My name is Daniel. I have not always been Daniel. I picked the name and adopted it sometime in my life as a young man. I love it. It was born out of an understanding of the Hebrew meaning and an admiration for the Daniel in the Bible. Ed Cole described him and his brothers as ‘men of a handsome countenance emanating from a strong spirit.’
I bear my name with a consciousness of the meaning. Most people bear names and have no regard as to the meaning thereof. When I decided to change my former name to a new one, very many people told me it didn’t matter, that it was unnecessary. That is an indication of what they felt about their names; no significance to its meaning. Yet people are often proud of their names though it has, to them, no meaning. One man observed thus:
“We don’t know when our names came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don’t understand our names at all; we don’t know its history, and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity. We merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it, as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration.”
He rightly observed. But I dare to say I have been delivered from the group of people that hold their names so. I indeed thought my own name up by a process of ‘brilliant inspiration.’
I am Daniel!
Daniel, a Hebrew name, means ‘God, my judge’.
What does it mean to have God as my judge? Yes, He is the judge of all the earth, but what is it that makes me put in that possessive pronoun ‘my’?
For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south comes promotion.
But God is judge; He puts down one and exalts another. Ps75:6,7
I have found out that life is a battle that I must win; it is a venture I must succeed in. The Scripture tells me that there is a proper procedure for every event. This caused me to search and to find out what the proper procedure for winning this battle is. I discovered that the wise King Solomon, a long time ago, observed it all; he observed and took instruction of what should appear to every keen observer, that victory in this battle is not guaranteed to the strong. When seen as a race, he took note of the fact that the first place was not assured the swift. He also noted that the smartest men usually didn’t make the money nor did things always go well with the well trained. In fact, it appeared that the success they experienced were matters of pure ‘time and chance.’ That is, it appeared like their opportunities came in its own time. You see it reminds me of something the Bible said:
“He has made everything perfect in its own time.” Eccl 3v11
Now if it is true what Solomon said that “the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the strong and neither bread to the wise, nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to men of ability,” (Eccl 9v11) then how do I know that my time of victory will come?
Paul, the great apostle, gave me an insight when he said it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who shows mercy.
I found that the secret is to get the mercy of God, or more like place myself in the place where the mercy of God will reach me. Has it not been said that:
“The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He might strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
So all I need to do is to give Him my whole heart by walking in a manner completely pleasing to Him, using His promises as the major criteria in my decision making processes. I go where pleases Him; I spend money the way He wants me to; I delight myself in hearing His words and doing them.
You know, I found out that the one He looks to is that person who, if I may use His words, “trembleth at my word.” Is 66v2
If God’s word doesn’t shake you, you don’t attract His attention.
So I do homage to His word.
Do you understand all these?
Let me highlight one point I mentioned earlier.
You see, using His promises as your criteria for decision making is one thing that does ‘swell God’s head’. It gladdens Him. When you do it He starts swearing good things in your favour by the greatest thing He can think of; this, of course, is Himself. That is when you start hearing things like “by Myself have I sworn that in blessing I will bless thee.”
The friend of God, Abraham, did just that.
While giving good attention to the scriptures I discovered that what really excited God about Abraham was not the fact that he was ready to release his precious son to God as a sacrifice, but rather that he was ready to stake the boy’s life on the promise of God. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews included in the New Testament explained it clearly that Abraham did not resign to the fact that Isaac was gone, but that he just considered that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead. He was fully aware of the promise that said “in Isaac your descendants shall be called.”
So you see, he did not give up Isaac as dead forever but he decided to sacrifice him, counting that God’s word could not fail. God too responded that ‘I have not see such faith, no, not on this earth; that a man can trust me to this extent even when he had never heard or read of anyone being raised from the dead!’ He then began to swear.
Friends, I so discovered that you can excite God.
The question to you is, “how do you make your own decisions?” I make mine (I sure try to), based on the knowledge of God’s word that I have. That way I remain in His very good books so that I too can partake of that mercy that makes time and chance happen to people.
