1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you very much for tuning in to this broadcast.
3. We are in the middle of a series of messages we are calling “Standing Firm in a World of Shifting Sands,”
4. and I want to begin this message by making a personal confession.
5. I find that there is no more discouraging and frustrating thing for me than unfinished tasks.
6. I can’t stand an unfinished anything.
7. I will do whatever it takes to finish whatever I started.
8. For me, there is nothing more tragic than the unfinished painting or unfinished symphony,
9. or half-built house,
10. or incomplete manuscript.
11. These are all reminders to me that we all have the inclination to stop working on projects before we have completed them;
12. and that is why finishing well is one of my top priorities in life.
13. I have seen people start a venture with a great deal of enthusiasm, but, soon, they lose interest.
14. I have seen new Christians begin their Christian life with zeal and passion, then soon, they lose heart.
15. I have seen members join a church with excitement and commitment, then soon, their commitment gives way to apathy.
16. I have seen people make all sorts of promises, but soon, they forget them;
17. and we saw together that Daniel and his friends began their testimony and their stand for God as teenagers.
18. Daniel and his three friends took their stand when they were young boys;
19. and we all stand in awe of their commitment and faithful devotion to God;
20. but it is one thing to be enthusiastic and fearless when you are a young Christian,
21. and it’s another matter altogether to be enthusiastic and fearless as an older Christian.
22. It is one thing to be committed to Christ when you are struggling in life,
23. and it is another thing altogether for Jesus to be your All-in-All when you are not in need of anything.
24. Daniel, Chapter 6, is, without a doubt, the most well-known Chapter in the whole Bible.
25. Daniel in the den of lions has been the subject of books and paintings and inspirational stories;
26. but what most people miss out on this Chapter is the fact that Daniel finished well.
27. At the age of 14, he told the King of Babylon that he would not eat the food that he had been offered to idols;
28. and 65 years later, at the age of 79, he tells the King of Persia that he will not worship any other God but the true God.
29. If you look at Daniel, Chapter 6, you will find three things that are required to finish well.
30. The first is being alert to the persistent temptation, and you find that in verses 1 to 9.
31. The second is being anchored to the past testimony, and we find that in verses 10 to 17;
32. and the third is being assured of the promised triumph, verses 18 to 28.
33. To finish well, you must always be on your guard against temptation.
34. In Daniel’s case, he could have said, “I have survived King Nebuchadnezzar.
35. I have survived King Belshazzar,
36. I have survived more than 60 years of pressure and temptation.
37. I can surely now survive King Darius.”
38. Daniel rightfully and naturally could have said to himself, “I have withstood temptation since the age of fourteen...”
39. but Daniel knew that the tempter is always working at any age;
40. so, at this point in time, Daniel’s colleagues and staff became an instrument of Satan’s scheme.
41. They came to the King with words of flattery, and the King fell for it, and the trap was set.
42. Had the King been wise, he would have discerned this plot immediately;
43. but flattery has a marvelous effect on people.
44. Flattery boosts a person’s pride.
45. These plotting politicians said, “King, make a law that can never be broken.”
46. What was that new law that they wanted the King to enact?
47. It was that, for thirty days, no one could worship any other god except the King;
48. and, once that royal law was signed, it could never be changed.
49. This temptation had placed Daniel in a predicament.
50. Should he miss worship for thirty days?
51. Should he miss his daily worship just for thirty days?
52. Should he stop being in fellowship with God just for thirty days?
53. Oh, what a temptation!
54. You see, the devil seldom tempts the faithful to permanently cease to be faithful at once;
55. but the devil will tempt us to be unfaithful just for a few hours, or few days, or few weeks.
57. Because he knows that the first step toward unfaithfulness to God is the easiest for us;
58. but, to finish well, you need to be alert to the persistent temptation, no matter how old you are.
59. Secondly, to finish well, you need to be anchored in the past testimony.
60. You’ll find that in verses 10 to 17 of Daniel, Chapter 6.
61. Now, what do I mean by that?
62. If I were in Daniel’s place, most likely, I would have panicked.
63. I would have gone to the King and said, “These guys tricked you in order to sabotage me.
64. Oh, King, you know how faithful I am!
65. Oh, King, you know how I have stayed out of trouble...”
66. and I think that’s what most of us would have done;
67. but not Daniel.
