then the king commanded, and daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. the king declared to daniel, “may your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” and a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning daniel. then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. [daniel 6:16-18]


may your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you


what was it about daniel and his life that communicated to the king that he served his God continually? if the king knew that daniel prayed three times a day, he probably would not have signed the decree that daniel defied—since upon discovering daniel’s guilt he wanted to save him. as far as i know there probably wasn’t a synagogue for daniel to attend in babylon. we may not be able to know what gave him away, but we see a lost person testifying to the continuous nature of his abiding and serving with the Lord.

what do you think indicates to the people around you every day that you serve the Lord? and do you think you give the impression of serving him continually? we cannot control what other people see in us or what they think of us, but we can control what we think and do—or can we? Jesus said whoever abides in me and i in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing, (jn. 15:5) but Paul says, so neither he who plants or he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 cor. 3:7) if we abide in Christ we will bear fruit, but the fruit is grown by the power of the Spirit in us, not by our strength. 


so, in pursuit of witnessing to the lost and demonstrating our consistent servitude of Christ, we are completely dependent on Him in all ways. what would it look like for you to give up striving to look like a devoted follower of Christ and start pleading with him to grow the fruit of devotion in your heart? what would it look like for you to stop trying in your strength to think about Christ all day and start trusting in him to sustain you? i’ll suggest three things.


1. it looks like asking God to increase our desire for Him

stop trying to look like you have a strong desire for him; heck, stop trying to make a strong desire for him! only he can grow your desire for him, so just ask! if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (mt. 7:11) come to him, and ask him to help you desire to come to him!


2. it looks like asking God to increase your awe and worship of him

stop trying to feel like God is awe-inspiring; ask him to increase your awe of him! read about the things he has done and his character and promises in his word, and ask him to increase your thankfulness for who he is and what he has done! trying to stir up emotions for God is foolishness—approaching him through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit will bring out emotions on its own. God’s presence is moving on its own, and we can sit at his feet at any time—reading the bible means reading the very words of God, and places us at the feet of our loving Savior!


3. it looks like asking him to make us aware of his presence

if we are saved the Holy Spirit lives in us, and no striving is necessary to enter into his presence—already you are clean because of the word that i have spoken to you. abide in me, and i in you. (jn. 15:3-4a) that word “abide” means “remain”! we do not need to strive to remain in him; his cleansing blood has already put us in him! it is good that our strength is not required, because it would be insufficient anyway. all there is to do is to ask him—ask him to infiltrate our every thought, to remind us of his abiding presence with us every moment, to consume our desires so that we are continually drawn to him.


Lord, we are unable to increase our desire for you, our worship, and our awareness of your presence, but we desire that they increase, for your glory! increase in us, o Lord, and may the lost see the fruit of your lordship in our hearts and minds!


~ stephen hall