Good morning, peeps!
I do not have a bible app on my phone. I need you to understand the level of phone-raggedyness that I’m working with. One more app and it’s going to explode. And I’ve only downloaded 2 apps since I got it, the rest are factory. I can’t with this phone. I really only use it for messages, calls, or GoogleMaps. Oh, and as an alarm clock. Doing too much at the same same causes it to lock up. Shoot, I am presently afraid to take one more screenshot because that means I have to push the HOME and power buttons at the same time. Yeah. It’s raggedy.
Back to my lack of app…
Every morning, I open Chrome and search for biblegateway.com so that I can get the “verse of the day”. God’s Word is the first thing I want my eyeballs to read and while I do have an actual hard copy bible right next to my bed, I use my phone since it’s already in my hands. Remember, it’s my alarm clock. The funky thing about this app is that it never has a blank background. There’s always some headline and pic of a celebrity or some tragedy. I really just want to get to my verse, thank you very much. I usually try to quickly key in “bibleg—” so that I can avoid seeing anything. On August 3rd, a headline popped up and no matter how fast I tried to type “bibleg—“, I could not not see it.
I was stuck. There was no verse for me to read – God spoke to me with that. With that headline, God presented me with a question:
If it meant that folks wouldn’t even want to hear your name spoken, would you still obey me? I immediately answered, “Yes”.
Do you know how far into the land of Angryness a person has to go to not even want to hear your name uttered?? I mean, I’ve been in situations where folks didn’t want to talk to me or be around me, but you can’t even say my name without feeling some type of way?? Like my youngest daughter said to me, “You tellin’ me that just saying my name bothers you that much?? Dang.” I remember watching old westerns like Bonanza where the patriach says “Don’t you dare say that name in my house!”. It’s usually the name of someone who has stolen land or somehow tarnished the family name. You better not say that name. They used to backhand folks for that…on T.V. This here is real life.
Before we start this study on the book of Daniel, I want you to know from the jump that this is not going to be a feel-good skip through the scriptures. It is not. This bible study and devotional series is going to be on 1. I am not exactly sure what that means, but it’s about to be ridiculous. God is going to make us a bit uncomfortable with this one. We’re going to be presented with some tough questions and I don’t believe God is going to let us skip out with canned responses this time. Oh, you know what I mean. I’ve learned how to smile and say “If it’s God Will” and pretend like I’m all in. God ain’t havin’ that this rip. This is the time where we will discover our true grit.
Which means we are not ending this story with the fiery furnace. Daniel, just like our lives, has more than 3 chapters to it.
Taking a stand with a group doesn’t take courage…unless you are afraid of crowds. Most of us aren’t, especially when it comes to doing things for the Kingdom of God. That’s why we go to church. We love the fellowship, unity, and the knowledge that we are not alone – we can see other humans standing with us. We may not know how firmly they’re standing, but at least we seem to be going in the same direction. We form committees because being told “that idea is dumb” doesn’t sting as much when the goo is spread out among three or four other people. What if you are called to stand alone, though? What if you are the only one believing that God has told you to do something? What if all of those in your committee who seemed to be on the same page with you now are like “We’re with everyone else. Your idea is dumb.”?
What if doing what God has called you to do means that one day, you will have to stand alone with lions (tigers and bears) at your back?
What if doing what God has called you to do means that you will have to stand in the gap for the very ones who cannot stand you?
What if doing what God has called you to do means that no one, not even those who once adored you, want to even say your name?
Will you still stand?
So this is how the bible study/devotional schedule will go. Thursday is the big study session, with the remaining weekdays being our devo days. Yes, this long blog is a devotional. Can you imagine what my bible study is going to look like?? I hope that as we go through this, we all take a hard look at ourselves. Like, for real. God is calling for warriors. Strong and dependable warriors who are willing to take a stand for Him. Before you start shaking in your boots, here is something that was impressed upon me two weeks ago: the success of this mission is totally on God’s shoulders – He just wants us to show up to the battle ready to fight. Kinda sounds like something I talked about three series ago, right? Almost. The difference between what I said then and what I’m saying now is the realization that God really is the one responsible for the victory. For real. He wants me to stand and be willing to stand NO MATTER WHAT…as HE fights the battle. And I will.
Because in the end, I only care if HE still says my name.
Let’s dig in. –d.