Unshakeable: When you’re asked to do the impossible.
Have you ever felt pressured to make choices that don’t align with your values? As the world’s values continue to drift, you need to be equipped with the resources to handle whatever life throws at you. In the Unshakable series based on the life of Daniel, you’ll discover how to handle life’s most difficult situations.The principles that guided Daniel through precarious life choices will help you learn how to respond when you feel pressured to make wrong choices, want to thrive in a hostile environment, succeed when you’re asked to do the impossible, stand strong for God publicly, and pray the kind of prayers that God answers. This week is Unshaken: when you are asked to do the impossible.
Bottom line: Impossibilities are opportunities for advancement.
Something To Talk About:
Have you ever been in that position? Someone asks you to do something that is challenging, arduous, and outrageous and given the time restraints, theoretically impossible. And no manner of burning the midnight oil, additional resources, groans or tears is going to enable you to do the impossible. Now what?
- Don’t panic or be afraid: Daniel had a legitimate reason to be worried –his life was on the line. The most powerful man on the planet sent out orders to have him killed. He had every reason to panic, but he didn’t. Daniel 2:14 says, “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” Once again, Daniel’s faith is tested and he passed with flying colors. This is an amazing young man. When the guard shows up to kill him, he didn’t panic and he wasn’t afraid, but handled it with wisdom beyond his years.
- Get the facts at any price: When somebody asks you to do the impossible, you need to find out what’s behind the request. You need to get all the facts and the motivation and if there is emotion involved, find out what’s fueling the situation. In this case, the king is afraid, terrified and he’s taking out his fear on everyone else. Daniel 2:15 says, ”Daniel asked the king’s captain, ‘Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?’ So Arioch told him all that had happened.” You’ve got to get the facts. “Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get.”(Proverbs 23:23 TLB) Don’t make a major decision just on emotion. Get the facts.
- Ask for time to create a solution: Your boss comes in and says I need this done and it’s an impossible task, you need to ask for time to create a solution. The reason you want to ask for time is because in a crisis, the greatest temptation you have is to be impulsive. In a crisis you are thinking emotionally, not logically. So, step back, take a deep breath, calm down, talk to God before you rush into action. Daniel knew he was going to need some time with his God. So, “Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.” (Daniel 2:16) He’s going to give it his best shot, he’s not going to say it’s impossible (like the other guys did), he’s going to try. Notice, he went at once. While you want to take time for the solution, you want to make contact with the the person who has asked the impossible right away. Daniel immediately goes to the source.
- Enlist prayer support from friends: Daniel knows he is going to pray about this and pray all night, but this thing is too big and he knows he needs others praying.”Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.’” (Daniel 2:17-18) Daniel knew immediately who he was going to ask to be in prayer along with him. We all need people you journey through life with together –people who you know you can count on and who can count on you for prayer support. You need to be able to ask for prayer the way Daniel did.
- Expect God to give supernatural help:When I say supernatural, I mean the kind of help you do not have on your own power, your own wisdom, your own logic. You need supernatural help when you don’t have the connections, the education, the wisdom, the answers. That’s exactly what Daniel needs. He could guess for a thousand years and never come up with the king’s dream. He needs to call on God and trust God will show him the meaning. Daniel comes to God in prayer and says I can’t figure this out on my own, I need your help. Daniel 2:19: “That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.”
- What seems impossible in your life right now?
- What’s the most audacious (daring) prayer you have ever prayed and received an answer for?
- What are you panicking about right now? Job problem? Finances/debt? Health situation? Marriage? Future? How can we not panic?
- Is there anything in your life you are procrastinating or avoiding because it might be painful? Do you believe time heals all wounds? Will additional time always end in a solution? Why or why not?
- Do you have any prayer partners? If you had a major crisis today, who would be the first five people you would call and ask to pray? If you don’t know who those people are, I highly recommend you build a prayer team today before the crisis comes because you will face impossible situations and you need to know who to call.
- Are there problems or circumstances in your life where you have not asked for God’s help?
- Do we worship God when He answers our prayers? Are we thankful for what He has done in the past, for what He is doing right now, and what He will do in the future? How can we best worship God for who He is and what He does in our lives?
- We are called by God to engage our world. How can the “impossible” help point people to God?
- What can we do this week to be better prepared when people ask for the improbable or even the impossible?
Take one thing home with you:
Using the impossible to point people to God.
God doesn’t just want to save you, but remember John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only son…” God wants to bless and save the whole world and God has chosen to work through us so that others will be saved. In v 24 “Then Daniel rushed to see Arioch [captain of the guards], who’d been ordered to execute all the king’s advisors. He said ‘Call off the execution, and take me to the king and I’ll explain the meaning of his dream.’” Imagine him running into the palace, call off the execution, I’ve got it. God not only told me the dream but the meaning too. Get me in to the king so we can all live. Daniel used what God showed him to save others. When God solves the impossible, or even when He gives us an answer to our prayer, we should point people to God.