But the people who know their God shall stand firm (be strong KJV; rise up) and take action (do exploits). Daniel 11:32b
This verse is in the context of Daniel foretelling what is going to happen in the “end times,” which is a period of turmoil before Israel will be restored to its former glory and Jesus will sit on the throne in Jerusalem. In the middle of much conflict and extreme evil there is a big “but.” It is a light in the middle of the darkness: “BUT the people who know their God will stand firm and take action.”
David knew it when he rose up as a shepherd boy and took on Goliath. He said in 1 Samuel 17:37: The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Then in verses 45-47 You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…I will strike you down that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord save not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hand.
We need this same moxy today! I am encouraged when I read headlines where people are in perilous situations or do big things and give glory to God. One such example was this last week when Tammie Jo Shults landed the Southwest Airlines flight April 17 safely after an engine blew midair. Though one passenger was sadly lost on the flight, the other 144 faced the same plight, but she safely landed the plane. Tammie Jo was quoted as saying that “God sent His angels to watch over us,” in a Charisma News article of April 18. A Christian, Tammie Jo reports that she gets opportunities to witness for Christ on almost every flight. This time she got an opportunity to stand firm and take action. The biggest thing that the news reports commented on was her calmness.
The idea is being ready for action, ready to be used by God. There are three characteristics that I want to highlight about those who know God and are ready for action:
- They understand the times and know what to do. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 that is how the men of Issachar are described: Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs , and all their kinsmen under their command. This takes discernment. It takes watching the news and current events, sifting through all of the political bickering, posturing and flat out garbage–and then knowing what to do. Discernment comes through prayer and Bible study more than through watching TV and being on the Internet. In Habakkuk 2:1 he declares, I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He (God) will say to me.
- They have boldness and an undying energy in the Lord. In 1 Chronicles 12 there is a description of David’s mighty men. It details the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen who could shoot arrows and could sling stones with either the right or the left hand. They were experts with the shield and the spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were a swift as gazelles upon the mountains. They crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west. Now those are exploits! God isn’t looking for an army of physical warriors today, but He is looking people with that same boldness and spunk. He has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of boldness, courage, and ‘Go ahead punk, make my day’ mentality. If we can have that kind of attitude for the things of the world, let’s have it for God. Don’t let the enemy wear you down!
- They dream big dreams, and then do it. Those are the kind of people I like to be around. Paul declared, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, in Philippians 4:13. I’m trying to catch myself every time I tell God that I can’t do something, including “I can’t take this anymore.” No–I can do all things if He gives me strength. And God will if that is what He wants me to do. David stepped forward when no one else would. He was in the right place at the right time, and it was God’s place for him and God’s time. God, give me Your dreams. Put them on my heart. Place me around dreamers. Keep the ‘no’ people far from me.
May you know God, be strong, rise up and take action. And may you impact our generation for Him.
*Image from zh-cn.facebook.com