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Courage Is a Habit

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 17, 2022 9:00 am

Courage Is a Habit

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 17, 2022 9:00 am

As much as we make of Daniel’s night with the lions, his courage was actually forged long before that fateful night. Courage is not summoned in a moment; courage is developed through a lifetime.

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Today on Summit life with Judy Greer is ultimately rooted in pride. You don't break consistently and fervently because you were convinced that if you reach down deep enough and try hard enough for long enough to eventually find the resources to overcome but at some point listen at some point that is going to failing the gospel centered Bible teaching ministry of JD Greer, pastor of the Senate church in Raleigh, North Carolina. I'm your host Molly benefits today.

We arrived at the most famous story in the book of Daniel, the lion's den. Dana provides an incredible example of courage in the midst of adversity. But as much as we make of Daniel's night with the lion's courage was actually forged long before that fateful night. See courage is not just some and in a moment.

Courage is usually developed through a lifetime. If you've missed any of the previous messages in this series, you can find them online or you can download all of the complete, unedited message transcripts JD Pastor Katie has titled today's message courage Bible this morning and I hope that you have one. If you'll take it out and opened it up, turn it on or whatever it takes to get the Daniel Chapter 16 of chapter 6. Today we going to look at one of the top three most famous stories in your Bible story of Daniel and the lion's den to get this in the 20 years or so that I have served here as your pastor at the summit church.

I have never one time. Not once preached on this passage, not even once this story is the last of the fast-paced Daniel doing battle in Babylon.

Narratives in the book of Daniel and ask you there's one more in chapter not really get to. But most of the rest of the book is prophecy. Daniel six is the last chapter that is written in Aramaic. Remember the very first week I told you that the first chapter of Daniel in the last chapters of Daniel chapter 7 to 12 are written in Hebrew, which was the language of Israel, but the middle chapters, chapters 2 through six are written in Aramaic which was the language of Babylon because these Events Take Pl. in Babylon and there written so that Babylonians can read the stories also will. This is the last story day normalized in his last story in Aramaic. It's the last account of Daniel and his three friends shining in Babylon. I honestly am a little bit sad because I really enjoyed studying out the story so see this work come to an end, but this is the last one use this story this morning to talk about developing the habit of courage developing the habit of courage. Courage. I want to show you this morning is not something you summon up in a moment. Courage is developed through a lifetime of small consistent decisions. Courage is a pattern that your program into your heart you know when you type something into Google and it auto completes for you. By the way, that just drives me nuts just because I search that one time for the current network of Jack from saved by the Bell doesn't mean that every time I type in the word current.

That's what I'm looking for. Leave me alone. Google but Google knows that you and I follow patterns and so it auto fills our our search bar according to how we have traded the same thing is true with how you respond to adversity your heart ought to fills your response based on the patterns that you have established the Greek philosopher Aristotle EE said excellence is not an act. It's a habit. Aristotle, by the way, we would not long after Daniel a bit. He said excellence is not enacted, the habit I would say the same thing is true about courage. Courage is not an act, it is a habit. It is a habit developed over years and years and years of repeated patterns. Daniel six me remind you the context. Public Babylon has been overthrown by the Medes and the Persians, Nebuchadnezzar and all the royal family have been killed and King Darius of the Medes now sits on the throne, Daniel. By this point is well over 80 years old still living in captivity in Babylon. We do not know what is happened to his his three friends, Shadrach me shack and Abednego presumably by this point they have already died. The new King.

King Darius in order to try to bring some stability and continuity to his government has kept on his court.

A lot of Nebuchadnezzar's wisemen that includes Daniel. Daniel chapter 6, verse three, but Daniel distinguished himself because he had an extraordinary spirit so the king plan to set them over the whole realm second in command only to himself. One thing that is consistent about Daniel is that no matter where he is, no matter what circumstances and or how he got there or how unjust the situation felt. Daniel stays positive, upbeat, even believing that God has a plan and not create that mentality creates new opportunities wherever he goes. At multiple points in his life when everybody else and maybe you and I would've looked at him and said your life is over. Daniel Dana said you know that God has something for me yet and could I just point out the Daniel is more than 80 years old at this point, so let me just go ahead and say it how to save as plain as I can. Old people can still do awesome things. By the way, Daniel's not the only old guy in history to do awesome things, and 83 years old. William Gladstone became Prime Minister of Great Britain for the fourth time at 85 years old John Wesley. They say still priest with almost undiminished eloquence up to two or three times a day and 89 years old. Michelangelo painted his last judgment which is now one of the most famous paintings in the world at age 90.

