These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.
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Resolve | Kim Chipman
S~ But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8 (NIV)
O~ Daniel had resolve. He had made up his mind. Drew a line in the sand. No excuses.
A~ I feel that for myself there are areas in my life that I have become complacent. I justify. I waver. I sin.
Daniel resolved. I would imagine that the initial decision was one thing, but he had to re-commit each time a circumstance presented itself. He had an easy justification for enjoying the royal food and wine. I justify food and wine in the blink of an eye. It’s a big thing for me currently. I have decided I’m going to exercise daily, abstain from alcohol, eat healthy…sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
It has delivered me to a place that I don’t really like myself right now. I’m disappointed in me. It’s like there’s some sort of disconnect between what I know I need to do – what I really WANT to do! – and what I actually do. It’s the Romans 7 battle within me.
Resolve. This is what I need. No matter what…no excuses…no justifying…what am I resolved to? What do YOU want me to be resolved to?
P~ Lord, I need Your help! I can’t walk this out on my own. I know in You all things are possible. Help me to nail down my resolve. I love You!
Facing Hardship with Wisdom and Discretion | Tara Wiley
S~ When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. Daniel 2:14 NLT
O~ In our reading in Revelation today, a series of plagues break out, and each time, John states that the people did not repent nor did they give God glory. Hardship struck: they became bitter, angry, and more rebellious. What a contrast in Daniel’s story! Hardship struck: he was far from home, forced into service for a pagan king, challenged repeatedly to deny Him, and then, at this climactic moment, faced execution! Yet, he did not become bitter. He did not curse God. He did not rebel. Instead, he handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. And as the story unfolds, we see him giving God the glory for His amazing intervention.
A~ When things get hard, it is always a temptation to grumble, complain, and get bitter… to get stuck in a rut… to refuse change and growth. But Daniel serves as a powerful example: find ways to serve God in the midst of the pain. When facing a battle for your life, seek God for wisdom and discretion, wait on Him, pray – and give Him the glory. It strikes me that although Daniel achieved a level of fame, power, and authority as a result of the unfolding of these circumstances, he was still in a land of bondage and servitude. Yet, he found ways to become fruitful for God even in that place. And God met him there.
P~ Lord, I want to be like Daniel. When the going gets rough, I don’t want to give up, give in, grumble and complain, and become bitter and unfruitful. I want to seek Your wisdom and discretion for every season of life. The last few weeks have been such a roller coaster ride, God. But I’m already seeing the fruit that comes from perseverance. I’m so glad we didn’t give up and give in. I’m so grateful that our kids are learning the fruit that comes from perseverance as well. Keep us close to You, Lord. Fill us with continued wisdom and discretion in the day-to-day, so we have patterns in place to face life’s hardships with grace, giving You the glory, and watching You work miracles as only You can.
Wisdom and Tact | Michelle Myers
S~ Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. Daniel 2:14 (NIV)
O~ King Nebuchadnezzar was having dreams. His mind was troubled and he could not sleep, so he sent for magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers to interpret his dreams. When they said that they couldn’t do that, he got upset and said that he was going to cut them into pieces and turn their houses into piles of rubble. When they told him that what he is asking for is impossible, the king became angry and ordered the execution of all the wise men. THAT’S RATIONAL! The king’s men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death. When the commander of the kings guard found Daniel, he “spoke to him with wisdom and tact”.
A~ Hmmm……..I pondered this for awhile, because I often can get frustrated with people (especially my extended family) when I am trying to speak to them, with wisdom and tact. Many times, they don’t understand wisdom or tact. Many times, in frustration, I can stop speaking with wisdom and tact.
In my head, I start to justify my own lack of wisdom and tact, in response to their lack of wisdom and tact. Their wisdom and tact comes from the world, which is why it is not so wise or tactful. You however, reminded me that I am set apart. My wisdom comes from You, and my tact should be a reflection of You.
P~ Thank you God for YOUR wisdom and example. Please help me, because lately I have been struggling with my flesh in regards to wisdom and tact.
The deep and mysterious | Nikki Metzger
S~ He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though He is surrounded by light. ~ Daniel 2:22 (NLT)
O ~ God has just revealed a vision to Daniel about the king of Babylon. Daniel praised God because this revelation saved his life and his friend’s lives.
A~ God reveals deep and mysterious things. He knows what’s hidden in darkness. He knows everything. He’s in charge. He controls world events and leaders and gives out wisdom and knowledge.
I’ve been reading a book about someone’s history and life and journey. Her story doesn’t match up with what I’ve been taught about childhood trauma and abuse (from work training). And I’m so confused by this.
What I’ve been trained on, what I’ve studied, what experiences I have had at work…all of it has fit. Now I’m being exposed to someone’s story (this is a testimony of their life, I’m not assessing facts) and nothing fits into the boxes I have.
I’m super confused. My information and theories and the way I work may be wrong. Or I might need to adjust how I think about things. But God is right. Daniel knew 2500 years ago. God reveals deep and mysterious things – not science. He is in control of knowledge and gives wisdom. My work experience and knowledge aren’t necessarily wrong, but I need to make room in my head for more. That God knows more and I don’t really have the whole picture.
P~ Father, thank You for this Word! For insight into who You are! I love You!
Revealer of Mysteries | Kelley Deases
S~ The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” Daniel 2:47 (NIV)
O~ I think what King Nebuchadnezzar learned through his encounter with God’s servant, Daniel, that day was something every believer becomes convinced of sooner or later — life does not makes sense apart from God. Only He can offer any insight into the great mysteries of the universe and of the human heart because He crafted them and knows everything about each one. We are finite beings with a finite understanding, but we serve an infinite God.
A~ Yesterday, ten women sat around my living room reading God’s Word together and sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Again and again, we acknowledged how only God could have orchestrated these events to reach the resolution they did. Even in the midst of a painful and confusing circumstance which one of our “sisters” is facing, we have every confidence God is at work. In His time and in His way, all will be revealed.
P~ Father, I am grateful for this reminder in my reading today and as I gathered with my dear friends yesterday, that You hold all the answers to all the mysteries. I have seen You make sense out of confusion in my life in the past, so I know I can trust You with my future.
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