Preacher: Josh White
I don’t actually want you to tell me right now but I didn’t just think about that I thought about that I don’t know if I can come up with the scariest thing hopefully it’s already passed and I want to face anything really scary in the future but one thing that is scary for me are roller coasters how many of you like roller coasters probably most of you OK A lot of your reason your hands I am afraid of heights and so naturally roller coasters they feel they really frighten me and so this last spring break we took the kids to Knott’s Berry Farm and to Disneyland it was a great time and it probably been about fifteen or so years since I had really been on a natural roller coaster and so we’re getting there and and I see the first one as we’re walking up went to Knott’s Berry Farm the first day and there were there was barely anyone there and so we were on so many rides by the end of the day I couldn’t go on anymore I think it is exam getting older or you just had so many and maybe my equilibrium was being messed up but I will get in line for the very first roller coaster and to get myself on the ride I have to trick myself I have to do these mental things and any of you are afraid of things like this maybe do the same thing but what I have to do is I have to remember and I’m standing in line ready to get on this roller coaster after myself OK The people who made this ride engineered it and designed it so that I wouldn’t fall off and die you know I really have to I have to think those thoughts make sure that I get on this and I’m not going to die and then as I’m standing in line and as the pressure is getting a little bit more like OK there’s like three or four more times and then I’m going to be on this ride and what I do is I do these mental tricks I see all the people they get on the ride and then they notice two minutes later guess what those same people are getting off so OK no one knew no one was dropped out way through the ride and means I’m probably going to make it back as well and also the people when they get on the ride right before they go you know what their faces look like they’re all scared but when they get back you know what their faces look like now. So much fun if I go OK they enjoyed it they enjoyed it too I probably will too and I also have to remind myself that I’m not the very first person that will go on the tracks this is gone through many many times before and so I’m not the guinea pig I’m not the test subject I will survive and I will get back in so. We had a great time I’m glad that I kind of overcame my fears but if that’s so it’s a real thing for me and if you’re scared of heights you probably can relate to that. You know in life we’re going to face a lot of scary situations. The thing is that with a roller coaster you know exactly how it’s going to end up the people get on the Get Back off well we’re going to face decisions throughout our lifetime where we say I need to make a decision I have to do something in the situation in the soon as I make this decision I’m not sure what’s going to happen I’m not sure what the outcome is going to be and so what we usually have to do is we have to let two things help us make up our minds in those kinds of situations. Are saying that we have that God will give us to help make those decisions is our intellect God gave us a mind so that we can comprehend the outcome of situations and scenarios and so when you’re thinking of a decision it’s best to think now if I do this what’s the logical consequences what are the all the possible outcomes of these scenarios that if I make this decision and sometimes within our own wisdom and in our own understanding we can figure things out but then there are some times when God is asking us to do things that might not make sense and that’s when we’re supposed to trust him. And those situations can be very scary for us from time to time Alberta can you put up on Proverbs three five and six this is also on the cover of your bulletins this is one of those verses that it’s just it’s just timeless and it’s applicable for so many things in life and our board meeting this last Monday night each of the board members brings a devotion and. They’ve brought a devotion in to use this Proverbs three five and six and I want to read this and what I want to do it because when we read it I thought Boy this really applies to the message that I’m going to be preaching on Sunday the last half of Daniel Chapter six of Proverbs three five and six says. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight paths. And so as we go through life I’m sure everyone here has seen how this is so true time and time again sometimes we need to look beyond our own understanding and just realize that God will only lead us to things that are in our best interest ultimately they’re going to give him the glory Well last week we started reading the story about Daniel in the Lion’s Den I want you to open the Daniel Chapter six. And we didn’t read till the end of the story and so I know some of you are just wondering what happened to Daniel we left him in the pit with the lions and so last week when we last saw our hero leading up to this what we read is that the satraps all of the basically the tax collectors the satraps laid a trap for Daniel they knew that they wouldn’t be able to steal money in the kingdom under King various Well as long as Daniel was in charge of them because he was a man of integrity and