[Daniel] knelt down on his knees three times that day,
and prayed and gave thanks before his God,
as was his custom since early days (Daniel 6:10).
My most recent releases all have to do with people who pay a price for their faith. Much of the feedback I get from many readers is that the stories inspire them but also cause them to examine their own faith and question if they too would be as faithful under pressure. It’s a question worth examining.
As the writer of those stories, I can tell you I questioned myself and my own walk with God many times in the process of creating and completing those novels. What would I do under similar circumstances? Of course I would have to depend completely on God’s strength and not my own, but would I know how to do that? The answer comes not so much in what we do when already in those situations, but rather what we do before we end up there.
Daniel’s example is the perfect one. When he heard the decree that anyone who worshiped any god or person other than King Darius would be cast into the lions’ den, the Scriptures tell us that Daniel immediately “knelt down on his knees…and prayed and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel didn’t hesitate to worship God, despite the very real possibility that he would be thrown to the lions—which, of course, he was. How was he so unshakeable in his faith that he didn’t even consider other options? The answer is in the last part of that verse: “…as was his custom since early days.” Daniel didn’t wait until the threat arrived on his doorstep to seek God; he was already in the habit of doing so. He regularly worshiped God and presented his petitions to Him, and he had no intention of changing that custom because of changing circumstances.
We live in a time when our own circumstances are changing and may very well continue to do so to the point that we too will have to make a decision about continuing to worship God, regardless of consequences. The only way we will remain faithful then is if we have already developed the habit or custom of seeking God regularly. If we haven’t done so, now is the time to cultivate that practice. At the end of my life, I want to be found faithful…don’t you?