At Gateway Church in Austin, we continued our series called “Unlikely Heroes.” I shared some of the following thoughts:
“We live in a world that needs heroes. We live in a world where abuse, brokenness, selfishness, and corruption are commonplace. We experience the very real results of these destructive elements in our families, businesses, schools, neighborhoods, cities, and nation.
Is it possible for you and me to become a hero? Is it possible we can bring hope, faith, and even love into our relationships? Is it possible we could make a difference in the lives of those around us?
2500 years ago, Daniel had a beautiful future all mapped out for him before it was suddenly taken away. When his country was invaded by the Babylonians, Daniel along with others were taken hostage. He went from royalty to captivity. Eventually though, he became one of the most influential people in his new land.
There are three principles we can apply from the life of Daniel to help us become heroic:
1. Small decisions can have big consequences. (Daniel 1:5-20)
Daniel could have eaten whatever was placed in front of him. Instead, he decided to not eat what was forbidden by his faith. He was determined to honor God even in this foreign land. Since Daniel chose to be faithful in such a small arena, God gave him knowledge, wisdom, and even the ability to understand dreams and visions.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. – 1 Corinthians 10:23
Have you allowed your faith to affect every area of your life? Do you realize that all the decisions we make are spiritual? We are healthiest when our lives are integrated –when our emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual lives connect.
To prepare you for a better future, what is God asking you to sacrifice?
2. Always communicate with humility and honesty. Whether he was standing up for those who could not stand up for themselves, standing up for himself, communicating a message to the King that he wouldn’t want to hear, or talking about his faith, Daniel demonstrated humility and honesty.
”Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.” – Daniel 2:14
Daniel was the one the kings went to when they had a spiritual need or question. Daniel demonstrated a genuine humility – he acknowledged he needed God’s help, and he willingly served these kings in every way without ever compromising his faith.
It was also Daniel’s humility, honesty, and integrity which opened the way for God to continue to give him more opportunities and even more visions. God knew that he could trust Daniel as his messenger.
Daniel was promoted because of his character (Daniel 6:3-5). He received new opportunities because he made wise choices.
3. Trust God regardless of our circumstances. Sometimes sharing the truth gets us into trouble, but we should be people who are known for our humility and honesty – even if it costs us.
Just before entering the fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had this to say to the king:
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” – Daniel 3:17-18
Do we have this level of faith? Do we believe God can rescue us AND that we will follow Him even if He doesn’t?”
To listen or watch this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.