he was such a great administrator that he would know if people were stealing from him and so they said you know what if we’re going to line our pockets if we’re going to get rich we have to get rid of Daniel so they came up with this idea that if anyone in the entire kingdom were to worship anyone other than King various For the next thirty days they would be thrown into the pit of lions and can carry a said well this is great this is a great way to get people to be loyal to me and so they agreed now what I want to do is I want to apply Proverbs three five and six to Daniel situation and so here is. Daniel he’s told that he cannot worship God for thirty days otherwise he’s going to be thrown into a den of lions and so in Daniel’s mind think about the things that he had to think about verse six of verse six of problems three five and six says in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths in other words if you acknowledge God He will tell you he will show you what the right decision is and so Daniel is acknowledging God the straight path for Daniel means that he’s supposed to continue to live in obedience to God and to continue to pray three times a day with the shutters open facing Jerusalem like King Solomon had asked these are life to do and God bless them for that and so that is the straight path that God showed in Daniel and ironically that straight path for Daniel literally led straight into a den full of lions. And so when Daniel’s thinking this is what I’m supposed to do but I know exactly what the outcome is that’s where verse five kicks in trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding and so Daniel had to say I know what the outcome is I will be thrown into the den of lions and no matter what happens I’m going to rest on God’s wisdom in this situation all that God do what God is going to do. Before we really get into the story we read and I want to I want to have a time of honesty with you OK. I don’t like this part of the faith I don’t I don’t like living by faith in this way because sometimes it’s so hard to give up control does anyone anyone here can control problem or you want to be in control of all these situations and so I sort of have a a love hate relationship with this aspect of my faith and I think all of you should be able to relate to this on some level you know. I hate the anxiety of looking at a situation. Saying if I make this decision I don’t know what’s going to happen I hate that it might be kind of a strong word but I don’t like that I want to be comfortable I want to know what the outcome is but at the same time God sometimes asks us to just trust him and let him work out the details that’s the love part because like on a roller coaster soon as I get going on the roller coaster Eventually I really like it I’m going to share with you three examples I’ve probably mentioned all three of these before in my life but I came to a point in my life on three different occasions I’ll share with you were I had to make a decision and I had to say God what do you ask me to do in this situation and I made the decision I trusted in the Lord The first was when I was twenty one years old it was during the summer and I had gone to Grace Bible college for two years and I got my SO C.S. degree and I thought well can you go become a firefighter and move to Seattle that’s kind of what I wanted to do but ever since junior high I kind of felt God was leading me into ministry and I remember I had this this moment in this crisis where I had a decision to make and I remember making that decision right after I talked to my grandma my grandma Irma in Spokane and from the trip to Spokane to Seattle as I was driving back I made that decision and it was a scary decision I said you know what God I think you are leading me the straight path for you is for me to go into ministry and I have no idea what that’s going to do to my life you go you say I’m going to go into ministry Well where are you going to live who are you going to be around I had no idea what that would lead to but I said. I’ll do it. And in that moment it was scary but so far it’s worked out pretty well that’s the first one the second one happened almost right after that I was back in Greece Bible college I was a student and maybe it was probably just a few months after this maybe a year later I remember thinking God was laying on my heart this whole idea about trust God was laying on my heart that I needed to start giving and I need to search. I think from my income as a college student you don’t make a lot of money I was a waiter in a restaurant and so I’d make money I’d have cash I’d literally have cash in on lope in a in an envelope in my dorm room and I remember there was this one day where I said you know what I need to make a decision I’m going to trust God to provide for me because I’m going to be a pastor one of these days and I can’t ask people to trust God If I’m not able to trust him with this little area of my life and so I look I visually can picture this in my own mind right now looking at all the cash counting it out realizing I had about two hundred fifty dollars that I made from tips and it was my hand kind of shaking and I took out twenty five dollars. This is going to work I’m going to die you know was going to have it and putting it in another although I wasn’t able to be at church on Sunday I think we were gone maybe like a soccer trip or something and I gave it to my friend and it is one of those moments where I said I have to do this right now I’ve made this decision I have to do right now I gave it to him and said I’m not going to be a church can you put in the offering plate for me. And I have ties ever since then and God has given me abundantly more than anything that I’ve ever needed in this life and so I made that decision and he trusted him the third one deals with all of you. It’s when we decided to come here in be moved to Phoenix and take the pastor of this church I remember that spring we had decided that we were going to fix up our house and we wanted to sell it we wanted to get a smaller house and so we were in the process of selling our house and this is in the summer of two thousand and six and in West Michigan the housing market was horrible it was horrible about one or two years before it was horrible here in Phoenix and we had our house already up for sale and the church during that time asked us would you consider coming down here in Canada and so we moved on and we came down here in August and we met everyone in church and when we came home we really thought we’re supposed to go this is what we’re supposed to do but I kept wanting because I’m a human being I kept. God didn’t make the sign really clear you know that you’ll know that you’re supposed to go of the house sells and the house had already been on the market even before any of this took place and it wasn’t selling we weren’t getting any calls we had a couple open houses a couple he would come through and then we came to the day where we had to realize we have to make a decision and so Chris and I we thought about this we prayed about this and we said what do we feel God has is calling us to do. And he’s calling us to Phoenix. OK We’re going to do this our entire worldly wealth was in the equity of our house and it needed to sell and we thought you know what that’s God’s problem let’s make this decision let’s do this and see what God does that very Sunday that I announced to the congregation that we were resigning and we’re going to take the church down here in Phoenix soon as I was done I went home and we had an open house and literally within two hours of making that announcement the next people that walked through the door they Doxes they knocked on the door they came in and I said Is your house still for sale you know we’ve been looking at it online we love this house and we want to write an offer. I didn’t know that they were going to do this but God did and God made sure that I made that decision first and I did not only in my own understanding and I knowledge in all my ways and he provided. Those are big events in my life those are big things that I can always look back and say God provided for me I did not lean on my own understanding I trusted him he made the past great for me well let’s look at Daniel and see what happens with Daniel because this is such a great lesson trusting in the Lord with all your heart do not lean on your own understanding you know God He loves it when we live by faith and we set aside our desire to control everything and I don’t think that God leads us to do foolish things I think there’s a lot of foolish things done in the name of religion or people say God told me to do this and you know I probably didn’t but you really just wanted to do. Anyway but if God asks us to do something that aligns with his word and we can correctly apply it to our lives then we should take that step of faith so let’s read and finish our story and what I hope is going to happen is today you will be encouraged and inspired because maybe there’s an area of your life where you know God is leading you toward something but you are rationalizing it in your own mining saying I really shouldn’t do this because this might go wrong and this might go wrong and I don’t have this ready and I don’t have this ready and God saying well you just stop trying to lean on your own understanding and just trust me and so maybe God might use this story today to inspire you well let’s pick up Daniel Chapter six and we’ll go back a little bit just so we can kind of get the context you know let’s start in verse fourteen. So Daniel Chapter six beginning in verse fourteen. This is right when the satraps had trapped Daniel and told the king that he they caught him breaking the law. Then the king verse fourteen when he heard these words was much distressed inside his mind to deliver Daniel and he labored told the sun went down to rescue him then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king you know King that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction ordinance that the king establishes can be changed. Then the king commanded in Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions the king declared to Daniel may your god whom you serve continually deliver you and the stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den and the king sealed it with his own segment and with the Signet of his lords that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting no diversions were brought to him and sleep fled from him you know this part always confused me especially is if you if you read the story you know what happens to everyone else why didn’t the lions attack Daniel immediately you know how is it that they could lower Daniel into. This pit and seal it and then have the signet ring making sure that there’s no sealer so they can’t get back out as I was reading this one of the