Thomas Edison was still filing for new patents at the patent offices for a patent officer new inventions.

He was coming up with George Bernard Shaw at age 90 was still writing plays that will become classics, Harlan Sanders was 65 when the open Kentucky fried chicken. After getting fired from about a dozen of his previous jobs. This career was a total failure could appoint Winston Churchill won his first election.

At age 62 he lost literally every single election. Up to that point. This career did not really begin until he was 62.

He was 71 when he led England in the World War II. So for all of you seasoned people out there do not let them tell you that you were done. God might have something for you yet okay I got a few payments verse for the administrators and satraps which is a word for like a governor therefore kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom, but they could find no charge or corruption because Daniel was trustworthy and no negligence or corruption at all was found in him we see it every couple of years around election season only the commercials to start multiplying towards a little wire you know by 32 years ago.

He said this at a party he voted with big nursery to take candy from babies always seem to find something about everybody here. These guys searched and searched and searched and I can't find anything. By the way, this is after six decades of public service on Daniel's part that is pretty remarkable. The point is that Daniel has been utterly trustworthy in all that he did 70 years 70 years serving in the public square. Verse five. Then these men said will never find any charge against this Daniel. Unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God.

So they went together to the king, and said oh may King Darius may you live forever verse seven and all the administrators of the kingdom. The prefects the satraps the advisors and the governor. We have all agreed that the king should establish an ordinance, an ordinance that for 30 days. Anybody who petitions any God or man, except for you, old king, that one should be thrown into the lions them. The weak spot that they have found that out. I got handed to him. It is pretty ingenious weak spot is built around Daniel's faith in the king's ego. Basically they're like okay okay and your subjects need to learn that they can depend on you for everything. So to make a rule that for 30 days for 30 days.

People can only bring their needs for you not been in prayer for all time to stand up for 30 days. People need to see that you can meet all their needs so there can only pray to you for 30 days and 30 days. They will see how amazing all sufficient. You are how able you are to take care of all your subjects.

Verse eight. Therefore, your Majesty, establish the edict and sign the document so that as a law of the Medes and Persians. It is irrevocable cannot be changed. The Medes and the Persians had this custom that once a law was passed that couldn't be changed or altered in any way the purpose for that historians say was that try to keep things from passing arbitrary walls all willy-nilly just because they were in a bad mood, get beat up pickle ball by left-handed guy so they outlaw left-handedness that kind of stuff happened the next day the king gets irritated with one of his wives so passes a law that no women can never argue with men in the ancient world, things did stuff like this all the time and that wall would only last for a couple of days until the king calm down so the Medes and the Persians instituted this custom to try keep the king from doing that. Plus they thought not allowing the wall to be changed help reinforce the idea that the king was divine because if you change the law that imply that you made a mistake right so to bed. This custom that you couldn't change the law once it was once it was passed in this law passed Daniel's response, verse 10, when Daniel learned that the document had been signed. He went into his house. He opened the upstairs window toward Jerusalem and three times a day. He got down on his knees and prayed and gave thanks to God just as he had done before going to lunch up your Bible underlined that he did it, just like he had done before. Because there is the habit, Daniel has prayed three times daily now for 70 years he done in Daniel chapter 1 when they try to force him to eat forbidden foods done in chapter 2. When the king threatened to kill all the wise men because nobody could interpret his dream. His friends had done in Daniel three when Nebuchadnezzar tried to force them to bow down to his golden image. Whenever Daniel had been in trouble when ever Daniel had felt threatened. He had turned to God in prayer. So this response was as natural to him as routine as breathing. So here's my question for you. What is your instinct when trouble comes when you have been hurt in your marriage when your spouse is not treating you fairly and it's just not getting any better.

No matter how much you talk to them for no matter what you do what's your instinct when you feel threatened when you feel like you're being pressured at your job to do the wrong thing for you so I could be treated unfairly by by your boss or one of your colleagues or when you're being pressured to tow the party line even though it goes against your conscience. Or maybe when a friend or a boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring you to do the wrong thing to be pressure to conform what is your instinct, I would say that our responses typically fit into one of four categories one panic a lot of people there instinct is to panic you get scared and mutate, what was no way out. The precious is too strong. All my friends are doing it.

