In Chapter 2 of the book of Daniel, we read about a dream that Nebuchadnezzar had. Nebuchadnezzar called his wise men and told them, Tell me what I dreamt and its meaning. Those wise men are a picture of preachers who have no touch with God, but who are deceivers. Such preachers cannot interpret Gods word or the times correctly. Those wise men said, Only the gods can show you what you dreamt. No human being can do that. It is impossible. But if you tell us the dream, then we will interpret it for you. Now, we know that if someone tells us his dream it is easy to cook up an interpretation and to pretend that we got it from God! Thats what a lot of preachers do today. But Nebuchadnezzar was a shrewd man. He said, If you all are really in touch with God, you will be able to tell me the dream as well.
A true servant of God will experience some supernatural things in his ministry. If you are truly anointed by God, you will have some supernatural experiences. You may go to a place where you dont know anyone, and you preach Gods word there. And that word will be so exactly according to the need of some people sitting there that they will think that somebody had come and told you about their problems. It is this element of prophecy that we need to have in our ministry. We must seek for it if we are to have it. The Bible commands us, Earnestly desire to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1).
When Daniel heard about this problem, he was calm. He handled the situation with great wisdom (Dan. 2:14). Here was a young man who had great wisdom! Do you have to make mistakes when you are young? No. Some people say that young people will have to make many mistakes. Daniel didnt. We dont read in the Scriptures, of a single wrong thing that Daniel did in his entire life. He was a unique man like Joseph who was another young man about whom almost nothing wrong is recorded. Why not make these young people your examples and say, Lord, I dont have to do foolish things like other young people do. I want to follow the examples of these men who lived in humility and the fear of God right from their youth.
But I must admit that it is very rare to find such young people. Most young people that I know do a lot of foolish things - mainly because they wont submit to their elders. They imagine themselves to be very clever, and thus end up doing a 1001 foolish things. That is the hard way to learn. But there is a better way. If you humble yourself and live in the fear of God and submit to authorities God places over you, you can learn from your youth without doing the foolish things that others do. Daniel is a wonderful example of that.
How did Daniel get the answer to the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had? First of all he had faith that God would reveal it to him. He went to God. He called his friends (Dan. 2:17). There is a tremendous value in fellowship in prayer when we face a problem that is too difficult for us. Daniel understood the principle of fellowship in prayer. He was a new covenant man living in old covenant times. His attitude was, Let me not pray about this all by myself. Let me get my three brothers to join me and let us pray together. And they prayed together and he said, Let us ask God to show us mercy and reveal this to us (Dan. 2:18).
They began their prayer with a time of praise. This is always a good habit. They said, Praise the Lord for His sovereignty. He is the One who determines the course of all events in the world. He is the One who removes kings and sets others on the throne. He is the One who gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He is the One who reveals deep and mysterious things. We thank and praise You, God, because You have given us wisdom and strength (Dan. 2:20,21). Any time you find that you cant get through in prayer, you should start praising the Lord. Think of Gods greatness and praise Him - and you will find the atmosphere clearing up immediately.
Then God revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel. And he went and gave the king the answer, acknowledging This is not due to my cleverness. It is because God revealed it to me (Dan. 2:30). Daniel was a humble young man who was willing to give God all the glory. God reveals His truths to such men.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon