Boss, Parent… someone has asked you to do something and you thought, “There is no way I can get this done.”? money, talent, time, connections?
Me at OLOL Hospital - nuns would take me on a do this tour...
The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.”
God Tests You with STRESS before He trusts you with SUCCESS
Looking at different Tests God uses to test your character and faith
4th Test in Daniels Life
He gets promoted after each test… but each test is getting harder.
Major Change / Social Pressure / Challenges to His Faith - - Impossible Assignment
4th test happens in 2nd year of Neb intern program. Daniel was only 17
Daniel was asked to tell the king what the dream was as well as interpreting it. No one had been able to do that. It was an impossible request.
First, let’s read the passage...
One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep. He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king, he said, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.” Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.” But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble! But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!” They said again, “Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.” The king replied, “I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say, ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.” The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed.
In case you don’t know, this is a crisis. The king is going to kill them. You may not face this type of crisis, but you will face crisis.
They are all trying to figure out what’s going on… why is he so furious. The reason is ...
It brings you a sense of control. We think that if we know the future, we have some control over our lives, but God doesn’t want us to be in control, He wants us to trust him to lead us. That’s why God doesn’t tell you the future.
The more insecure you are the more you try to control everything… circumstances, people, relationships.... The more insecure you are the more controlling. The more secure you are, the less you feel the need to control.
2500 years after Daniel lived, people are still striving for control. People are desperate for control and hope so they put their trust in all kinds of crazy stuff: quakes, fakes, and phonies wanting to make money off of trusting people. Give me a Word...
Before we look at how to respond to an impossible task, lets look at Daniels test.
The King wanted the magicians to tell him his dream and interpret the dream - an impossible task… He was asking Him to predict the future.
Day before 911, no one would have predicted that.
Most major things in your life surprised you… both good and bad. No one knows the futre but God.
The Bible says this over and over again.
though no one can tell the future.
They never tire of talking, but none of us really know what the future will bring.
Biggest Changes in your life are usually surprises.
Write this down
God is not in the business of satisfying our curiosity. He is interested in you and I obeying what he has already told us to do and trusting him for what he hasn[t told you.
Anytime God tells us about the future (like rewards in heaven), it is to motivate us to serve him today regardless of what everyone else is doing.
Obeying God today is more important than guessing about tomorrow.
When is not a question the Lord likes to answer…
ILL - 2,017 years people have been guessing about when Jesus is coming back. 100% of them have been wrong.
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
They are being used by Satan to confuse and draw people away from the Lord.
They don’t know the future… Only god does.
I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools.
“Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.
God is very serious about you avoiding the Occult.
“ ‘I will be against anyone who goes to mediums and fortune-tellers for advice, because that person is being unfaithful to me. So I will cut him off from his people.
If you are involved in this, you need to stop NOW. God is serious about you being faithful to Him and Him alone.
Why is God against these people?
It’s dishonest and is usually for money or fame.
It’s controlling other people
It’s an attempt to control the future rather than trusting God.
2 Checks here: Did it happen & is it Biblical?
A True prophet is never wrong. It will also match what God has already said in WOG
“But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.
Some of you need to stop listening to some of the TV preachers because they have a history of prophesying wrongly. Any prophecy must line up in the Word of God.
“Check these witches’ words against the Word of God!” he says. “If their messages are different than mine, it is because I have not sent them; for they have no light or truth in them.
God will never tell you to do something he says not to do in His Word… divorce, abuse, abuse drugs or alcohol, mis-treat people, lie, steal, cheat…
In Deut 18:20, it says to put false prophets to death.
But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’
Easy Way to Show a Psychic is Fake. do what King Neb did.
Never give them any information.
Never answer their leading questions.
A True Psychic should never have to ask a question.
ILL - They ask what’s your credit card number? they ought to know that. Ask them why you should pay them for something you already know.
In Daniel 2:1-9 Neb has a recurring Dream and he challenges his royal advisers.
Daniel 2:10-13 His advisors fail and he decides to kill them all.
Daniel 2:14-30 Daniel Intervenes to interpret the dream.
Daniel 2:31-45 God gives Daniel the dream and the meaning of the dream
Daniel 2:46-49 The King Honors and promotes Daniel.
Daniel has been given an impossible task where failure was not a good option.
So, We are going to look at that test today by answering the Question,
You can use this process over and over again in your lives.
In Daniel’s case, he had a legitimate reason to be afraid. If the government sent someone to assassinate you you might be a little worried too.
When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.
Here is another test and Daniel has to trust God. Daniel’s faith is tested and he passes with flying colors.
Job, Opportunity, Change at Work, debt, health, marriage, future?
Find out the reason behind the request.
If there is emotion involved, what is fueling the fury?
King Neb was clearly afraid. He was having recurring nightmares.
Maybe your boss is under pressure from his boss. his job might even be on the line. Now he is taking it out on you.
He is passing on the fear that he feels.
He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened.
Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get.
What you want to find out is what you have to know so you can do what you have to do.
If your boss comes in and asks you to do the impossible, ask for some time to come up with a solution.
The reason is that in a Crisis, the temptation is to be impulsive, don’t. It’s more important to get the right answer than a fast answer. Daniel knew he needed to ask the Lord and his friends.
He does not delay in dealing with it… he acts quickly.
Daniel Faced His Fear head on.
Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.
Daniel decided to give it his best shot and trust that God would help him.
