[God is in Control Transcript]
Daniel chapter 2, verses 20, 21 and 22, "Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."
When you think about this teenager who was grabbed from his home, from his family, and was taken hostage from Israel to Babylon, he became a hostage to a brutal dictator by the name of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.
This tyrant threatened to kill everyone who would not tell him what the interpretation of the dream was and God supernaturally revealed it to Daniel. And the first thing Daniel does is remember who God is. He was not intimidated by a tyrant dictator. He was not intimidated by a powerful King of Babylon who went into Israel and grabbed young people out of their homes, as he and his four friends were, and took them into the palace of the king. He was not intimidated by any of that. He just said, "I know who God is."
That is something we need to remember tonight. Remember who God is. Not who the president is. Not who the Congress is. Not who the Supreme Court is. But who God is. Our God is a sovereign God. God is the only one who is in control. Some people think they are in control, but they are not, and nothing happens that is surprising to God. Everything works according to His plan. He is the one in charge of the weather; He is the one in charge of the seasons; He is the one in charge of who rules and where. He sets them up and He takes them down.
Now many of us are concerned—and rightly so. I'm not going to minimize that because that would not be truth. Many of us are concerned. Will we have more executive orders to force chaplains in the military not to pray in Jesus' name? Maybe. Will we have more executive orders that force chaplains, against their own conscience, to perform same-sex marriage? Possibly. Will we have more anti-Christian and anti-biblical morality? Probably. Will we continue to see Islam elevated and Christianity put down? Most likely. Will we continue to see God and His blessed Son ridiculed, pushed out of public life? It's not beyond the realm of possibility.
Will we continue to see committed Bible believers ridiculed and ostracized—and maybe even worse? Will we continue to see Israel isolated, pressed and forsaken by the only friends they have? I don't know. I pray not.
But Daniel said, in the midst of his turmoil, "Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them." So no matter what we'll face, we know one thing: We are not going to be alone.
Even if we are taken hostage by Nebuchadnezzar, I pray that we would have Daniel's courage not to be intimidated, not to be afraid. God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of love and self-control. And I believe now more than ever that for those who believe, there is power in the name of the Lord.
You see one of the things, and some of you who know me well enough, and I've shared this with you before, that used to kind of tear my heart is when people get all great prayer warriors around election time and then suddenly everybody goes back to life as normal. We cease to be prayer warriors. Why? Do you think God sees this and is not taking notice of it? He does.
He actually saw that in the days of Isaiah and He said, "You know actually you just weary me when you come to me just when you want something."
It is my prayer—has been for a long time—that whatever circumstances, the tougher the better, because the darker it gets outside, the brighter our light is going to shine, because that is the will of God. He wants us to shine as stars, holding the word of life. And if tonight does not encourage you watching these precious people, I don't know what will, because that is what we're all about; that's what the Church is all about. The reason we exist. The reason we have this building. The reason we have this light. The reason we have a staff. The reason the church existed is for something like tonight.
And therefore, I am going to challenge you to consecrate yourselves afresh, that we would consecrate ourselves to the glory of God alone. That will make His glory to be paramount in our life, in our calendar, in our social life, in our money, in our resources. Our praising of God in the times of difficulties elevate Him to His rightful place.
There is no use singing in the sunshine. Anybody can do that, but singing in the rain, especially in the storm. Our praise of our sovereign God also reminds us that we are mere travelers in the world; we are sojourners. We sometimes think this is it, this is our world, this is our utopia, this is our heaven. It is not, and no matter what we say that we believe, we act as if we are going to be here forever.
I have a number of dear friends, older people; they don't know the Lord and they are grabbing for every day. They want just to live long.
They say to me, "How are you?"
I say, "I'm rejoicing."
"Why are you rejoicing?"
"Because I'm one day closer to heaven."
I know some of them think I'm nuts, but that's all right.
Psalm 81:1 says, "Sing for joy to the God of our strength. Shout aloud to the God of Jacob." Amen? Let's go to the Lord in prayer.
[Praying] Father, what an honor and privilege to be in your presence, to know that even if the whole world falls apart, we will not because we are upheld by your right hand. We thank you, Father that you promised never to leave us nor forsake us. We thank you that our future is not dependent on politicians. We thank you that our welfare is in your hands. And your servant David said, "I was young and now I am old. I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his children begging for bread. And Lord, we rejoice you are the God, the same yesterday who was true to David, is true to us today and will be true forever.
Bless our night tonight. Let this time of prayer and re-consecration of ourselves be a serious-minded time so that heaven would rejoice and heaven would witness that we are serious about your business. In Jesus' name, Amen.