GOD created you to SHINE
Throughout history there have been stories about men and women who grabbed hold of the fact that it is possible for one person to change the world. We read about their lives in history books, tell children about their incredible feats, and immortalize them in movies. There is something so intriguing about these people that we continue to talk about them for centuries. And even though the lives and accomplishments of these great men and women may look very different, they all had one thing in common; they changed the world.
What makes a world changer? Were they born with something the rest of us don’t have? I don’t think so. I believe that what separates out history makers is that they grabbed hold of the truth that they were created to shine. I believe that these men and women dared to believe the impossible: that their life had the potential to impact the world and affect generations to come.
God created each and every one of us to shine. He really did. But until we really start to believe that God has created us with purpose and a destiny it is hard for us to truly believe that we were created to shine. The Bible states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
In the book of Daniel, we see that Daniel and his three friends were chosen to serve in the courts of the King. Daniel was chosen to serve in the courts of a very evil and pagan king, king Nebuchadnezzar. But despite the difficult situation that Daniel found himself in, Daniel and his three friends stood for God and prevailed. Many scholars believe that as a result of Daniel’s stand for God that he was able to influence Cyrus’ decision to allow the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild their way of life. I believe that Daniel was a man who knew that he was created to influence kings, affect governments, and change the world.
I believe that because Daniel had a vision to serve God and affect the lives of others that his life was marked by a grace to accomplish the impossible. Daniel was a man who knew that he had been created to shine.
First, Daniel set himself apart for God.
Daniel was a world changer and a history maker who we continue to revere. And there are a few things that mark Daniel’s life. First of all, he set himself apart for God. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the King’s delicacies, nor with the wine that he drank” (Daniel 1:8). Why was this so important? Daniel was taking a stand and refusing to eat food that was sacrificed to idols. In this way Daniel was setting himself apart from the wickedness and worldliness of the day and consecrating himself to the Lord. Daniel made it clear to both God and men that he had set himself apart for the Lord.
Second, Daniel’s life was marked by sacrifice
Daniel was known as a man of fasting and prayer. Daniel was known as a man who would not bow his knee to the gods of his day. Daniel was known as a man who was faithful to God no matter what the cost – he was completely surrendered to the Lord. Daniel gave his whole heart and his entire life to the Lord.
Third, Daniel’s extreme obedience released favor and promotion
Daniel’s lifestyle of devotion and sacrifice released favor and promotion to him. I believe that it was Daniel’s obedience that led to his promotion. You see in chapter 3 that the King was given dreams that greatly troubled him and caused him to seek out a person who could interpret them. The King then began to search out a man to interpret his dreams. I love this picture of God creating an opportunity for his faithful servant to shine as the King goes out and search for a man with the answer. You see, Daniel had prepared himself for his promotion by setting himself apart and through sacrifice. And God knew that he could trust Daniel with the promotion. When we are obedient, God knows He can trust us and then He creates situations to promote us.
In the book of Ephesians it states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). This means God has already created opportunities for us to do good works so that we can shine!! If we are going to be world changers, we have to truly believe that promotion comes from the Lord. Bill Johnson says that salvation is free but revival will cost you everything. The truth is that there is a price we have to pay when we want to move into our destinies. And when we become willing to pay that cost, our sacrifice becomes the very thing that leads to our own personal breakthrough and can even lead to the breakthrough for an entire group of people, like we see in the book of Daniel. In short, Daniel’s sacrifice led to the breakthrough of a nation.
When we give God our whole hearts and our entire lives to God, we set ourselves apart and we position ourselves for greater intimacy with the Lord. God wants our whole heart. He wants all of us, our entire lives, surrendered before Him. He is looking for men and women who say, “God I have separated myself out for you, God I want to be used by You.” God is looking for men and women who He can trust so that He can promote them and partner with them to change the world. But the Lord first requires surrender and sacrifice.
Revivalists change the world for God’s glory.
We are all called to be revivalists. And as revivalists we have to understand that promotion comes from the Lord. In the book of Psalms it says, “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the judge: He puts down one and exalts another.” Revivalists know that when they are faithful and when they live for God that in the right season He will raise them up. Revivalists know that God is on their side and the he is looking to and fro the Earth searching out faithful hearts who He can strongly support.
God wants you to shine. He has a destiny for you and He is so excited about your heart and your life and the things that you will do together. If you don’t know what your destiny is, ask Him to show you. Ask Him to show you the things He has for you to do together. Ask Him and trust Him that He is working all things together for your good.