Even the strongest people of God need support.
Honest to goodness, alive, in-the-flesh support.
I know, I know, there is the illusion of being surrounded by friends.
Facebook, forums, link ups, groups, fans, follows, you name it.
I know we have our tribes online, I know we have our pals, and our families, and our church body, worldwide even, and it’s a beautiful thing.
But sometimes even the sturdiest soul warrior needs just a few people alongside of them who are ready to drop everything and congregate on their knees, and forget everything but the lifting up and the calling out to the One True King.
Souls bared, a laying out, a single focus, lifting and calling and thanking and battling, no questions asked, no holding back.
I don’t know about you, but I want that kind of support.
For when the battles are scary big and overwhelming and feeling impossible. For even when they’re not but just feel that way.
I’ve been spending personal time in the book of Daniel. I don’t know that I’ve really known the accounts there in any great depth. Sunday school stories rehashed how many times in my 40 years. So I’m going verse by verse, gleaning the purpose behind the words, looking into every history, stopping and conversing with the Father over it all.
And its such an arresting book. How did I not know? These are turbulent times for the captive Jews in vile Babylon, and how well we can relate to turbulent times these days, yes? Well it’s intense, with a king who’s on a massive and pagan ego trip, and a government who is willing to kill on command the very people he’d groomed to be his hundreds of wise men and advisors, because he doesn’t like his nightmares suddenly.
And there’s Daniel in the thick of it.
Keeping his head down and his faith up.
Refusing all influence but God’s. And scripture tells us that even the egotistical king has to admit that Daniel, and three of his closest friends, are the wisest and most skilled and understanding of all the captive young men. And they join the ranks of advisors to the court. (Daniel 1:7-21)
And we keep being reminded into the second chapter that Daniel’s faith is pretty impressive. If anyone can take on such turbulence, it should be him. This is the guy we know will one day hang with lions like they’re best buds because of his loyalty and faith in Yahweh. He’s been grounded in God since before the age of 18.
That’s an impressive man of God.
And yet, the verse that catches and holds my attention within this riveting account is tucked into the second chapter.
Nebuchadnezzar is suffering insomnia of the worst kind. Dreams of a very troubling nature keeping him awake, he’s got unacceptable amounts of bags under his kingly eyes, and no amount of prayers to his favourite moon-god are ending the pit of exhaustion and panic growing.
And in a fit of rage, after being told his desires for someone to divine his dreams without actually telling them what he’s dreamt can’t be done by anyone in the legions of his worshippers, he decrees they’ve all breathed their last breath, and begins to wipe out the very people he schooled for this very purpose.
And Daniel hears of the mass killing about to proceed, and steps forward and offers to do the impossible. Not because he wants the rank and popularity, but because here is the chance to allow God to do what no one else could ever do.
The king in his desperation says yes. At which point we all think, wow Daniel rocks, he’s the man!
And here’s the verse in the middle of this incredible account that stopped and grabbed me.
“Then Daniel, departing to his house, made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of Heaven concerning this secret, and so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:17, 18
Daniel, sure of his God, yes, decides this still requires unparalleled support from his best and closest soul warriors. His companions, the Bible says.
He’s not going into this alone!
They’d fought on their knees before. Together. With purpose.
As teenagers growing up. During the war that takes their land from them. During the Jewish people giving up their traditions and beliefs in order to live in harmony, as captives. And now during their stay in the courts, the last place they wanted to be.
If he had to ask God for the impossible, he was going to do it with these three men. And they don’t turn him down. They don’t question whether he’s off his nut to propose an answer to an unhinged King. They get down to business.
Seeking mercies from the God of Heaven. Together.
Supporting Daniel on a spiritual level, but borne out of friendship built on hearts locked on Him.
This isn’t about a great show of miracles. This isn’t a chummy, “oh yes, I’ll pray for you through the day, bro.” This isn’t about rising to popularity. It isn’t about showing everyone up.
It’s about seeking mercies.
Mercies for the men about to lose their lives. Mercies for the land. Mercies for a king who needs to be convicted and changed. Mercies that will come in the form of the answer of secret dreams.
Companions that pour hearts before God until they see an answer.
And they get it. Daniel watches as God reveals the dreams and visions, and their meaning. And then he raises instant blessings to God. I’m sure they all did. Because Daniel was about to supply an answer to the turmoil. It was huge.
You know who those three young men were, his companions?
Their God-given names may not be familiar.. but they would also be labelled with three other names so the king would not be reminded they were of Judah.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
And later they would go on to be tested, not on their knees, but in an executioner’s furnace. And live to tell about it, and the God they never stopped praying to.
Still seeking mercies.
Do you have someone who will drop everything and seek mercies with you? A network or people who will seek God’s face, and not just the ideal solution?. As a friend of mine said one day, “seeking God’s face before you ever seek His hand?”
Seeking mercies. Together.
If you don’t, it’s not hard to find. Because I can promise there are others out there hungry for the same support. Start asking the people around you to meet up for prayer. Three or four even. And don’t hold back. Share your looming battles and watch God connect you all together. Because it won’t be about you.
It’ll be about Him.
We all need a network. We’re hungry for it.
It’s a hunger blazing through communities even now with groups like IF:Gathering, just to name one, and so many others where people are sinking into prayer and support on fresh levels in small groups, in person.
Where we’re alive, and in the flesh.
Where you can hold the hand of the person beside you.
Where you can hear the desperate cry in their voice.
Where you can pass a tissue and a smile.
Where you all kneel on the same floor in the same room.
So that you might seek mercies.
So you can celebrate answers in real-time.
Even the strongest Daniels need companions on their knees.
Don’t seek alone anymore.
God has amazing support waiting for you. And incredible mercies.
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Today’s post is thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday!