The Prophet Daniel knew what it meant to love God. He knew that when we obey the word of the Lord; His love and mercies will become stronger in our lives as His children. By loving God with all of his heart, mind, body and strength Daniel was able to open up his spirit man, into the depth of the knowledge of God.
The more we fall in love with Jesus, the more our heart is enlightened into understanding spiritual truth.
On one occasion Daniel was able to touch the very center of God’s heart, even before he started praying and interceding on behalf of his people. God had dispatched an angel to give him an answer, concerning what he was about to pray for.
The archangel Gabriel told him:
“As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:”
Daniel 9:23 NIV
Why was Daniel “highly esteemed” before God? Daniel was highly esteemed before God, because he had loved God faithfully and in a manner, that no one else in Israel did at that period in her history, while they were still living in exile.
We need to note here that Daniel was not praying about his own personal needs during the captivity. He was praying for his people, who had gone astray away from God.
Daniel said while praying to God about the situation of the Israelites, during the Babylonian captivity:
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,”
Daniel 9:4 NIV
According to Daniel, God will always keep His covenant of love with those who keep His commandments. Love is a very powerful force in our covenant with God by the blood of Jesus Christ. Daniel got spiritually strong as he kept himself in that covenant of love with the Lord, by obeying His commandments. God never hid anything from Daniel about the future of his country, his people and the world around him in general. That’s how powerful our ability to stay focused on the love of God is, to our spiritual growth as Christians.
Spiritual growth comes only to those who are spiritually sensitive to spiritual things. Daniel was very sensitive to spiritual things, to the extent that he would not even eat what others around him were eating (Daniel 1:8&9). That’s also why he would not worship the gods of this world, like the people around him were doing in Babylon (Daniel 6). He did all of these so as to keep himself strong in the covenant of love with God. He would not do anything to hurt his relationship with God.
Are you doing things in your life today, which gives you the boldness to be able to stand before God without reproach? Check up on your love walk with Jesus, and don’t follow the crowd around you.
The crowd was wrong during the time of Daniel. Popular opinion was wrong during the time of Jesus also. He was nailed to the cross, with regards to the popular opinions of His days. And the same crowd around you today may be very wrong also. The only thing that will never fail you, is your faithfulness in keeping yourself strong in the love of God. God’s love was what kept Daniel strong through difficult times. And it will keep you strong also.
If we want to get strong in obeying God, we will do what Daniel did by loving God, so as to get the results that came out of his life. Yes, we may acknowledge that we do live in a world, where people tend to pay more attention to natural things, rather than to spiritual things. Daniel’s world was not different from our own world today. The people in Daniel’s time were less concerned about God’s word. They were all busy doing their own things. But Daniel was able to grow up spiritually, by regularly practicing what God’s word said to him.
Therefore for us to grow up spiritually in a polluted worldly environment like ours today, the word of God is very important for us to obey. If Daniel could do it during his time, you can do it also.
DON’T FOLLOW GOD HALFHEARTEDLY, AS KING SAUL DID…
You see King Saul once failed to obey God’s commandment in destroying the Amalekites. He received the word of God to destroy the Amalekites completely, but because he was not daily strengthening himself to live by that very same commandment from God to annihilate them, he became weak in carrying it out to the end.
Instead of obeying God wholeheartedly, King Saul paid more attention to the opportunistic judgment of the world around him. He chose to disregard the commandment of God to him, by not destroying all the loots of the enemy and their king. We can’t live a lifestyle of full obedience to God, if we are not daily learning to grow in His word and commandments to us.
We’ve got to be constantly reminding ourselves about His commandments and words, if we truly desire to wholeheartedly obey them. We’ve got to constantly renew our minds with those commandments and words, until they become a lifestyle pattern for us to live by in obeying them.
Have you been slack in obeying God lately? The example of Saul may be a warning for you, to stop ignoring God’s word. Saul thought that God was not so concerned about the details of the instructions that were given to him. But he was wrong.
Saul was told by Samuel:
…“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:22-23 NIV
Whenever we refuse to obey God, we are actually rejecting His word. We may have heard God clearly, or His Spirit may have opened our spiritual eyes of understanding, into the right course of actions about certain situations in life. But if we don’t obey Him, by doing what is being revealed to us to do; we are actually in disobedience to Him.
You see, it is not all the time that God will speak in an audible voice to your heart. Your born again spirit has the ability to identify and differentiate evil from good. And in most cases God speaks and directs our pathway in life in such a manner as His children. That’s why you don’t ever ignore that spiritual nodding in your heart to do the right thing.
If we know the right thing to do; but we’ve decided not to do it, God is justified in rejecting us also, since we have rejected His spiritual truth to us. Don’t ever think about trying to fool around with God. He sees every steps that you are taking at all times. He knows you more than you do know yourself. So stop giving those flimsy excuses that you do know yourself better. Or that you know that your heart is clear before God. If you do know that you are not completely obeying God, then you are rejecting Him. PERIOD!
Anyone who rejects God’s word, will be rejected by Him also. There are eternal consequences for rejecting the knowledge and wisdom of God.
The Lord had said:
“…I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Deuteronomy 5:9-10 NIV
God loves those who love to obey and live by His commandments. But those who reject them are rejected and despised by Him also.
Oftentimes people who do suffer under generational curses, just need to learn not to repeat the stupid acts of disobedience to God by their parents. This will help them to turn those curses into the blessings in their lives. (Galatians 3:13-14).
Unfortunately for king Saul’s children after him, they decided to follow the acts of disobedience to God which their father had made. The same mistake is being made in our world today, especially by people who claim to be ignorantly following the traditions of their parents, in blatant disregard to the word or commandment of God. Don’t get yourself caught in those generational curses, all for the sake of following the traditions of your parents.
If those traditions are clearly against the word of God, they will become a big hindrance to your spiritual growth. Turn them all around into blessings today, by turning your heart to love God more than those who lived before you did:
“Jesus said.., “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
By loving God’s word we are able to tell Him that we love Him also. And if we say that we do love God’s word, we will always do what He tells us to do in it. The word of God is never archaic, out of date or out of fashion. His words are as real today as they were, at the time those words were written down.
GOD’S WORD IS SPIRIT, LIFE AND LIGHT
God’s word is Spirit and His word is what imparts us with the life, that we do live for Christ.
Jesus once declared:
“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
John 6:63 NLT
God’s word is always spiritual. His word not only rules the spiritual world; but our physical and natural world came into existence by the power of His spoken or declared word. That’s why no Christian can be truly successful on earth, without being connected to God’s word. No one can ever overcome the evil of this world, without being connected with God. This explains why you will always need God’s Word, to be able to make it in the world.
David once said about God’s word:
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Psalm 119:105 NIV
In other words, we would have been lost in this world of sin, without the word of God. God’s word is the spiritual compass for our lives, that we use always in navigating through a world that is evil and chaotic, as we do exploits for the kingdom of God, in saving lives from the destructions of hell.
Our thirst for reading and studying God’s word, does not only bring His loving kindness closer to us. It is the light of God that illuminates our pathway of righteousness.
MIRRORING YOURSELF THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD
When the light of God shines on our pathway, we are able to navigate our way through life. But it is of no use to just navigate our pathways through life, without allowing the light of God to illuminate our inner man, so that we can be able to see through ourselves. This is what the word of God also does for us.
Apostle James said:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
James 1:22-25 NIV
God’s word is the mirror of His love into our lives. The word of God serves as the mirror of His love towards us, in showing us that no earthly work in man’s wisdom, philosophy or intellectualism, can ever match up with who we really are as the children of God.
You see a mirror helps us only if we can act, to correct the error on the image, that is being reflected on it. If for example, we do see a dirt on our facial reflection in a mirror, we are smart enough to get rid of the dirt from our face.
No lady as another example, likes to go to sleep at night with a dirty face of makeup. No, most ladies are smarter enough to give themselves a face wash, before sleeping at the end of each day.
The same thing goes with our spiritual lives, as the word of God probes through our inner man. If we observe anything in our lives, which may prevent the flow of God’s love through us; we need to be smart in doing the right thing in getting rid of it.
We’ll do this so that we may be more emboldened to confront the enemy in spiritual warfare. We will also do this so as to be bold before God, as we approach His throne of mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16).
No child of God should be shy or ashamed, of standing before his or her heavenly Father. We have boldness before God, because we are taking the right steps, in getting rid of the spiritual dirt out of our lives. We’re getting rid of the dirt which are being reflected from the mirror of God’s word, as we are meditating on it.
The scriptures says about access into the presence of God in Heaven:
“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Revelation 21:27 NIV
There is no deceit or silly games with sin in the presence of God. Nothing impure or with sin in it can stand or go unnoticed in His presence. No, we are not ashamed either of who we are as the children of God. That’s why we are able to approach Him boldly and without reproach.