Now, please don’t get the idea that I’m saying I’m perfect. No! No! I blunder occasionally. The secret of conquering this, I found out, is not my will power. I just run home to my Judge and beg him very seriously, all the while recognizing that it is the blood of Jesus that made me worthy. So the blunder (or to use the proper word, sin) cannot change that fact, it is just that I cannot afford to mock Him or take His grace in vain. In my weakness I run home and He strengthens me so that I can overcome.
Note that I am ever running home. The reason is because the more I know of Him, the more I see I need to improve. In fact, that is why I gave up trying to improve. I discovered that trying does not do the job, discovering Him and running home is what changes me; not my effort!
One thing I also discovered is that this Our-Father-Who-Art-In-Heaven is very kind and also very wise. He knows what is best. Remember that I mentioned earlier that He lifts people up at a particular time. The Psalmist said that the tree planted beside the waters has a season. Not every season is its season. My Judge has said that my time is in His hands.
I know I have a season. I know my time is coming, well held in God’s hands. So I relax. Nothing troubles me. I am not moved; I am not in a hurry. I trust that word that says that God delights in the prosperity of the righteous, His servants. It means God desires to bless me more that I want to be blessed. Akuna matata. It means no worries for the rest of my days. No stress. Let Him take His time.
The man of God, Bishop David Oyedepo said, “The blessings of God come at a time they will not become a curse. Even though they are slow yet they are sure and I’ll rather be slow but sure than be fast and fail!”
David, the psalmist, said none of those who wait for Him will be disappointed.
So you see, I don’t have any stress at all!
“Brother, you don’t have a car!”
“You want to marry, no fat bank account!”
Forget it! There’s no need for worrying.
Look I believe in Jesus, the first begotten Son of God. He said, “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things which he possesses.”
Let me help you understand that. It means what you have or do not have does not in anyway affect the outcome of your life, marriage, carrier, etc. You can succeed without material possession. You can have a successful wedding without cash! I know it sounds preposterous, but before you commit the error that killed the royal officer of King Jehoram in 2nd Kings chapter 7, let me reliably inform you that Jesus took time to teach His disciples this by multiplying bread and fish for a multitude. He was showing them that God’s transmission of blessings into your life does not always involve cash.
The disciples, not having learnt that lesson, once blundered by saying that Jesus was complaining that they had no bread. The Lord had to remind them of the miracles of the loaves. The lesson: “I can multiply bread anytime”. (You will find the story in Matthew I6.)
When they lacked wine, He did not raise an offering, He turned water into good wine, so good that the chairman of the occasion had to comment about the quality. Was it alcoholic or not? I don’t know; but that is not the point of the discussion!
So you see, there is no place for stress at all. I believe what someone said, as follows: “I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future”.
I know I’m moving up!
Because God is my Judge. He is the one that is lifting me up.
God is judge means, according to the psalmist, that “He puts down one and lifts up another”. God MY judge means I am the one He’s lifting up.
I know He rules in the affairs of men. He lifts men up. I trust Him.
He said to me:
“Behold I cause prosperity to flow towards you like a river and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream.”
Now, that means He will lift me up.
Look, I also recognize that with every event of my life I am moving closer to my destiny. Nothing happens to me by accident. My life is in Gods hands. My future, my now, my whole life are being divinely orchestrated. I believe in what Oswald Chambers called ‘the cult of the passing moment.’ This needn’t scare you; it just means that every moment of my life is full of God, divinely planned, fitting perfectly into God’s overall plan. Looking at that point in isolation may not reveal much, but at the end I will look back like Joseph and recognize how He was in my dream, my coat of many colours, my pit, my prosperity in Potiphar’s house, and my encounter with Mrs. Potiphar. He was there in my jail, and whatever else happened till the time that the king sent for me and loosed me.
Let those who believe in labour continue to labour. Let those who are historians begin to study my life; I am a book for you to write. You will by me understand certain scriptures.
“For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that He may give to one who is good in God’s sight.”
Listen friends, I believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of the Heavens and the earth. I believe He loves me; I believe He has a plan for my life. I believe that my life is in His hands. I believe His promises. I believe He never fails.
I believe I’m coming up!
Because God is my Judge.
And Daniel is my name!