The audio portion contains some worship as well as the time during this service was particularly sweet.
What am I talking about with such a title? Let’s look at Scripture
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
Lions both figuratively and physically can cause great harm…they have been used in ancient Persia, Babylon, Rome and in many cultures to represent the power and strength of a kingdom and to tear and destroy the enemies of that kingdom…
We have our own lion, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus by name…but I can see the attacks preparing against believers…if without shame the Lion that prowls roaring can say trump voters should be reprogramed or Labeled terrorist…it will not be long until anyone who stands against their agenda, will be threatened and attacked…. as believers
We stand against things this roaring lion stand for
The suppression of free speech
The bondage of people
The elimination of the unborn
Alcohol and drug coddling
All religions are equal
These are all things that we believe are wrong but we must be wise to shut the lion’s mouth and we must have integrity and love. To do this we must know the Father’s heart and follow it. Despite these obvious differences the Lord is calling us to an even higher calling to shut the lion’s mouth. I want us to look at a story that shows us a man of integrity and wisdom who understood the Father’s heart
Daniel 6:1- 7
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
120 magistrates were chosen and three administrators over those 120…Daniel was 80-83 years old by this time he was a Jew placed in authority over Persians and Kurds. He had a reputation that opened doors for him…he didn’t pick sides only stayed on the Lord side…
remember Joshua 5:13-15
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
15 Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The winds of political change or correctness do not change the call to live like Jesus and be examples of his love in a broken world.
This “pre-incarnate” appearance of Jesus taught Joshua; Daniel would have known the story, that we are never to make assumptions that the Lord is with us. He is only with us when we put Him first in our lives….as Daniel did through the book of Daniel…How is your reputation? If Christianity were outlawed would there be enough evidence as in Daniel’s life, to convict you
Peter Drucker – management and business consultant, most business people will know that name, was asked one day by a reporter, “Are you a Christian?” His reply was, “You tell me!”
We are always going to be around unrighteous people, perhaps a boss, President, Mayor other leadership, how will you serve? What type of Christian will you be? If God placed them in authority over you, how do you serve with integrity?
Darius and Cyrus were not “Christian” men they were law driven leaders who did as they felt right….we have learned from Daniel, S< M< and Abed-nego that it is not so important as to who is the King as to what King you are serving and doing His will…
Daniel heard about the mandate (the leaders lied, Daniel did not agree to such a decree) but did what he had always done to honor the Lord and his faith Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
The time to learn to pray is not in the crisis but to have developed the relationship well before, so the crises of life don’t control us. Notice what did Daniel do when he heard the eidetic had come down…he didn’t complain saying it was unjust, not fair, he didn’t whine or complain he did what he did all of his life…went to prayer
He knew he would have to see the Lion’s mouths shut or he was a dead man but he knew what to do…Go to the one who loved him the most and talk with him about what to do
Daniel was facing death for sure but he didn’t have fear, his relationship with the Lord was right and he knew his life was always in God’s hands
You see the confidence of knowing your Father in a very real relationship, shuts the mouths of the lions whether you know it, see it or not.
When we try to handle things ourselves without talking to the Lord first to get His heart we will always be devoured by the Lions but as we read early it was a faith walk that shut the lions mouths, trusting God had everything under control.
By always living a life of integrity and confidence before God Daniel had impacted both nebuchadnezzar and Darius….Darius got all of his attorney’s together and worked all day to get Daniel out of this but he was limited by his own law because God had another plan…here is what Darius said when Daniel was thrown in with the Lions.. Daniel 6:16b
But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
Where did Daniel’s encouragement come from? The king ….when our witness is strong and real even our enemies will be at peace with us ….Proverbs 16:7
When we truly walk in love, integrity, in wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit…God allows the gifts He gives us to promote us to reach a broken world…Proverbs 18:16
A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.
The way to shut the lion’s mouths is to walk in wisdom, walk in God’s integrity of prayer, the word and fellowship of believers
I could not shut the church down 1) it was not mandated by our governor to do so our constitution protects the rights of churches (for now) 2) Scripture tells us Hebrews 10:24,25
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
I wasn’t thrown into a lion’s den for it but took a lot of heat from in the church and outside the church as some of you did for attending…but that is faith, doing what the Lord tells you to do
Daniel could have closed his windows and still knelt and prayed but the world knew the way he was always kneeling and praying with the window open, anything else would have lacked integrity
Verse 17 tells us the stone placed over the entrance was sealed with the Kings seal and the seal of the nobles…why
There was no physical or practical way the King, no matter how much he loved Daniel could save him the nobles seal was on it to and they were a kingdom of laws where the king could not violate his own law….
God was up to something bigger in this Kingdom and he knew he could trust Daniel to trust Him.
Can you trust that God is up to something bigger in our world, our nation, our state and region, in your life, than what we see? Will you walk in integrity, love, wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit to allow God to use you to allow every hidden agenda, everything that would stand against the name of our Lord?
Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
Can you imagine an ungodly leader so impacted by you, your spirit, wisdom, power, and love that he frets over you? It happened here and it can happen to you.
You see the world was against Daniel, when they came to accuse him before Darius the Aramaic word that is used means they had a riot forcing Darius to throw Daniel in the den.
You don’t need everyone to like you, you just need to walk in the favor and love of God and walk by faith
Our God is the God we serve shuts the mouths of lions but he opens them too..
Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Daniel had integrity before God and man…the word “believe” here means not simply believe in God, the demons believe but are not going to heaven it means he applied his belief and lived by faith.
Ladies and Gentlemen we might not always understand what God is up to but if we learn to trust him, and walk by faith, being in the word, in prayer, in fellowship, not reacting to things but first finding out the Father’s heart on the matter then being proactive God will shut the mouths of lions and also open them….
Daniel 6:24- 28
And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then King Darius wrote:
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.
For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
You see God wanted to bless Darius and Cyrus but he could not do it with the ungodly counsel trying to usurp them at every corner…he knew Daniel trusted him so he allowed Daniel to walk through a very dangerous place so all of the evil could be exposed and destroyed…and then the whole world under Darius’ authority was given a witness and God was honored….how many people became believers because Daniel was a man of integrity, love and wisdom and would not bow to ungodly mandates.
- How are you at walking in integrity, wisdom, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Can you see leaders around you through Christ’s eyes and become an instrument of influence because of your integrity, love, wisdom, and the Holy Spirit in you?
- Do you practice your faith through reading the Word, prayer, and fellowship in order that you might stand when the time calls for you to bow to the winds of the culture?
- Do people know you are a person of faith and it is something that want to know about and value in you?
- Are you ready to shut the lion’s mouths in your life so the evil around you can be exposed and the Lord can deal with it?