This is the 2nd study in our series “An Awkward Stance, a study/devotional series on the book of Daniel.
Good morning, peeps!
I apologize for the lateness of this blog. I had a early day of meetings and travelling so I wasn’t able to send this out sooner. I’m glad that I couldn’t because some stuff needed to marinate for a little bit. Let’s dig in.
On the last blog, I left you guys pondering your identity. I hope everyone did what I asked and focused on what this was saying:
When people talk about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, they talk about what those boys did: Daniel refused to eat the king’s food and the other three refused to bow down and worship a pagan god. Nothing wrong with that…talk about it. What has been crammed into my brain is they would not have been able to do those things had they not known who they were and how to walk in that knowledge.
Who You Are
I have three kiddos. They look like me. The youngest daughter looks exactly like me, but they all look like me. You can tell they’re mine. They are. I know this. Not just because they look like me, but because I looked at them as they exited the building, if you know what I mean. No one on this Earth or even in Heaven can convince me that they are not mine. Those three are Deone’s kiddos. Out of the three, my son looks like me the least. He actually looks like my brother’s children. He could slide right into a family portrait session and no one would think twice. Put a pin in that – we’ll revisit.
Look at Numbers and Leviticus. The writers made sure you knew who begat whom. Do you know why? It wasn’t just so you wouldn’t confuse Ephraim’s Jehud with Benjamin’s. (I promise I’m just making up names.) Family legacy, inheritance and identity meant something back in those days. You knew who you were. Your mama and daddy made sure of that. Oh, you were reminded on a daily basis that your great-great-great-great grandaddy was Abraham and the covenant God made with him. You not only knew who you were, but you knew what that meant. You were taught how to carry yourself as a descendant of Abraham. You were taught how to be that. Everyone knew who Abe’s people were. You could spot one of Benjamin’s kids a mile away. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone did what they were taught, but all knew the consequences of acting out of character. You know that saying mamas have when their kids are acting up, “You know good and well I didn’t raise you that way.” Man. Acting outside of character would get you into a lot of trouble. We really don’t know what being “estranged” means, not when compared to how they lived back in the day. Not only would you get told off, but they’d kick you out of the tribe and leave you up to the mercy of God. You weren’t about to mess things up for everybody.
The fear of God’s wrath has a tendency to thin out blood rather quickly.
While on my business trip, I’d pray the same prayer every morning: “God, let them see You in me. Let my very presence change the atmosphere. Let Your Spirit be felt when I walk into the room.” This was my prayer every single morning. From my vantage point, it didn’t seem like that was happening, though. Papers didn’t fly off of the tables nor did screens flicker when I walked in. I really wasn’t expecting that and to be honest, if that had happened, I probably would’ve held up my church finger and excused myself. What I did do was carry myself like a woman who knew who she was: a woman of God. I just walked in it. I didn’t need to slam a bible down onto the table, hum a couple of hymns during the conference calls or say “God bless you” whenever I greeted anyone. Nope. I just was. I was being. I didn’t isolate myself and I still hee-hawed with everyone else. If you ask me, I wasn’t giving off any odd vibes. I found out on the last day that I stood out like a sore thumb. One person asked me if I was in ministry and I replied ‘yes’. Then he said, “I could tell. It’s all over you.”
There is a point to this and it’s going to take me a minute to get to it. I will pause right here and return on Monday. I have to get ready to go to prison right now. You all have a great weekend.