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Motivation for Commitment - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2022 12:00 am

Motivation for Commitment - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 26, 2022 12:00 am

Hear the story of Daniel and be motivated to stand firm in your commitments to the almighty King.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, September 26th.

Do you really believe God's way is the best way? Today's podcast helps you evaluate your motivation for commitment with a look at the life of Daniel. If you'll turn to Daniel chapter six for a moment, and you recall that in this particular chapter that the Bible says Darius, now let me tell you what's happened. First of all, you had King Nebuchadnezzar, then you have Belshazzar, then you have Darius.

So the Medes and the Persians have already come in now and taken over Babylon, not only Nebuchadnezzar, but his son also, they've lost the kingdom. And so Darius appoints 120 satraps or servants who will answer to him. And he appoints three commissioners over all these 120. And Daniel is one of those commissioners. And so the scripture says in verse three of Daniel six, then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit and the king plan to appoint him over the entire kingdom that is, Daniel had excelled himself to the degree that he was going to be appointed the prime minister over all of Babylon.

So what happens what normally happens, the other commissioners and satraps began to be very jealous and sought, the Bible says in verse four, a ground of accusation against Daniel. So they found one. They found out that three times a day he opened his wonder up in his home and he prayed toward Jerusalem to Jehovah God.

They found out about it. They went to the king. They said, oh, King live forever. Real pious hypocrites. Oh, King live forever. We think it'd be a wonderful out there if you would establish a decree that says for 30 days, anyone who bows down to anyone else but you and your gods and worships them, they should be thrown in the lion's den. He said, I think that's a wonderful idea. So he signed the edict and he wrote it according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which meant there was absolutely no way to revoke that law for 30 days. There were to be absolutely no exceptions to the law.

Well, what did they do? Well, listen to this wonderful verse, verse 10. Now, when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house. Now in his roof chamber, he had windows open toward Jerusalem and he continued kneeling on his knees three times.

Listen, he continued, he didn't start it to impress anybody. He continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God as he had done previously or had been doing previously. Now, of course, what they did is they waited until they saw him do it, went straight to the king and they said, oh king, we caught Daniel praying toward Jerusalem to his God. So they'll reign Daniel before the king. The Bible says that Daniel is placed into the lion's den, thrown in the lion's den by the king, but it's interesting what the king said. Verse 16, then the king gave orders and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lion's den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, here's the king who's throwing in the lion's den. He said to Daniel, Daniel, your God whom you constantly serve will himself deliver you. Can you imagine the kind of witness that Daniel had already had in Babylon with the king saying, Daniel, I have seen such in your life. I believe that even though I throw you in the lion's den, your God is able to deliver you.

Well, do you remember what happens the next morning? The king can't wait. Verse 19, the king rose early before dawn at the break of day, went in haste to the lion's den. When he came to the den of lions, he cried out, Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you constantly serve been able to deliver you from the lions?

Listen to this. Then Daniel spoke to the king. Oh, king, live forever. Can you imagine what the king must have felt when he heard old Daniel's voice?

Oh, king, live forever. Now, you know the rest of the story. It's interesting what happens here. When Daniel was thrown to the lion's den, all of a sudden, for some unknown reason, all the lions had lockjaw.

They couldn't do a thing. They all they could do is just look at Daniel, smell of him, wave their tail, but could not open their mouths. Daniel was committed to being a good witness to God, the father, Jehovah God, as he knew him, Elohim, as he knew him, Yahweh. He was committed to bearing as untarnished a witness as possible in a pagan society. Have you ever made a commitment to Jesus Christ that in the day in which you live in the society in which you live, that is tarnished with all kinds of evil and darkness?

Have you made the commitment yet? Lord Jesus, regardless of the consequences, I choose to live obediently. I choose to live separated. I choose to live before you, keeping my body, soul, and spirit unto you, regardless of the consequences, regardless of which way the winds are blowing.

You see, this is the way many people who named the name of Jesus Christ to live their lives. They say, oh, how am I going to live today? Which way is the wind blowing? Which way are the crowds going?

Which way is the pressure going? Which will bring me more approval by my peers? What will keep me from being rejected? What will bring me the least amount of harm and the least amount of criticism and the least amount of exposure?

