The first step in answering questions concerning morality is to
begin with a humble and honest heart. Noted in my last article,
James and Peter quote Proverbs 3:34 saying: "God resists the
proud, but gives grace to the humble." In this article, I wish
to suggest that the second step in answering questions concerning
morality is to believe (have faith) in God and pray.
Now, believing in and praying to God may seem so rudimentary that
you may think your time wasted in reading this article. But ask
yourself. Can I live righteously before God if I do not believe
in Him? And, how may we begin to understand the mind of God concerning
a matter if we do not pray to God for wisdom concerning the matter
In Daniel the sixth chapter we see Daniel faced with a question
concerning morality. King Darius had appointed Daniel one of three
governors over his kingdom along with 120 satraps who reported to
the governors. Daniel had distinguished himself over the other two
governors to the degree that the King thought of setting him over
the entire kingdom. Since the other governors and satraps desired
to find fault against Daniel, they tricked Darius into establishing
a law that forbid anyone to petition (pray) to a man (except King
Darius) or god for thirty days. So, King Darius established and
signed the decree which, by law, was unalterable under any circumstance.
The decree further stated that the penalty for breaking the law
was to throw the offender into a den of lions.
Now, Daniel had to decide whether to obey King Darius and not pray
to God for thirty days, disobey the King to be thrown into a den
of lions, or pray in secret so that no one would know he had broken
the King's law. Notice that upon Darius signing the decree, Daniel
went home and prayed as was his custom since youth. Daniel did not
change a thing about his service to God. Although we do not know
what his prayer was that day, certainly he petitioned God concerning
his future fate - to be thrown into a den of lions.
What would you have done in such a situation? Daniel went into
his upper room and opened his window. He did not try to hide his
prayer. He had prayed that way for years and was not going to change
one thing because of a human decree contradicting the will of God.
Furthermore, he prayed three times each day. We might have thought
ourselves lucky to get away with one prayer, but Daniel prayed in
plain view all three times. Daniel believed in God - not a man.
Daniel put his trust in God - not a man.
Likewise, we cannot allow ourselves to be consumed with the consequences
of living morally before the Lord. But, we must consume ourselves
with God, His will, His word, and moral living. Then, we must trust
in God to care for us through whatever consequences may occur. Even
if the consequence is physical death, is not physical death preferred
over eternal death? Jesus said: "And do not fear those who
kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who
is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt. 10:28)
Upon another occasion, we see that Peter and John were arrested
for preaching "in Jesus the resurrection from the dead"
(Acts 4:2). So after addressing the Sanhedrin, which warned them
not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter and John were released
having given their defense to the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:5-22). Now the
apostles and the whole church were faced with a question concerning
morality - whether to obey the Jewish chief priests and elders instead
of God. What did they do? They determined to speak the word, then
they prayed to God for boldness. What did God do? He immediately
granted them boldness. (Acts 4:23-31).
Over and over again we see the need for faith and prayer to make
moral decision and live moral lives. The Bible says: "without
faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6), and "if
any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally
and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James
1:5) Who can possess the wisdom, understanding, fortitude, and courage
to live morally before God without faith and prayer? And, without
faith and prayer, who can live morally before God with possible
consequence of death? (Rev. 2:10)
If we find ourselves unable to confront situations wherein we must
make moral decisions and stand by the Lord, it is not because the
Lord has fallen short in equipping us to fulfill His commands. It
is because we have failed to put on the equipment - humility, honesty,
faith, and prayer. An honest and humble individual looks into his
heart to see the things lacking and then changes. But, a haughty
and self-deceived individual is satisfied in his immoral condition.
What kind of person have you been in the past? What kind of person
are you going to be in the future? The decision is yours, and the
responsibility is yours.