“Oh Daniel, is your GOD, whom ye serve, ABLE to deliver you out of the mouth of the LIONS?”
This is the question for each one of us today to consider – Is our God ABLE to save us, “because your adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
King Darius, the foolish king who passed the law to force all to worship him, didn’t realize that his foolish pride would lead to having the best man in his court thrown to the lions.
“And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?'” Daniel 6:20
What was Daniel’s answer? “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him: and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” Daniel 6:22
Daniel’s God is able to deliver!
Our question, “is OUR GOD ABLE?” is so pertinent to each one of us and it is a question that each one of us has to decide for himself. God has given much evidence for us to look at and we can hear the testimony of others who have experienced God’s faithfulness.
Down in our hearts we each know that we cannot deliver ourselves from the lions of sin and death – our good intentions and resolutions are “as ropes of sand.” It is a fact that even “self improvement” teachers with their “pick yourself up by your own bootstraps” theories, are unable to bring the desired improvement into their own life and often have more troubles than their students! “. . . they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)
We are going to look at what God tells us He is ABLE to do for each one of us as well as the way to receive that deliverance, and listen to testimony from those who have experienced His faithfulness and hear them affirm – “Our God IS able!”
Wolves Into Sheep
Suppose a wolf should one day, after watching peaceful sheep, decide that this is how an animal should live. So he goes down to the pasture and pulling a wooly sweater over his shaggy body, he climbs over the fence and begins to try to eat grass with the flock.
He tries as hard as he can, but the grass sticks in his teeth and he gets restless lying quietly in the sun. At night as he hears other wolves howling, he twitches and it is so hard for him to sleep peacefully like the rest of the flock. He struggles to push down his aggressiveness but every time a fat lamb grazes close to him, he catches himself drooling.
One day a pack of his old buddies race past and before he knows it, he leaps the fence and races to join them. Later he returns to the flock, head down and dejected and so sorry to have failed in his resolve. As he is lying under a bush, so dejected at his failure and wishing to die, he hears a loving voice, and lifting his shaggy head with the tatters of the wooly sweater dangling around his neck, gazes into the face of the lovely Creator.
“Wolf,” He says kindly, “If you truly want to be one of My sheep, you must be born again, recreated as a sheep, for “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil?” (Jeremiah 13:23)
The wolf approaches the Creator, head down and repentant. “I can do nothing to change myself, I know, I have tried, and I get nowhere. Please, dear Creator, recreate me as one of your sheep.”
When the wolf was recreated he found a wonderful joy in being a sheep and doing sheep things. The grass was delicious; he enjoyed the company of the other sheep and no longer desired any part of his old ways.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.” John 3:3
The Bible Answers Your Questions
What’s the big deal about sin anyway? Aren’t most people basically good?
“Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Matthew 19:17
“Then the lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!” Job 14:4
All I really need to do is follow my conscience and my heart will guide me, right?
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
God expects us to ‘use our own heads’ and be smart, right?
“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” Psalm 119:9
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11
Well, if that is the case, how can I be saved?
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them,. ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22
” . . . if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
But I have done wrong things and what is worse, a lot of the time; I don’t even feel like obeying God. It seems unreal to me.”
“. . . but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” 1 Corinthians 1:23
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
That’s just it, it doesn’t make sense to me – what can I do?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
But that is impossible for me.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.'” Hebrews 10:16-17
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
How do I get this new heart?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
“And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
If it is so easy, how come everybody isn’t saved from sin?
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-7
O.K., and where do I get this faith?
” . . . God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'” Mark 9:24
“If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” said Jesus, “you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'” (Matthew 17:20) Even though the grain of mustard seed is so small, it contains that same mysterious life principle which produces growth in the loftiest tree. When the mustard seed is planted into the ground, the tiny germ lays hold of every element that God has provided for its nutriment, and it speedily develops a sturdy growth. If you have faith like this, you will lay hold of God’s word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen and will bring to your aid the power of heaven. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills shall disappear before the demand of faith. “Nothing shall be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20)
Is there anything that could stop me from receiving what God wants to give me?
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” Psalm 66:18
“. . . and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
But I feel so rebellious sometimes – what can I do?
God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man. Of ourselves, we are not able to bring our purposes and desires and inclinations into harmony with the will of God: but if we are “willing to be made willing,” the Savior will accomplish this for us. We must ask Him for His help, and then obey His command that tells us to “cast down arguments and every high thing [thought] that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
I am willing to be made willing! Tell me more.
“And when He had come into the house the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.'” Matthew 9:28-29
There is no limit with God to save and to set us free from sin and recreate us. If we are willing to have sin removed from us – even if we can’t see how we can give up our darling sins, if we ask God to take from us the love for sin and put enmity in our hearts for it, we will be freed from its power! (“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15)
“. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:17-21
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
So what is the secret of having a living relationship with God?
“. . . by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature . . . ” 2 Peter 1:4
“To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” Luke 1:74-75
“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, 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. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” 1 Samuel 17:45-46
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'” Mark 9:23
THERE IS NO GIANT OF SIN OR TROUBLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT CAN STAND AGAINST THE POWER OF GOD CLAIMED BY FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST!
The great secret of how to do it.
1. How do I stretch forth the withered hand?
Mark 3:5 ” . . . stretch forth your hand . . .”
2. How do I become clean?
Mark 1:41 ” . . . Be thou clean.”
3. How am I supposed to keep from sinning?
John 8:11 ” . . . Go and sin no more.”
4. How am I supposed to get off my sick bed?
Matthew 9:6 ” . . . Arise, take up thy bed . . .”
5. How am I supposed to be perfect?
Matthew 5:48 ” . . . Be ye therefore perfect . . . ”
6. How am I supposed to have faith in God if I can’t see Him?
Mark 11:22 ” . . . Have faith in God.”
7. How am I supposed to believe?
Mark 5:36 ” . . . Only believe.”
You make the CHOICE, God gives the POWER!
As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.”
If our God – is not able, then we are doomed to perish miserably, and eternally in outer darkness –
But PRAISE HIS NAME!
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
OUR GOD IS ABLE!