commentaries that I read said usually in a situation they had a large two sections that were divided by an iron gate and so that kind of makes sense they lower Daniel into one section the Lions are in the other section they seal it King Dariya says to Daniel may your Lord rescue you I have no idea if he will but I hope that he does they seal it and then at some point in time they lifted the gate and the Lions were free. To keep breeding. Then at daybreak the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions and as he came near to the den where Daniel was he cried out in a tone of anguish the king declared to Daniel Oh Daniel servant of the Living God How does your god whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the Lions. I wonder if Daniel had a sense of humor you know because if he did this would be the perfect time I don’t know how long he waited to answer King various But this is what he said verse twenty one then Daniel said to the king old King Live Forever My God sent his angel and shut the lion’s mouth and they have not harmed me because I was found blameless before him and also before you a king I have done no harm then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded the Daniel be taken up out of the dance so Daniel was taken up out of the den and no kind of harm was found on him because he had trusted in his god. And the king commanded and those men who had maliciously accuse Daniel were brought in and cast into the den of lions they their children and their wives and before they reached the bottom of the den the Lions overpowered them and broke all their bones. You know seems kind of a harsh concert. Doesn’t it but this was actually a Persian law and the conspirators anyone who is conspiring against a king or an official or someone like that they knew what the rules the rules are going to be and so what happened is a Persian ruler would not want any family members to remain after they executed another family member they wouldn’t want any wives or kids conspiring to kill the king after he executed their family members and so the Kings figured it’s easier to just bury more people then to keep your eye open for future potential assassins and everyone knew this and anyone who was conspiring to do something evil should have known this in the service as an example if you do something evil the consequences are not just for you but for your family as well and so they should have known this now there’s a there’s a proverb that says Proverbs twenty six twenty seven whoever digs a pit will fall into it and the stone will come back on him who starts rolling it and so they got exactly what they deserved verse twenty five. Then King various wrote to all the peoples nations and languages that dwell in all the earth peace be multiplied to you I make a decree that all my royal Dominion people are to tremble in fear before the God of Daniel for he is the Living God enduring forever his kingdom shall never be destroyed and his dominion shall be to the end he delivers in rescues he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth he who has saved Daniel from the power of lions so this Daniel prosper during the reign of various In the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Now with the rest of our time what I want us to talk about is the fact that our God is a deliberate. You know the entire book of the Bible is a story of redemption meaning God had an original plan for us to live in a perfect relationship with him and sin entered. World and the rest of the Bible is an explanation of how God is redeeming in restoring that and in order for us to be redeemed in the resort it means that our God needs to deliver us in times when we can’t deliver ourselves and we see this time and time again all throughout the Bible man kind is in a position of weakness and God comes in in his position of power and he delivers us and he does this in a variety of ways and one way that we see here in Daniel Chapter six one way that he can deliver his children is with angels all right with angels we see this a few times in Scripture for those of you who are familiar with the story in Acts Chapter twelve Peter is thrown into prison probably to be executed but in the middle of the night an angel came and delivered him there’s other examples from scripture can you put up Psalm thirty four go ahead and you can look at this as I’m reading this some thirty four talks about this. He David says I sought the Lord and He answered me in delivered me from all my fears those who look to him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried in the Lord heard him and saved him out of all of this troubles the angel of the Lord in camps around those who fear him and delivers them. You know you read this and this is the subject of angels is such a fascinating subject I’ve always wanted to be brave enough to preach a sermon series on angels because it’s such a fascinating subject but I’m afraid to because it’s just so many unknowns with this like for instance have you ever seen an angel there’s no way you can say yes you just wouldn’t know there’s another passage and he wrist thirteen he was thirteen to some of you might be familiar with this do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for there by some have entertained angels unawares so maybe you have seen an angel in your life maybe you haven’t it’s such an interesting subject but in this case God delivered Daniel. To an angel but