A common driving force in my life came from the expectations of others. It was a place the devil used to get a foothold to keep me from inviting God to use me to do an incredible work.
I went to college and earned a degree in elementary education, so it was expected that I would teach, but there was something else stirring in my heart. At the time I couldn’t fully explain it. I felt like God had something else planned for my life, but I didn’t want to leave the comfort of a secure job to chase something that had not been fully formed. Fear griped me, which kept me in education longer. It kept me standing still instead of stepping out in faith.
Daniel stepped out in faith. He knew what was going to happen if he disobeyed the decree that was set in place for the people to only pray to King Darius, but he chose what was right and prayed to God because he knew the importance of pleasing God instead of people. God rewarded that faithfulness by delivering him from the mouth of the lions.
But it wasn’t only Daniel’s life that was impacted by placing God first. King Darius had a change of heart when he saw how God faithfully delivered Daniel from the lions’ den. He saw firsthand the power of God, and he set in place a new decree that the people of his land were to fear and be referent of God.
All because Daniel chose not to cower to the expectations of others, his testimony changed the lives of many in his land. It changed the heart of the king, who proclaimed the power of God.
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:27-28)
Once my oldest daughter was born, I walked away from teaching, and I haven’t regretted that decision. I now have the chance to shape her life and the life of her younger sister. God has placed opportunities in front of me that would not exist if I stayed stagnant.
When I become uncertain of the future, I look to the past to see how God has always shown up. I look at his signs and wonders, and I know He will not let me down.
God rewards those who are faithful. Even when it feels like our faith doesn’t make a difference, it does. Someone is watching. Someone’s heart can turn toward God because of our steadfast faith in Him.
May the way we live be a reflection of God so that He can work in the hearts of everyone who crosses our path.
May our testimony always point back to the amazing things God is doing and has done.
May others see God in a way they never imagined before, and may we be faithful to live out that faith, no matter what others expect.