I have a file of digital photos stored on my computer that has become my default location for finding pictures for documents. I didn’t set it up that way, but when I’m working on a project and need a picture to insert, the default kicks in. This requires closing that file and choosing and opening another. Irritating. There is probably an easy way to change all of this, but I haven’t figured it out yet. All I know is that for me, my default is faulty.
Perhaps you feel like I do at times when your life is responding to a crazy default that you didn’t choose. When that happens, I would really like to be more like Daniel, God’s prophet in the Old Testament. Only a young boy when taken from his homeland and family, Daniel lived about 70 years as a captive in Babylon. We read in the book by his name that whenever things got out of hand and seemed to go from bad to worse, Daniel’s default kicked in. He obeyed and trusted God and God received the glory.
Upon arrival, Daniel and his three friends immediately refused to eat the king’s food. I can’t imagine requesting a kosher meal from someone who held my life in the palm of his hand, but Daniel’s default went right to “Obey and Trust God” and God took care of it. His friends must have had some of Daniel’s default mechanism as well. When told to worship the king or face death, they chose “Obey and Trust God”. Their response to the king indicated their conviction to following God—thanks for a second chance, but we don’t even have to think about it (3:16). Their trust in deliverance was a testimony to their confidence in the God they trusted (v. 17) and verse 18 begins with “but even if He does not”, a commitment to putting their lives in God’s hands no matter what God chose to do.
It seems apparent that when Daniel made the choice to obey God no matter what the outcome, he never wavered—even when faced with his own death. Again, this is a familiar story. The decree went out that prayers could only be made to the king, but Daniel continued to pray “as he had been doing previously” (6:10). The Bible doesn’t tell us what Daniel prayed about, but I think he just carried on as he always had. His obedience and trust in God was such a pattern in his life that the threat of reservations for a night in the lion’s den was of little consequence.
What a challenge it is for us to make our default “Obey and Trust God.” I heard this phrase growing up: We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future. A literal fiery furnace or being fed to lions may not be in our future, but it seems we can count on being challenged more and more for our faith in the days ahead. In Romans 8:35-39 the question is asked “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” and a possible list includes tribulation, distress and persecution. The answer to this troubling query is a resounding “nothing”, because “in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Use the default provided by God. Obey and then trust Him for the outcome. No matter what happens to us as believers, He will care for us and receive the glory.
My computer has a default I don’t want. My life doesn’t have to.