- We know that before Jesus returns there are birth pains that will test the inhabitants of the earth – geological, environmental, moral, spiritual, financial, relational. There will be worldwide pressure which will reveal what is under the surface of our lives.
- For six months+ we have been in a series of tests. Our priorities, relationships, perspectives, values, etc are being evaluated. Put them all together and these tests reveal how mature, deep is our faith, hope and love for God and others.
- These aren’t pass/fail tests, but rather reveal/renewal. The tests are revealing what is there so that whatever is lacking can be renewed. The Father’s ultimate aim is to have a Bride for His Son who is passionate, powerful, unified and mature in her love.
- Daniel and his three friends are proto-types of what that looks like…of how to live as the Bride of Christ in a Babylonian culture…a culture that is energized by satan which tries to control people through compromise or persecution.
- Daniel and his friends stood strong on their Biblical convictions that were constantly being tested by the culture.
Daniel & His Friend’s Testings
- Ch.1 – the courage and conviction to take a stand and provide an alternative
- Ch.2 – 2.12-19 –
- Ch.3 – 3.13-19
- Ch.4.27 – calls Neb to repentance
- Ch.5- confronts King Belshazzar with truth about his sin
- Ch.6 – not worshipping Darius and thrown into the lion’s cave
- They lived impeccable lives and helped the entire nation but they were hated and stalked by their enemies.
God is using this six month testing season to mature us quickly…
- Will you trust me in the fog and through the fog – the unknown
- How do you shepherd a flock that cannot gather
- Will you listen to My voice through the governing authorities?
- Will you listen and respond to the cries of justice from your brother and sisters of color
- Will you proclaim my truth over your circumstances?
- Will you maintain a positive, faith filled attitude?
- Will you use your time wisely?
- Will you joyfully love those with whom you greatly disagree – position, lifestyle
- Summary: It’s not pass/fail but reveal/renew
All the areas being tested
- Biblical convictions
- Our perception of the future
- Handling disappointment/unmet expectations
- How we navigate loss & grief
- Our speech and attitudes towards our governing authorities/health officials
- Physical well being – are we taking care of our bodies in an honorable way
- Job – loss, finding, future of it
- Our opinions about race, politics
- Racial justice
- Threat of COVID
- Summary: God does not want us to waste anything that is undergoing a test. He is addressing all these things b/c the Bride of Christ needs to make a huge step into deeper maturity in her relationship with Jesus. The way you advance something quickly is you put a lot of effort in a short amount of time to see the quickest impact. Who knows how much longer the testing will continue.
- It is Boot Camp. A short season of pressure/hardship to get us quickly to a place of strength and advancement. If we sent our soldiers to war with no boot camp they would be slaughtered. Boot camp gets you ready for hardships ahead.
- Why I believe the quick maturing is so critical.
God is using this time of testing to mature us quickly so we will be able to stand strong in persecution and shine brightly in darkness.
- Daniel and his friends are prototype of the ET believers. They stood strong during tests and persecution – ch.3 & 6.
- Daniel also had many prophetic words about the persecution ET believers would endure – Dan.7.21f, 25; 11.31-35; 12.9f
- The words of Jesus about the Believers living during the ET – Mt.24.9, Mk13.12f, Lk21.16f, John15 & throughout 1 Pet.
- Do not convince yourselves these verses are only for those who have been left behind and are fighting the anti-Christ.
Whatever God is highlighting – unbiblical conviction, attitude, action, opinion, response – surrender it and submit to His will and voice. God isn’t into pass/fail, but reveal/renew. He is for you and desires the fullest version of you and the most mature version of the Bride of Christ to be revealed in this hour.
If whatever God is testing is not renewed then during the persecution and increasing darkness these things may happen to us: intensifying fear, belligerence, offense towards God and others, massive compromise or apostacy.