Bob Maurer - in over his head and told God if he would give Bob the wisdom to guide the company, he would give God the credit… and he did.
Marriage? weakness? going to the doctor? Addiction? Bitterness?
The only way you get rid of fear is to face it and move against it.
Daniel was going to pray about it himself, but he also knew that he needed others praying for him as well. This was Big. The kingdom and their lives hung in the Balance.
Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about this matter. He told them to ask the God of heaven to be merciful and to explain this secret to them so that they would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise advisers in Babylon.
We all need prayer partners in our lives who will pray for us… before a crisis. We will all face times where we need this kind of help.
Connect Groups are perfect for this.
Notice Daniel was concerned about the Babylonian co-workers… not just himself. These were not godly people. They were pagan Babylonians… the same ones that kidnapped him… But he wants to save their lives too.
Don’t panic, Ask for time to come up with a solution, enlist prayer support from your friends and… this is big…
You are facing an impossible situation in your life and Daniel will teach us how to pray and expect God to act in a supernatural way.
You need help that you don’t have in your own power… You need supernatural help.
When you don’t have the: money, connections, education, answers, funding, ideas… when you are just not smart enough.
Daniel lived 2500 years ago and while he was exiled, they did not take everyone. One person they left was Jeremiah (not the bullfrog) , but the prophet. Here is a message God gave Jeremiah.
Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don’t know and can’t find out.
Exactly what Daniel needed. He needed God to let him know what he could not figure out. God will never shut his storehouse until you shut your mouth and stop asking.
James - You have not because you ask not.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
How many things have we missed out on because we don’t ask. God is waiting on you to ask...
You have to ask but you have to pray in faith...
Daniel prayed and expected God to answer.
Worship is not Music. It can include music, but worship is putting our attention onto God.
Take the focus off of yourself & your problem and place it on the Lord. Daniel spent all night praying and worshipping the Lord.
That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.
Daniel stayed up until the Lord answered his prayer. This is sometimes called praying through.
Prayer reveals what’s important to us. I’ll bet if you through you were going to be killed in the morning you would pray all night…
When you are faced with an impossible situation, you need to pray like Daniel did.
“Our God, your name will be praised forever and forever. You are all-powerful, and you know everything.
Circle Your Name - focus on who God is and his character.
We are not to use God’s Name in vain
Jesus - Hallowed be Your Name...
What’s so important about God’s Name? It represents His Character!… Who He is.
He is reliable; He keeps his promises. He has a good name and is worthy or trust.
You thank hi for what he did. Worship him for his character and for his actions.
You control human events— you give rulers their power and take it away, and you are the source of wisdom and knowledge. “You explain deep mysteries, because even the dark is light to you. You are the God who was worshiped by my ancestors. Now I thank you and praise you for making me wise and telling me the king’s dream, together with its meaning.”
No matter how bleak things seem, God knows whats going on and what needs to be done.
Always be thankful when God helps you.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”
God is not just interested in saving you or delivering you, He is interested in you helping others too. God loves everyone and He brings us through things so that we can help others.
Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
You could not make a move better than Daniel’s life…
God not only wants to help you, he wants to help everyone and He will use you to help them. God wants to show you things and bring you through things so you can help others.
We need to be sharing what God is doing in our lives with others.
Story Continues - Screen
Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!” The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
Daniels Answer gives us our final step...
Give God the credit… don’t take credit for it when God did it.
Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed. “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.
That’s a bold witness at any age, but especially at the age of 17. Daniel doesn’t take the credit. He gives it to the Lord.
He points to the Lord - Evangelism
*** If you have been given SUCCESS, it’s a platform to point people to the Lord!
If you and I will do this, just point people to God, he will bless us in ways we never imagined.
These are the 8 things Daniel did that we can do. Now he shares the dream.
“In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold. “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world. Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix. “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.” Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him.
God showed me the dream you keep having and he told me the meaning of it.
In Your dream, you saw a giant frightening statue of a man:
Head made of God -
Chest and arms made of sliver
Midsection & thighs made of bronze
Legs - Iron
Feet - Iron and clay
But then a giant rock cut from the mountain by supernatural means struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.
The whole statue was crushed & collapsed.
The wind blew it away without a trace.
The rock that knocked the stature down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
The Meaning of the Dream:
Now, here’s the meaning: God is showing you the empires that will come after you:
1. The gold head is your empire (Babylonian)
2. Silver arms & chest will be a weaker kingdom after you (Medo-Persian)
3. The bronze stomach & thighs will be a 3rd empire to rise (Greek)
4, The Iron legs and feet with the most powerful of all empires (Roman)
But it will eventually be divided- some parts strong as iron, others weak as clay & they don’t mix well.
BUT THE ROCK that crushes everything else is this:
One day, GOD is going to set up HIS kingdom
It will never be destroyed.
No one will ever conquer it!
It will last forever!
That’s how history will end and you can count on it!
Nothing will keep that from happening!
WHAT A WITNESS!
Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him. The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”
A pagan King admits Daniels God is God...
Then He gives Daniel a position of honor , more possessions and another promotion.
Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men. At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.
He’s given a reward and greater responsibility… Prizes… Greater position. Daniel doesn’t forget his friends, he brings them along.
let me close with this...
Kids, deal at work, promotion, kicking a stronghold in your life, having a baby?
Pray about not trying to see the future but about trusting God.