God is preparing His heroes. And when the opportunity comes, He can fit them into their places in a moment. And the world will wonder where they came from. –A.B. Simpson, evangelist and church founder
“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:1-3 (NASB)
From my earliest days as a Christian, I admired Daniel as one of the premier personalities of the Bible. Somehow, this humble leader was able to conduct himself with wisdom, faithfulness, and courage through all of his days—even under the dominions of idolatrous kings and the demands of the Mosaic Law.
Throughout the years, I have come to realize that the book of Daniel also serves as a handbook of sorts for those of us who must navigate the often tumultuous waters of the end times.
In spite of crazy times and the upheaval of kingdoms, Daniel faithfully walked with God in the midst of constant temptation, stayed true to his Lord despite intense pressure to worship other gods, and faithfully served several kings while surrounded by political enemies.
Daniel’s sensitive witness of humility, competency, and faithful service was so powerful that we may someday see one or more of those kings in heaven. At the very least, his faithful example gave other Jews the courage to stand strong for their faith through temptation and even persecution.
How did Daniel do all of this? He did not seek human approval, but rather the true glory that comes from God.
When all looked hopeless and lost, Daniel continuously looked up, studying the Scriptures and taking time from his busy schedule to seek God in prayer three times each day. Dwelling in the wilderness of exile through an almost continuous onslaught of bad news, Daniel walked in steadfast faith, which in turn led to his faithful service to his Lord.
The True Glory Days of God’s Kingdom
Can we draw a few parallels to our day? The world around us is a materialistic Babylon, overflowing with temptations of all sorts. The church of Jesus Christ finds itself under siege by intense persecution in many parts of the globe and lukewarm belief in others. Christians of all sorts face constant discouragement as they see days of glory fading into the realm of legend. As in the time of Daniel, it often appears as though God has abandoned His wayward people.
Appearances, my friends, are often deceiving. The true glory days of God’s kingdom lie not in the past, but in the future. And the tumult we see in our world? It is the result of a sovereign shaking intended by God to separate pseudo-glory from the true glory which is eternally valuable. Ours is a day for hope, not discouragement and despair.
The Nature of True Glory
Why must we be faithful to grasp and apply the concepts presented in this book? Because true glory lies before us as God prepares a generation of leaders who will guide many to eternal righteousness. But in order to lead others along this noble path, we must first grasp the nature of true glory ourselves.
Yes, we need to exercise absolute faith in our Lord and Savior, and yes, we should come to fully understand our status as the sons and daughters of the King. At the same time, we would do well to follow the examples set by Daniel and the apostle Paul in taking the attitude of humble bond-servants.
True Glory in Modern Times
History reveals seasons in which God gifted generations of believers to powerfully advance His kingdom purposes. However, one need study only a smattering of church history to realize that far too many Christian movements have succumbed to the subtle and incessant temptation of human pride. In modern times, the quest for human glory within the church has left us in a severely weakened and relatively ineffective state.
Still, I believe that God is preparing a generation of “halflings” whom He will mightily use to advance His eternal purposes in these last days. If God raises up big-name leaders, it is only for the purpose of serving and equipping a generation of faithful believers, not to form personality cults revolving around spiritual superstars.
It matters a great deal, therefore, that average people emerge as champions and overcomers through the midst of their trials and difficulties. Will you be an end-time hero—one with the lowly heart of a bond-servant who understands true glory? I certainly hope so!
This post is drawn from Chapter Fifty-One of Bob’s devotional: Champions in the Wilderness—Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers