God-Ordained Influence

I enjoyed my time in Denver last night and today. It was good to connect last night with many people that I have not seen in a long time as well as those who have been in touch with me during my illness. It was encouraging to hear their encouraging comments and recognition of the answers to prayer on my behalf during my illness.

In the midst of making some connections and taking care of some personal business, I began my day with joining a group of pastor’s and ministry leaders for prayer. I value the faithfulness of these men to meet each week and to pray for churches in Jefferson County. When I served as a pastor in the area, I tried to join them on a regular basis. I appreciate their prayers and encouragement. (see picture)

I also had the opportunity to connect with some of the staff members from Foothills Bible Church. Debbie and I attended this church for six years while I served in the State House. I happened to be checking out their new coffee shop area when they were gathering for a staff meeting. So, I had the opportunity to express my appreciation for the prayers and support of this staff and church family.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “God gave Daniel favor and compassion…God gave them (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams….And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.”  Daniel 1:2,17,20

Jerusalem is captured, God’s people are taken exile into Babylon. The prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah and  Ezekiel ring in the ears of the captives with conviction. However in the the midst of it all God chooses four men from among those captives to be used by Him to declare His glory and to use them in this foreign land in service to a pagan King.

I like the two words, “God gave…” I am confident that these four men had intellect and potential yet the focus is not on human potential but on God’s work in these lives. As a result of what God gave these men in “learning and skill” it provided them favor in the eyes of the King and an opportunity to influence the power structure of the land in which they were captives.

In the process we read in Daniel how the Lord reveals His future plan for the current kingdom and the kingdoms that would follow for time on end. We see the recognition of God’s favor on these men in their devotion and obedience to God. As a result we read of the amazing account of deliverance from a “fiery furnace” and a “den of lions” as God reveals Himself to these rulers and vindicates His servants.

I am thankful today that the Lord raises up individuals of godly influence to those in positions of power. It may be in business, it may be in politics or education. That influence may be subtle, it may be more direct and with a higher profile. They key is recognizing God as the source of favor and wisdom and the One places us in those positions. This goes hand in hand with a commitment to honor Him without wavering.