even before entering
the crucified life?
Do you know, only one soldier got HIS dress after the
gambling near the cross;
But, we all got the GARMENT of SALVATION because
of the grace LAMB on the cross!
Remember this and thank HIM!
Have a crucified resurrected life!
THOSE WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS HAVE
NAILED THE PASSIONS AND DESIRES OF THEIR
SINFUL NATURE TO HIS CROSS AND CRUCIFIED
THEM THERE. ( GALATIANS 5 : 24 )
1. GENESIS 37 : 18 – 24.
Joseph’s brothers planned to kill him. Away from home. Ten brothers against him. Death certain. No way of escape.
But in the last moment, their plan to kill Joseph got modified
because of Reuben’s suggestion!
Reuben, a foe camp angel to Joseph!..
2. JOSHUA 2 : 1 – 7 .
The Israelite spies entered Jericho. Reached Rahab’s house.
But the Jericho Intelligence Network was so sharp, they got
the tip about their visit. The counter attack begins.
The spies inside Rahab’s house; The soldiers outside!
No way of escape; death certain;
But Rahab of Jericho hid them and helped to escape!
Rahab, a foe camp angel to the spies!
3. Judges 7 : 10 – 16.
Gideon, called by GOD, but not so courageous; Even after a
heavy dose of divine encouragement, hesitates to attack the
enemy; Amalekites, Midianites and all the people of the east,
as numerous as locusts, surrounded Israelite camp;
No way of escape; death certain;
But one enemy soldier explaining his dream to another gives
enhanced courage to Gideon to thwart the enemies!
A soldier, a foe camp angel to Gideon!
4. I Samuel 20.
Furious King Saul tried to kill David unsuccessfully so many
times; Waiting for the New Moon dinner with a subtle plot
to eliminate David; No way of escape; Death certain;
But, Saul’s own son Jonathan loved David so much, he
helped David to escape from that place against his father’s scheme!.
Jonathan, a foe camp angel to David!
5. I Samuel 30 : 9 – 16.
Ziklag; A place where David and his six hundred member
troop lost everything; Even the six hundred friends turned
against him; David all alone; Not even having the needed information about the enemy; Two hundred of the six
hundred stayed behind; loss; pain; loneliness; confusion!.
But, a sick servant, abandoned by the enemies, gives the
vital information to David about the enemies.
David recovered all, from that subtle Amalekites!
A sick servant, a foe camp angel to David!
Worrying about your enemies?
So cunning like Joseph’s brothers?
So strong and sharp like the king of Jericho?
So numerous like the Amalekites and Midianites?
So ferocious like King Saul?
So swift and invisible like the Amalekites?
Remember the above said examples!
Your help comes from above!
Even from the foe camp, angels will come to help;
Fear not; Strengthen yourself in the LORD;
No weapon formed against you shall prosper!
SHOW ME A SIGN FOR GOOD, THAT THOSE
WHO HATE ME MAY SEE IT AND BE ASHAMED,
BECAUSE YOU , LORD, HAVE HELPED ME AND
COMFORTED ME. ( PSALM 86 : 17 ).
PHILIPPIANS 4 : 22
Paul’s one more prison epistle; usual way of greeting his
readers; but here some thing unusual!
Greetings not just from Paul and his co workers,
but also from the saints who are of Caesar’s household!
Saints in Caesar’s household?
See the situations;
Claudius Caesar banished Jews from Rome( Acts 18 : 2 );
After him came Nero Caesar, whose hatred against Jews
and Christians was so sharp and strong;
In these averse situation, how in that Caesar’s household
a group of saints?
When and how they came to Lord?
Who was instrumental in their Truth discovery?
They are of Caesar’s household, but they are bold enough
to have fellowship with Paul;
Actively involved in Paul’s epistle ministry!
Now think about Paul;
In Roman prison because of his faith(Philippians 1 : 13 );
Facing envy and strife from some Christians( Philippians 1:15);
Uncertainty about his life (Philippians 1 : 22 & 23 );
Under prolonged affliction (Philippians 1 : 30 );
Feeling forsaken by all (Philippians 2 : 20 );
Grieved by the sickness of his partner(Philippians 2 : 27 );
Full of tears because of strange teachers (Philippians 3 : 18 );
Depending on others for his financial needs (Philippians 4:14);
And with all these pressures and challenges,
Paul was able to have a healthy prison fellowship;
That also for the Caesar’s household!
Dear friend, almost all the genuine works for God got roots
and flourished from these kinds of uncertainties, pressures, challenges, backstabbing, financial insecurity, misunderstandings, health constraints and loneliness!
Waiting for the ‘right time’? Right place?
Expecting red carpet welcome? peaceful circumstances?
Complete deliverance? Financial security?
Good; GOD can and will give these all;
But, to start the work, to exercise your gift,
The right time is always ‘now’.
Start your work subject to ‘conditions from Above ‘.
Remember Paul; Remember the household of Caesar;
Remember their ‘GLITTERING GREETINGS’ to saints!
Pray; Discern; Use the opportunity!
HE WHO OBSERVES THE WIND WILL NOT SOW,
AND HE WHO REGARDS THE CLOUDS WILL NOT
REAP. ( ECCLESIASTES 11 : 4 ).