back to being God being a deliver in verse twenty King various asked Daniel he said Oh Daniel servant of the Living God has your god whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the Lions this word for deliver this specific Hebrew word for deliveries only of seven times in all of Scripture right there’s other ones a very similar ones over you several other times but this specific one is only seven times and all seven times are in the Book of Daniel the first three are in Chapter three during the fiery furnace where God delivered Chadrick me second to Bendigo out of the fire furnace and the other four are all here in chapter six dealing with Daniel being delivered what this teaches us is that our God is a deliver and he has and he will deliver us from the most terrible things that we will ever face in our lifetime and I want to leave you with two things that God has delivered us from and God will deliver us and so I just want as you’re going through your life when you’re making decisions and you’re realizing I have to I have to trust God with this it’s good for us to understand the ways in which God has already worked in our on our behalf and so the first thing that we need to have in the back of our mind two ways of God delivers the first way is that God has delivered us from eternal punishment cautions one if you if you have your Bibles open I want you to churn there’s a couple passages I want you to look at first one is in cautions chapter one. Beginning in verse twelve. Cautions chapter one beginning in verse twelve. Here is a time that we see this word deliver. In this in this E.S.P. it’s translated transfer but it’s the same word for deliver cautions one twelve and following it says giving thanks to the Father who is qualified you to share in the inheritance of. The Saints in the light he has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins and so this passage teaches us that if you’re here today and you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ his death and resurrection then what God has already done is he has delivered you from the domain of darkness and transferred you and placed you into this the kingdom of the Son that He loves the kingdom of light and you are forever a child of God And so this is something that has already taken place this is not something that you can do for yourself and if you place your faith in Jesus Christ you came to the decision in your realization that you need to trust God with your salvation this is not something that you can do on your own you have to trust him and so if you’ve done that then God has already delivered you and transferred you into the kingdom of his beloved Son Well that’s dealing with of the future we want deliverance in this life right well God also shows us that in this life he delivers us from a couple different things the first thing it’s taught us and first US alone aeons One is that God will if we’re still alive the liver us from the wrath to come meaning the Great Tribulation go to first US alone aeons one. First US alone in chapter one. Verse nine and ten. The people in Thessalonica were very concerned that the raptured already taken place in Thessalonians is where Paul teaches us the doctrine of the rapture and that’s where God will come and take us away before the tribulation starts here on Earth the seven years that are absolutely horrible and human history and first US alone eons one nine it says for they themselves report concerning us the kinds of reception we had among you and now you turn to God from idols and serve the true the living and true God to wait for his son from have been whom he. We raise from the dead Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. Do you think things are pretty bad on earth right now I think all of us would do it’s things are getting bad they’re continually getting worse but they’ll they’re nothing like it will be during the seven years the tribulation but this teaches us that God will deliver us from the raft to come and we won’t have to deal with that and not only that some of us are thinking well we have no idea when that’s going to happen but I think it’s problems in my life all the time the Bible also teaches us that God does from time to time deliver us from some earthly troubles go to second Timothy Chapter four. Second term of the chapter four says Paul talking about God delivering him. Second Timothy Chapter four. Beginning in verse seventeen. Saying Timothy four seventeen says. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed in all the Gentiles might hear it so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth and so Paul was rescued in this way and we don’t know if an angel was used we have no idea verse eighteen the Lord will rescue me the same word for deliver will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom to him be the glory forever and ever amen and so Paul knew that as long as he was acknowledging God and walking in that straight path that God had laid out for him Paul knew that God would continually deliver him so that he can continue to serve God you know we talk about this how God can deliver us but there are obviously examples in scripture and there are examples in our life where God doesn’t deliver people and he doesn’t deliver them for a variety of reasons I want you to go to the last passage we’re going to look at. Go to Hebrews eleven. Hebrews Chapter eleven this is the great chapter on face and he was Chapter