Sunday, May 9, 2010

Walking Into The Lion's Den

When I was in high school, a group of people decided they wanted to start a Bible Study and essentially put me in charge of it (however, there was another leader and pretty much it was ran between her and me). I went to a small school in a picturesque town. When this ministry was dropped in my lap, I was still struggling with the call of God on my life. It never occurred to me the opposition we would face. All lot of things happened in those two years that I will not publicly discuss in this format, but there is one particular instance that always makes me smile.

I was taking a class and the teacher decided that we would hold a debate whether it was okay and legal for us to even have that Bible Study on campus. I was in a situation where people would growl at me and yell satanic slurs at me as I walked through the halls. In this class at the time I was the only one that would publicly stand up for the Bible Study. The schools opinion of me and this group got worse and worse. The tension was thick. Finally, the morning came when the debate would be held. When I awoke that morning, I felt the Lord drop into my spirit that He wanted me to wear a Christian T-shirt. I replied oh so obediently “nope, it’ll only fuel the flames more.” Again, I felt that God wanted me to wear a Christian T-shirt. Finally, I said to the Lord, “Fine, but I have to be able to find one and I don’t know where anything is in the room.” The first shirt my hand hit that morning in the closet was a Christian T-shirt.

As I walked into the room that day, I remember feeling like Daniel going into the Lion’s Den. Many insults were being hurled at me, and I remember just praying that God would somehow be glorified. Unbeknownst to me the teacher of that classroom had called the school principal. Instead of it being the debate that was expected, the principal spoke most of the time telling the entire class about how we were as a group legally in the right. It turned out that I never had to open my mouth but once because I chose too. I watched how God shut the mouth of the enemy. I want to add here, that I have forgiven all of those people. I still pray for them. As it says in 2 Chrionthians 12:10, walking through that kind of persecution just made me stronger and it has helped me be the bold individual I am today. Matthew 5:10 (Message Bible) says, "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
I’ve even had a few stories come back to me over the years of some of those who used to growl at me now have given their lives to the Lord. Praise God!

So why am I bring this story up today? Many of us walk in situations where we may feel like we are Daniel going into a lion’s den. If you aren’t familiar with the story then go read it in Daniel 6. Daniel was standing up for righteousness and some individuals didn’t like him, so they convinced the king that he issue a decree. In that decree, it said that if you prayed to anyone other than the king they were going to be thrown in the lion’s den. These were not just nice little kittens. These were big, mean, growling man-eating lions. These were the kind of animals that would break your bones in one snap. I don’t know about you, but that does not sound like a good way to leave this earth. But Daniel refused to bow. I love it how Daniel stood up and stayed obedient. He kept praying to God and not that king. Daniel stayed all night with those lions and God shut their jaws. Eventually when the king saw that Daniel was still alive the king decreed that God was God throughout the land and he threw the men who’d come against David and all of their families in the lion’s den. The lion’s massacred them.

Are you walking through persecution today? Do you feel like you have to face a lion’s den? Are you in that den? Be encouraged! Romans 2:11 says that God doesn’t show favoritism. In common Christian talk we say that God is no respecter of persons. Meaning? If He does it for one of his children, He’ll do it for you. Situations and circumstances happen in life. Jesus himself in John 15:20 says that if they persecute him they’ll persecute us as His disciples. But God makes us a promise in Romans 8:35 that nothing can separate us from Him. He promised throughout the word repeatedly that he would never leave us or forsake us. If we don’t feel him close then run to Him. Find Him and cling to Him. Let Him protect us in His hands.

I’ve often reflected on that time in high school when I walked through what I did. God’s grace had to be upon me at the time. There were a lot of things on top of this particular situation that was going on in my life. If you find yourself in persecution, remember that His grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9) You will get through this season. Keep trusting in Him. Psalms 91 is a great passage in the Bible. He will protect you and keep you safe. When you dwell in Him, it’s the best place you can find. Trust in Him today! He’ll turn the situation around. He will be glorified in your life. Trust in Him, and it’s going to all work out fine.

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