- a formal or explicit statement or announcement.
It is imperative that you declare who you are, Whose you are and what you believe for the world will try to tell you otherwise.
For the month of December God laid on my heart to do a blog post on DECLARATION. Declaration is so important throughout the Bible. As you read different books and chapters, not only do commoners, kings, prophets and angels declare things, but God is heard declaring things Himself.
In this particular blog post, I am going to focus on two specific declarations…Can you guess what they are? Most of you will probably guess the declaration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and you’re right! Can’t do a blog in December without talking about the birth of Christ! But the other declaration I will be touching on is in the book of Daniel…
“When you refuse to conform, you inspire others to be transformed.” ~ Sowfull
Many are familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego but I am going to do a quick rundown for those who may not have heard the story before getting to where I’m going.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged (surround (a place) with armed forces in order to capture it or force its surrender) the city. Once besieged, Nebuchadnezzar sent his staff into Jerusalem to capture young men who were healthy and handsome, intellectual and well-educated, and good prospects for leadership. Amongst the men selected were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The king changed their names to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (that brings up a whole ‘nother topic for a different blog).
The men gathered by the staff were to be put on a royal diet by the king in order to build them up strong and healthy, but Daniel refused to conform and defile himself by eating those foods and asked to be exempt from the royal diet. Since God gave Daniel grace amongst the staff, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were exempted from the royal diet.
As the story goes on, Daniel goes before King Nebuchadnezzar and interprets a dream that had been troubling the king. Daniel declares to the king that “no mere human can solve the king’s mystery, I don’t care who it is- no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner. But there is a God in Heaven Who solves mysteries…” After Daniel interprets the dream for the king, he grows very fond of him and acknowledges that his God is above any other god.
King Nebuchadnezzar said to Daniel, “Your God is beyond question the God of all gods, the Master of all kings.” (Daniel 2:46-47)
When you enter Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar has built a statue and has ordered everyone in the province to fall to their knees and worship it whenever they hear the music played in the kingdom. When the band started playing, everyone in the kingdom fell to their knees and began to worship…everyone except for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So the fortunetellers approached Nebuchadnezzar and informed him of the boys’ disobedience. Nebuchadnezzar was outraged and ordered the three boys to be brought to him. He questioned them about their disobedience and their lack of respect for his gods and he told them that from now on they must bow to his statue when they hear the band play. “If you don’t worship it, you will be pitched into a roaring furnace, no questions asked. Who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”
Okay. PAUSE. Now didn’t this same man just say a chapter ago, that “your God is beyond question the God of all gods, the Master of all kings.” ???? Okay just checking. RESUME.
The three boys’ response was heart changing:
16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar had his guards throw the three boys into the fiery furnace and because he was so angry with them turn the heat up seven times hotter- so hot, that the flames consumed the guards who threw the boys in. (Isn’t it something how God will use the fire to kill off those who are out to destroy you? AMEN!) lol Anyways…
When the king came back to the furnace. he saw that the flames hadn’t even touched Shadrach, Mechach and Abednego! All it had done was burn off the ropes that had them bound! (The Lord will use the fire to burn off that which has you bound!)
But the boys weren’t the only ones he saw in the furnace…
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”[a] Daniel 3:24 (NKJ)
Nebuchadnezzar called the men out of the furnace and all of the governors, administrators and the king’s council gathered around as he praised the One and only true God:
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel[b] and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
By refusing to conform to the king’s orders that were against the command of God, they in turn caused others to be transformed.
4 Nebuchadnezzar the king,
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
3 How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.
Who would have thought that the obedience of three young men to stay devoted to their God and not conform to the rules of the king would cause the king to be transformed and declare the God is the Only true and living God? We must all come to realize as well that we have more influence than we think and carry more power than we could ever know! There is so much power in declaring who you are and Whose you are, and never conforming to the pattern of the world! We must all take a stand for Christ once we decide to call ourselves a Christian. We can no longer conform to this world but be a light that stands out and transforms the world.
“You can’t influence the world while trying to be like it!”
Declare Who Christ is in your life and never falter from it!
Influence a change!!!
“Your declarations will reverberate throughout the atmosphere – the world – and cause others to declare Jesus to be King of kings and Lord of lords.” – Sowfull
Can’t do a blog post in December without touching on the Christmas story right???
The Christmas story is also full of declarations such as…
Declaration that Mary is with Child
Declaration of the birth of Jesus
Declaration that He is the Son of God
Declaration that He is Lord
…but I don’t want to assume that everyone reading this post knows the Christmas story so I will do a quick run down!
The Christmas Story…
Matthew 1:18-2:12 Luke 1:20- 2:20
The Christmas story begins when the angel Gabriel appears to a virgin named Mary and greets her with a great declaration:
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.
Luke 29-33 She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a Son and call His name Jesus.
He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to His kingdom.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
35 The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the Child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
When Joseph, Mary’s fiancée, found out about her pregnancy, he didn’t know that it was by the Holy Spirit so he made plans to cancel the engagement quietly to protect her from disgrace but then an angel spoke to him in a dream declaring:
Matt. 20-23…“Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a Son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name Him Jesus—‘God saves’—because He will save His people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a Son;
They will name Him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
24-25 Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby, Jesus.
There was a great census being taken in the land and since Joseph, Mary’s soon-to-be husband, was a son of David, he had to go to Bethlehem because that was David’s home town. (He took pregnant, virgin Mary along with him.)
While there, the time came for Mary to give birth. They searched for a place to stay but couldn’t find one for there was “no room in the inn”. Mary ended up having to give birth to the Son of God in a manger.
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood around the birth of Jesus. An angel appeared to them as they were doing night watches over there sheep saying:
Luke 12 …“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior Who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him.
HE IS THE KING OF kings. HE IS THE LORD OF lords. HE IS THE MESSAIAH.
HE IS THE SON OF GOD!
SOWFULL DECLARATION CHALLENGE
The theme on Sowfull for the month of December is DECLARATION. As part of this theme, God has laid on my heart to do a social media challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to tell the world about our love for Christ and to share why we are unashamed! Many know the Word and know of Christ but they may not know how that same Word can transform them through Christ. So let’s share what Christ has done for us and why we are unashamed! Let’s show the world that loving Christ isn’t old school or out of style!
The hashtags for this challenge will be #SowfullDeclarationChallenge
Feel free to join Sowfull in declaring why you love Jesus and are unashamed of Him! Declare Who He is to you!