68. He went home and he continued his usual schedule, as if nothing had happened.
69. He was unshakable.
70. Do you know why?
71. Because he was anchored in his past testimony.
72. He was affirmed by God’s past interventions in his life.
73. He was trusting in his past experience with God.
74. My listening friend, do you know what the problem with all of us is, especially when we face a trial in life?
75. We forget God’s past interventions in our lives;
76. so, instead of saying, “Back yonder, God did this and did that, and He will do it again,”
77. we panic and we say, “Oh, yes, He did it back then, but I doubt that He will do it again.”
78. Daniel’s strength was that he had learned to trust in God’s past interventions as evidence that God will do it again.
79. Daniel’s strength was that he had developed confidence in his God’s power;
80. and nothing could shake his faith.
81. Daniel’s strength was that, for over 65 years, he was able to say “No” to sin;
82. and every time he said “No” to sin, the power of God grew deeper inside of him.
83. My listening friend, please listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
84. The more faithful you are to God, the more of God’s power you will receive;
85. but every time you give in to sin and disobedience, you weaken your spiritual resistance.
86. My listening friend, I want to tell you something of uttermost importance.
87. The real den of lions was in Daniel’s prayer closet,
88. for it was in his prayer closet that Daniel had learnt that he would rather lose his life than lose his testimony;
89. and, if you had said to Daniel, “Daniel, it’s only for thirty days.”
90. He would have said to you, “Not even for thirty seconds will I abandon my faith.”
91. You may have said, “Daniel, now you are rich. Now, you are at the height of your career. Why risk everything just for thirty days of compromise?”
92. But not Daniel.
93. Every faithful believer understands this fact:
94. that your prayer closet is your war room.
95. You win or lose in your war room before you get into the battlefield;
96. and, when Daniel prayed, he prayed toward Jerusalem.
97. Why is that?
98. That was the city of promise.
99. God told Jeremiah that His people will go into exile for 70 years, then they will return;
1. and Daniel knew that the time for God’s fulfillment of His promise was drawing near;
2. so, by facing Jerusalem, Daniel was kneeling on the promises of God;
3. and, so, finishing well means that you are, first, alert to the temptation.
4. Secondly, anchored in your testimony.
5. Thirdly, assured of the triumphant promise.
6. Let us look at verses 18 to 28 of Daniel, Chapter 6.
7. I don’t want you to miss verse 18, because it’s really hilarious.
8. Who is the one who spent a restless and sleepless night?
9. It was not Daniel.
10. It was the King who was the sleepless one.
11. As soon as Daniel was lowered into the den of lions, these lions went into special formation.
12. These lions made a beautiful, soft mattress for Daniel to sleep on;
13. and Daniel went to sleep like a baby on the straw among the lions.
14. Meanwhile, the King in his fancy bed was tossing and turning.
15. God promised victory and triumph to His faithful servants and God isn’t going to go back on His promises;
16. but notice I said, “…His faithful servants?”
18. Why didn’t He just promise victory to everyone?
19. Oh, because, often, we want triumph and victory without being faithful.
20. We often want blessings without meeting the conditions of the blessing;
21. and we see how, once again, God delivers His faithful servant, not out of trouble, but in the midst of trouble.
22. Let me tell you this, my listening friend,
23. I would rather be a child of faith in a den of lions than a king in the grandest palace without faith;
24. so the King could not wait till morning light to run down the road to where the lion’s den was;
25. and, there, he broke the seal and opened the door of the den, thinking that his friend, Daniel, would be dead;
26. but he discovered that the den was not Daniel’s tomb. It was Daniel’s tabernacle.
27. The power of God that would later raise Jesus Christ from the dead was that same power that kept Daniel from being devoured by hungry lions.
28. The God who gave Jesus power over death gave Daniel power over the angels of death;
29. and, so, I end where I began, my listening friend.
30. Finishing well,
31. finishing with greater power,
32. finishing with greater strength, requires only one thing:
34. It is my prayer that you would be a faithful servant of the living God.
35. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.