The Book of Daniel tells the story of a young man in captivity. The Jewish people were enslaved by the mighty empire of Babylon. The once proud city of God, Jerusalem, had been burned to the ground. The Temple had been completely destroyed.
Daniel, through obedience to God and a vigorous prayer life, rose to power in the Babylonian government. He was known for his wisdom and the ability to interpret dreams and visions. All throughout Daniel's life he carried himself with honor, integrity, and with the heart of a servant - even in the court of a pagan king.
One of his trials brought him near to death, simply for being obedient unto God.
King Darius was about to appoint Daniel over the entire land. He recognized Daniel had an extraordinary spirit within him. This did not win any points with Daniel's homegrown contemporaries; David was a Jew and a foreigner. Despite his unique abilities and insight, they were jealous and sought to get rid of him.
Because of Daniel's faithfulness, his enemies couldn't find any grounds to remove Daniel from his position in the palace or from the king's heart. They had to resort to an underhanded scheme.
They convinced Darius to punish anyone who would not worship the king alone. The penalty would be throwing the offender into the lion's den.
Daniel was fully aware of the king's command, but he refused to worship anyone besides the Lord. He was seen worshiping the Lord and was condemned to die by the king who loved him.
Darius discovered that he had unwittingly signed Daniel's death warrant with the law he had passed. Brokenhearted, he tried desperately to overturn his hasty proclamation.
Darius was distraught having to give the order to execute Daniel. As he sealed Daniel in with the lions, Darius prophesied over Daniel.
He said, "Your God whom you continually serve will deliver you." - Daniel 6:16
Obedience to Jesus can be extremely costly. It can cost you your job. It can strip you of your possessions. It can cost you your friends. It could cost you your life. Daniel knew all these things and surrendered himself before God without a second thought. He was more afraid of being consumed by the wrath of the Lord than being eaten by lions.
Daniel's obedience to God even led a pagan king to give glory to the Father. King Darius recognized the Lord's power and love towards His servants.
Just imagine how your obedience could turn back years of darkness and abuse in a sinner's life. There is tremendous power in how you choose to reflect Christ to the world.