The mirror of the word of God can only help us, to readjust in doing the right things, if only we are ready to change. If after we had opened our spiritual eyes of understanding, to see the uncleanliness in our lives; we are actually taking the necessary steps, in bringing our lives in line with God’s requirements. This is what we have to do for the love of God, to continually shine through our lives.
And because we do love God, we will always be prompted to do the right things. God’s love will always compel us to do the right things. God’s love will always make its appeal to us through His word.
Our initial response to the reflection of an unclean image on our inner man, from the mirror of God’s word should always be, to receive it first as a fact of life. It is a fact, but not the truth about who we really are.
The truth is about who God says that we are. There is a difference between facts and the truth. The truth has to do with God’s word to us, about who we are as His children.
But if we can’t accept the fact that is presented before us on the mirror of God’s word, the reality of us being rooted and grounded in the truth, about our real identity with God will become vague.
Many have ignored the facts of their lives, that they do see regularly through their meditations in God’s word. They are continually living with those facts of their lives, without doing anything about them in getting rid of them. They are going through life while struggling to accept the truth about who they are in God’s word. They are finding it difficult to accept their real identity in Christ Jesus. This explains why they are not growing spiritually, because they can’t accept the facts in their lives, and receive the truth about their identity in Christ Jesus.
And there are so many who are relating to the dirt in their spiritual lives in this manner. The blockage of sin in their lives is preventing the flow of God’s love through them. They really want to love as Christ taught us to love, but they are carrying too much spiritual baggage from their pasts in their lives.
We must learn to accept whatever God has declared about us in His word, without struggling to accept it as the truth. That’s how our faith works to manifest what is believed with the heart. We must learn to allow our faith to appropriate God’s provision for us.
The more we look into the mirror of God’s word, the more we shall behold the glory that is being reflected on it (2 Corinthians 3:18). And then the lesser we will be able to see the spiritual dirt in our lives, without ignoring any one of them at all. But we will rather be doing something to get rid of them.
This is how more of God’s glory will be reflected through us. God’s love is manifested with His glory in our lives in this way.
The Holy Spirit will transform us as long as we continue to look at the mirror of God’s word. But as soon as we take our spiritual eyes away from the mirror of God’s word, to turn into the wisdom, theories or the theologies of men, the Holy Spirit will no longer work in us, to make us perfect in love. We need to remember that it is our love walk that makes us perfect as Christians. And our perfection is only in Christ Jesus.
RENEW YOUR MIND TO BE MATURED IN LOVE
Also by meditating on the word of God, we are able to receive His light for directions in life. This was the blueprint for success, that Joshua received from the Lord before leading the Israelites into battles.
God had told him:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful.”
JOSHUA 1:8 AMP
We are able to discern the good from the evil of this world, as we give God’s word top priority in our lives.
God’s word separates the thoughts of our mind, from that of our spirit man through the process of meditation. By meditating on the word of God, we are able to properly process the thoughts of our mind, so as to be able to discern what is pleasing and acceptable before God in it. This process helps us in identifying and separating those thoughts, from the thoughts of our born again spirit man.
The mind often relies on the natural knowledge to function in formulating its opinions. The opinions from our mind are often deceptive. But through the process of meditation on the promises of God, the natural knowledge is replaced by the supernatural knowledge and wisdom of God.
The process of replacing our natural thoughts for the supernatural thoughts, is what Paul called the – “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Our quest and love for God’s word is what triggers this off in our heart. We must understand that supernatural things never comes, without our own effort as we approach God by faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is at the moment when our faith is active before God, that God manifests Himself to us. The renewing of the mind happens as we stop focusing, on seeing the natural or physical proofs of His presence around us. In other words, when we are diligent in seeking Him through the scriptures, we will find Him – God.
The word of God that transforms us comes through the scriptures, and by the spoken word of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. His revealed Word then becomes sweet in our mouth, as we daily confess what we are meditating on.
It brings the sweetness of God and His love into our lives. A sweetness like honey that makes His fragrance of love to flow through us, in saving this world of reckless and restless sinners.
His love has been shed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That is why the works of our hands as Christians will always be fruitful and successful. Real success in life comes as we meditate on His word day and night.
Are you confused about a decision that you need to take on an issue right now? Turn to the word of God for the green light and directions, to get you to where you need to be in life. Stop trying to figure things out in your own natural way or earthly wisdom. God’s word gives His wisdom to a heart, that is open and discerning to hear from Him. Let the love of God move you to start transforming your life with the power of His word today. God is not finished with you yet. You are God’s own perfect work in progress. You are loved of God.