Beth had the participant read two chapters in Judges about Samson and answer questions and then read Daniel 1 and Daniel 6 about Daniel.
Notice that Daniel did not panic, nor did he ignore the edict. He simply got down on his knees and made his petition. Let's draw several basic conclusions from Daniel's egkrateia or self-control.
- Physical discipline and spiritual discipline often go hand in hand. Samson had neither; Daniel had both.
- Prior discipline prepares us for present dilemmas. The time to prepare for a crisis is in advance and through the practice of prayer. It requires discipline to form the habit of prayer and self-control to withstand the obstacles that compete for time.
- Self-control enhances effectiveness; self-indulgence limits effectiveness. Many of us will never fully affect this planet in ways God planned because of our sheer lack of self-control and discipline. Any effectiveness may seem random and accidental.
- Self-control for God's sake invites God's blessing. Self-control prospers; self-indulgence perishes.
Consider this. Two healthy, red-blooded boys (Samson & Daniel).
- One denied his call of consecration. One chose it.
- One took more than he was offered. One resisted what he was offered.
- One assumed the power of God and ultimately lost it. One asked for the power of God and ultimately found it.
- One was overcome by his enemy. One overcame his enemy.
- One was victorious in his death. One was victorious in his life. Both young men had everything going for them - with only one major difference: one was protected by the wall of self-discipline; one was not. Ouch.
Wow, really loved that and the messages at church today. Our church lost a missionary pastor in Haiti this past Thursday. A wife lost a husband and a family lost a father and grandfather. Please lift up his family in prayer and his congregation.