I want to be a social outcast. If I don't I don't have that kind of social capital Spencer. It's just easier to go along to get along.

Everybody in my business is doing it. I'll never survive if I don't do this. This is this law of the Medes and Persians, and it can't be changed in the king and all the other important people behind it. I don't really have a choice here if I want to survive.

Panic know I love this verse. Prescriptive 1013 no temptation, no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man, but God who is faithful will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you were able you will always with that temptation with that trial he's going to provide you a way of escape, that you might be able to bear it. God always provides a way of escape always, he will always supply you with the strength and the wisdom and the ability to do to do the right thing and that means you never need to panic because you were never trapped in a situation with only bad options response and wanted people panic.

A second second common instinct response to this kind of pressure is pride.

Primus was kind of tricky because it can look on the outside like boldface because essentially you're saying I will I will not yield to you. I can overcome this. The difference between this and faith is that when you peel back the layers of this response.

What you can find is not a humble dependence on God. What you can find is a heart of self-sufficiency.

This is more of a, I'm better than you attitude you can't beat me kind of attitude that it is I'm going to do what God wants entrusted with the results, with the result attitude by the lake the sign that you are operating in pride is carelessness prayerless. This is the indicator light on the dashboard of the Christian life that warns you that pride has set in your car dashboard you be so indicator lights that tells you if your engine is running too hot.

Let's get to know one another little bit here. Okay, how many of you fill up your gas once it's half-empty you're that person you if it's active damn stop to fill it up. How many of you wait until the little countdown says 1 mile left on the year-to-date arcane and then your prayer life just totally takes off Bennett that you have never prayed so desperately and fervently invalid to be a missionary, when you when we when we try to get to the gas station with 1 mile to empty okay right. How about the indicator lights. How many of you.

The second, that the light comes on, you take your car to the shop that you write review treat that light, like more of a suggestion right you like.

I'm to wait and see if this thing works itself out right when you lesson at Veronica so probably that is burns you at some point I would guess because a little indicator lights alert you to problems are going on deep in your engine that you can't see prayerless and this is the indicator light that your heart is running proud. Many people think that prayerless. This is just the result of a lack of self-discipline you like, you know, I mean I believe in prayer, but II just don't pray I will pray not for the same reason that I don't work out enough read enough alfalfa sprouts is just a lack of self-discipline, but prayerless nurse is ultimately rooted in pride. You don't pray consistently and fervently because you are convinced that if you reach down deep enough and try hard enough for long enough, you can eventually find the resources to overcome but at some point listen at some point that is going to fail you and I know that if you're a believer because God is going to put you into a situation that you can overcome but I would suggest some of you are there right now aren't you. You come in here this morning. Overwhelmed by the challenges of parenting utterly defeated by your marriage financially underwater crushed by our relationship that you just can't make work and issue has has come up in your health or the help of a loved one that that has you scared to death this morning you the end of Daniel chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar. After God humbled him and he turned his heart toward God. He said we looked at a couple weeks ago all those who walk in pride. God is able to humble see that's true for professing Christians also for you who know God.

His agenda in your life is to humble you out of the pride of self-sufficiency. If that is you this morning my word to you today is very simple. Turn away from pride and turn toward God. And if that happens, you begin to express that by a daily consistent time in prayer, panic, pride, your third response preemptive strike something for something tit-for-tat. I will protect myself by fighting your me hour to back you play dirty play dirty. I'll play dirty. When Daniel found out about this law he could've tried that engineer some political trick some scheme to get back out and quid pro quo is how most of us try to survive. We live in peace with others. We maintain peace with others through mutually assured destruction with them right away that I'll keep you from hurting me as I make it clear that you do, I'll hurt you back worse. Some of you have marriages that are surviving because mutually assured destruction.

You hurt me. I want you back. And then you'll think twice about messing with me to get panic.

We got pride we got preemptive strike. Then there's Daniel's response in before prayer. Let me just lay this at God's feet dangled like ultimately these are God's problems because I don't even belong to me anymore. I belong to him. Which means that these problems don't belong to me either. They belong to him. All I'm responsible for is what he tells me to do for and I will tell you this is such an incredibly peaceful way to live is so peaceful because you let Jesus shoulder the weight of your problems.

Jesus described the Christian life is easy, not because it's all sunshine and giggles and roses that most of us would say that when we became Christians in many ways our lives got harder. Jesus says it's easy because we are yoked up with him coming to me.

Jesus says Matthew 1128 coming to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light but may try to help you make sense of that yoke typically had places for two oxen and those two oxen would pull the load together so that meant if one ox was stronger than the other oxen got the benefit of that stronger oxen strength. Imagine you were strapped into that yoke to pull up a tractor-trailer but strapped in next to you was the world's strongest man.

I think John Miller I Pastor John is 65. It looks like a character out of a French romance novel novel and right but the Savior strapped him with one of those guys who is a lot stronger than you. The load might not seem that heavy to you because the stronger guy is pulling so much of the weight by combining single you like, it is not taken a walk so it is with Jesus in my problems when I trusted him. He shoulders the weight of my marriage problems. He shoulders the weight of my work problems.

He shoulders the weight of my parenting problems ultimately are not even my kids anymore.

There is kids he shoulders the weight of my personal struggles in each of those things. He carries the weight. I'm just responsible to do what he direct me to do. Success of the work belongs to him. Faithfulness as the word belongs to me. What a friend we have in Jesus whole what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. Cast your burdens on the Lord.

Peter says Catherine he will sustain you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't lean on your own understanding your own ability to figure it all out in all your ways acknowledge him in all your ways. Pastor burden on him and he was the one that'll make your paths straight to panic, pride, preemptive strike prayer. So again I ask you the question what your default, you got one. What auto fills in the search bar your heart when hard times come. When you type in P what those interests feel threatened legal panic right is it pride is it is it is it panic is it is it preemptive strike or is a prayer.

Daniel chose prayer because he trusted in God so that evening he prayed as peacefully as he had every every single level one and I can tell you from experience that there is a peacefulness in that prayer closet that you will not find anywhere else.

I don't care how much you meditate, how much Zen music you put on. I don't care how much money you have, how much you exercise, or what you know there is a piece in the prayer closet you can't find anywhere else suite.

Our prayer suite our prayer that calls me from a world of caring impedes me air my father's throne that all my wants and wishes known in seasons of distress and grief. My soul has often found relief and often escape attempt or snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer, the Daniel praise Daniel praise and of course the other wise men see this survey run to the king, scarcely able to contain your excitement. Verse 12 Republican okay we hate I mean anything. We hate to tell you this but after you signed in your revocable edict were also Daniel praying we all just happened to be on the balcony right across from his house, all looking to our binoculars at the same time as his regular scheduled prayer time and we all saw it sadly keying you know you know the law of the Medes and the Persians cannot be changed so we prepare the line for this ways are there is, of course, sees right through their ruse immediately is pretty upset about it because he liked Daniel so much but is also bound by this ridiculous custom feels like he has no choice but the third Daniel in the lion's den for 16 so the king gave the order. By the way, I know a lot of y'all think I hate on cats too much. But can we just take a moment and reflect that a pagan king who could have concocted any kind of torture decided that the most cruel and unusual punishment that he could think of is trapping you in a cage with cats print the Scripture speak for themselves. Okay all God's people said you were God's people said a managing team said the Daniel king said to Daniel. May your God when you continually serve rescue you. Stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the Dan King sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles so that nothing regarding Jennings and the king went back to his house and spent the night fasting tomorrow for the conclusion of this message on Senate life Jenny Greer. We are in a new teaching series called shining in Babylon and if you missed any part of the study in the book of Daniel. You can find all the messages online, free of Jenny in the book of Daniel were looking at a very dark and hostile context.

Unlike most of the books in the Hebrew Bible. This book is not set in Israel imagine this is set in the heart of an enemy pagan empire were God's people been taken captive in their living as exiles. What you can see in this book you will learn is that the power to make a difference is only found in the commitment to be different and I'm excited to be able to offer to you along with this new Bible study that that will help as we often do here at Summit life take you deeper into the teaching of Scripture help you reflect on it. Have you think personally about it. Jason exegetical insights that make you can't cover the sermon, I want to get that to you soon as you're going along with the series because I think it will help you press deeper into what this kindly timeless message is they know how it applies to your copy today when you donate the suggested $35 or more. Just give us a call. Training, 20 Bible study guide online Jenny Molly benefits. Be sure to join us tomorrow after Jamie teaches that 19 Friday night for your ministry

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