What will keep me the safest? That's not the questions that real, genuine, true, committed believers ask. What we ask is, God, what do you want me to do? I choose to do that and I'll leave the consequences of my obedience to you, period. And that's the kind of believers that God needs to live in the society. We live in a pagan society, ungodly, vile, evil, wicked, demonic, satanic.

We're living in that kind of a society. Have you made a commitment to Jesus Christ that you will live for him as long as it's convenient? Until the persecution sets in, as long as it is safe, as long as you have the approval of your friends, or have you made a commitment to Jesus Christ that you are going to obey him by the power of the Holy Spirit, regardless of what it cost you?

Because you see, it is our witness before the world. You and I should be motivated to obey the living God because of the overflow of the consequences of the life that we live. Who is motivated to obeying God by your disobedience? Who's motivated to loving Jesus Christ with devotion when they see you compromising your convictions and giving in when the pressure is on and moving along with the crowd because you don't want to be a fanatic?

Here's what happens. You and I can make a commitment to Jesus Christ to live for him and the further and further away from truth the world becomes, what does that make? That makes us look like fanatics and we haven't budged. That's the way the world looks at us. Listen, 30 years ago, 25 years ago, you and I could believe what we believe, do what we do. And you know what?

Nobody opened their mouth today. We look like pious fanatics. Who has done the moving? Satan and his crowd is the one who's done the moving and they're moving further and further and further away from God and the further away from truth they get the more fanatical you're going to look. So I ask you a question. A friend, you made a commitment to stand before God.

Because of your fear of criticism and approval of your friends, have you joined the world? You say, well, I'm not too far from where I used to be. The truth is you're moving with them. That's where they were. They're moving in the other direction. You say, well, after all, you know, I have the same sort of friends I had over there.

Where did your friends go? Are they moving with the unbelieving world? You see, you and I have to take a stand for Jesus Christ. Listen, not based on what my friends do, but based on what God says. And when I base it on what he says, I don't budge. Well, let's move on. Another motivation that is the cause of Christ itself. I want you to notice something.

If you'll turn back over to chapter five. Now, Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king when Daniel was taken, when he died, Belshazzar, his son became the king. And the city was being surrounded by the Persians.

Darius the king surrounded the city of Babylon. And so here they are having a big party in a drunken stupor. And as violent, as wicked as he is, in his drunken stupor, he could make any kind of decision he chose.

They'd have to abide by it. In the middle of all this reveling and carrying on, all of a sudden with no warning, this finger appears out of nowhere and begins to write on the wall. You say, well, what kind of reaction did they have? Verse six of chapter five will tell you exactly what kind of reaction the king had. His face grew pale.

That means white. His thoughts alarmed him. His hip joints went slack. His knees began knocking together.

Can you imagine what kind of sight that was? All of a sudden, he could not stand before this undefined and indescribable finger that was writing on the wall. Scared them to death. So they called the soothsayers, the magicians and all the rest. And his wife, the queen said to him, there's a man in the kingdom relating to Daniel. They called Daniel in. And of course, when he comes in now and all of this that's going on, he knows that anything he could say could cost him his life just like that. But at this moment, and you wouldn't know this unless you know the sequence of events, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, here is the trail of God's prophetic work in all of human history.

What is about to happen is a vital part in what God's going to do historically in the world. Daniel comes on the scene. Verse 16, the king makes him all kind of promises if he can interpret. Listen to what Daniel says. Daniel answered and said before the king, keep your gifts for yourself or give your awards to someone else. However, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him.

Now listen to this. Then the hand was sent from him and this inscription was written out, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. And here's what it means, Belshazzar, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.

You've been weighed on the scales and found deficient. Your kingdom has been divided and it has already been given to the Medes and the Persians and before dawn hit the next day, Belshazzar was the prisoner of King Darius and the whole kingdom of Babylon had fallen into captivity. Why do you think? Daniel did not come and say, well, that is a strange hand. Thinking about what could have happened to him if he told the truth, he never even questioned that. He said, keep your presents for yourself. I don't want your gifts. I'm going to tell you what God says. Here's what the one true living God says. You've been weighed in the balance. You've been found wanting. Your kingdom has already come to an end, Belshazzar.

It's all over for you. For the cause of Jehovah, Daniel fulfilled his commitment to be obedient to God, regardless of the consequences. Are you willing to obey God today, regardless of the consequences? Are you willing to confront people with the truth about Jesus Christ, whether they like you or not? Do you hesitate to bear witness for Jesus Christ because you're afraid they'll reject you?

My friends, you have the only message that can transform the world. What is it that's keeping you from sharing that boldly, lovingly, pointedly, effectively, courageously, fruitfully to people who need to be saved? You see, as a teenager, Daniel made a decision. He purposed in his heart to be obedient to Jehovah God. And I want to ask you, have you purposed in your heart to obey God? I don't know what he's challenged you to do. I don't know where you stand at this point in your life. I don't know what God has called you to do, but I want to ask you this question. Have you made a commitment? Have you ever said to him, have you ever told him, Lord, I will obey you regardless of the circumstances? Are you watching the wind, watching your friends, looking at the pressure, seeing what's safe? Where's the majority?

What's the most profitable? Are you asking the question, what is obedience to God? My friend, a sincere, committed child of God ultimately asks only one question. I'm not saying that you won't ask many questions, but ultimately you ask the final question, what will it take for me to be obedient to Almighty God? And my answer to this question is, yes, God, I will obey you. That is the quality of commitment that God is looking for in the lives of his children. And you see, when we are committed, when we are committed and we see the cause of Christ, the cause of Christ, when we see the importance of that, we will take a firm, loving, but strong, irrevocable stand in the name of God. One last motivation for fulfilling your commitment to him. I can't even find it in the book of Daniel.

You know why? Because there's not one negative thing about Daniel in that book. But because God does use this, I want to go to another book in the Bible and use someone else just for this last point for a moment. So let me show you just for a moment, because he's a perfect example of what God will use only at times when we don't fulfill our commitment. Jonah, you'll recall that God called him to go to preach the gospel, to preach the truth, thus saith the Lord to Nineveh. Jonah said, after arguing with God, he said nothing doing, because he really wanted God to destroy the Ninevites because they were a threat to God's people. He wouldn't go, so what did he do? He went down to Joppa, the Bible says, bought him a ticket on a boat all the way to Tarshish to run from God to get away from God. Well, he got out there on that beautiful Mediterranean and all of a sudden this big storm came up. And then the sailors decided to cast lots to see whose fault it was, and of course it fell upon Jonah.

Finally, they threw him overboard. You remember the Bible says a big fish swallowed him. And if you'll read the second chapter of Jonah, you'll find out why Jonah ran all the way to Nineveh as soon as he hit dry land. Because brother, God put the pressure on him. He gave him a submarine ride on the big whale or whatever it might have been. He put the pressure on Jonah, wouldn't let him get away. The Bible says the whale or the fish threw him up on the shore, and when he did, he must have landed on his feet because he headed out for Nineveh, couldn't wait to get there to be obedient to God. Has God ever had to put pressure on you?

Well, if he hasn't, you have a wonderful experience in store, because, my friend, he will. You see, God shouldn't have to motivate us by pressure, but He will if He wants to and if He chooses to and if He knows He needs to. And listen, if what God is calling you to do, if this point of direction in your life is that important to God right now, listen, the more pressure you feel, watch this, the more pressure you feel from God to do what He's calling you to do, you mark it down, the more important it is to God that you operate a certain way at this point in your life.

It does make a difference what you and I do. So there are many ways that you and I get motivated, and I simply ask you the question, what will it take to motivate you to make this commitment to Jesus Christ? Lord Jesus, I commit myself to you that by the power of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling Christ who lives within me, I will obey you regardless of the consequences.

If you've never made that commitment, you need to make it. Nobody can force you to make it, not even God will force you, but you should make it because of who He is and because of His purpose in your life and because of to whom you belong and because of why you're here. Our Father, we thank you for being patient with us when we've not wanted to fulfill your will for our lives.

We pray today that the Holy Spirit will speak to every single hero. Let us not escape that simple truth that we make a commitment that requires obedience regardless of the circumstances. Those whom you have called in the area of service will make that commitment. Those in whose lives you're working about surrendering some habit, they'll make that commitment. Making some definite decision about their family that they'll make that commitment. Whatever it is, they'll be courageous enough, trusting enough, believing enough to say yes and with perfect assurance leave all the consequences to you is my prayer in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Motivation for Commitment. We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating 45 years of God's faithfulness. Stop by InTouch.org slash 45 years to learn more. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-08 19:18:58 / 2023-01-08 19:26:19 / 7

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