eleven. We read about all these different people that lived by faith and we are inspired by their example and we get down to verse thirty two and the author of Hebrews he’s starting to rattle off several more names of people that live by faith and he gets to this point and he says this Hebrews eleven thirty two. And what more shall I say for time would fail me to tell of Gideon Beric Samson Jephthah David and Samuel the prophets who through face conquered kingdoms in force justice obtain promises in these next two are references to Daniel who stopped the mouths of lions who quenched the power of fire who escaped the edge of the sword were made strong out of weakness became mighty and wore put foreign armies to fought flight women to receive back their dead by resurrection and as in the middle of this he stops the author stops and now he starts talking about those that God didn’t deliver and why they trusted God anyway so off way through verse thirty five says some more torture refusing to accept release so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging and even chains and imprisonment they were stoned they were saw on into they were killed with the sword they went about in skins of sheep and goats destitute afflicted mistreated of whom the world was not worthy wandering about in deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth and all these though commended through their face did not receive what was promised since God had provided something better for us that apart from us they should not be made perfect you know in Daniel’s case he was delivered from certain death why.
First and foremost so that God would be honored but maybe this is something that we need to consider maybe he delivered in because he wasn’t done using Daniel he had more things for him to do and I think that’s something that you and I need to realize that God is a deliverer and if you’re living your life making sure that you’re following the path that God has for you and you’re serving him there’s nothing that can happen to you that God won’t allow and as long as he has more for you to do he will continue to deliver you from anything that comes your way. Our God is a deliver you know this I started off by talking about the three big areas of my life where I saw God deliver and provide for me in a way I knew I couldn’t do on my own. And so I ask I just I wonder do you have any stories in your life of how God has delivered you obviously and I’m referring to beyond your sins and the fact that you have the hope of eternal life but if someone were to ask you how do you know God is real how do you know that I can trust God Do you have any stories in your life where you can share with another person I hope you do I hope you can say oh yeah I have I have several I wish I could tell them to you right now but if you don’t if you don’t why not. If you don’t have a story why not and ask you a couple questions and I don’t do this to make you feel guilty but to challenge you to live by faith if you don’t have any stories is it because you are afraid because you’re afraid to live by faith you’re free to do anything that goes beyond your understanding or is because you’re afraid or do you not have any stories because you’re simply you’re not paying attention you’re not listening you’re doing your own saying you’re not looking to God to to show you that path or do you not have any stories because you just want to be in control. You know all of those are relatable I can relate to all of those things but I gan you and like all these people in the book of Hebrews and like the entire Bible itself God is wanting us to live by faith and when we live by faith he will deliver us I hope this story from Daniel inspires all of us to do what proverb says to not trust in our own understanding but to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and in face we will pursue anything that God is leading us towards this close in prayer. There Laura down sometimes life is scary. And we sense that you might be leading us to do something in obedience and faith and or we can come up with so many reasons why we should we can see danger and we can see problems if we follow you but Lord I just pray that this this passage the story of Daniel how he looked beyond his own understanding and he realized that you are a god that’s big enough to save and deliver him and he trusted you he knew exactly what he was supposed to do and he put his face in you and he trusted you and Lord you delivered him. Lord I thank you for the ways in my own personal life that you have shown me. Now when I follow the path that you lay before me you will deliver you will make sure things happen and Lord I pray that strew for us not only as individuals but also as a church there might come a time where we have to follow it and say well there are several reasons why we shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t do that but instead Lord you want us to live by faith and not by sight and so Lord help our facing you to be a testimony to the world around us just like Daniels was to us and if there’s anyone here today struggling with something they know that you are calling them to do Lord use this as an example to inspire them to not trust in their own mind in their own intellect but to trust in you Lord continue to deliver us as long as we can be used and serve you we present Christ Amen and now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all a myth.