STRENGTH TO ENDURE Pt.2

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” “To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” John F. Kennedy

Daniel 6:7-10 New International Version (NIV)

7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Forward Thinkers, Daniel took a knee knowing there would be consequences. A true litmus test of your core belief system is: can you do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do no matter the ‘what if’s’ that doing the right thing may produce?

Daniel made a decision to trust God and not allow anyone or anything else to shine brighter in his life than God. Forward Thinkers, unfortunately, many have allowed sports such as the NFL to become bigger in their lives than God and moral consciousness.

You have to have strength to endure when you decide to take a stance against the powers in high places. Forward Thinkers, last year, Colin Kaepernick, an African American quarterback, like Daniel, took a knee to expose the injustices in the land.

Question: will the church be found taking a knee or will we continue to take a seat? I’m not talking about just the Black church; I’m talking about the church Jesus birthed and declared the gates of hell shall not prevail against.

Forward Thinkers, before we unfold the text, notice Daniel took a knee in prayer to glorify God but the enemy tried to steal the narrative and report that Daniel was disrespecting the king. Church, Colin Kaepernick took a knee to expose police brutality, mass incarceration, high murder rates, mis-education of poor people, unfair bail system, inner-city school closures, sex trafficking, high access to guns and drugs with limited access to college tuition and home loans. Forward Thinkers, taking a knee was never about disrespecting the flag or military.

Six Points To Having The Strength To Endure While Taking A Knee

1) Prayer

Forward Thinkers, Daniel prayed 3 times a day and if you study the life of Daniel, you will discover he was very successful. To have the strength to endure, we must pray before, during, and after each situation we face daily. Prayer keeps us connected to God. Prayer is like a mobile phone charger; it covers us and recharges us when we are running low. Without prayer, our strength will run low.

2) Protest

Forward Thinkers, Daniel took a knee and prayed in protest. Definition of Protest: (n) a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something (v) to express an objection to what someone has said or done. (e.g. the inmates will not run the prison statement by Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair)

Things were not right so Daniel protested. Forward Thinkers, Daniel had three friends we refer to as the three Hebrew boys that joined together in protest and their protest landed them in a pit of fire but God showed up in the fire with them and delivered them out. Forward Thinkers, it may get hot but God is able to keep you through it all.

Forward Thinkers, what confuses me is, how did protesting injustice become a Black and White issue when non-Blacks came to America out of protest to religious injustices in England? White America, if protesting set you free from injustice, tell us again, why are you mad at Colin Kaepernick?

The 1st Amendment gives all Americans the right to peacefully protest and almost nothing is more peaceful than taking a knee. When Jesus protested in the temple, he turned over the tables declaring, “No more injustice in my Father’s house.”

Side note: Jesus protested for fair treatment of others and if we are Christians, should we not be Christ-like?

3) Persecution

Daniel was attacked because he took a knee and this is why many remain silent in the face of injustice; they are afraid of the personal attacks. Forward Thinkers, many NFL players wanted to take a knee but the fear of President Donald Trump, Jerry Jones, and Bob McNair paralyzed them and kept them in formation.

Daniel knew there would be consequences. Daniel knew there was a den of lions waiting for him but he took a knee anyhow.

Kaepernick knew there was a possibility of him being black-balled but he took a knee anyhow.

Forward Thinkers, is there anything you believe in strong enough to take a knee in the face of persecution?

Forward Thinkers, I challenge you to look at the kids around you because I believe they are worth marching for, speaking truth into power for, and protesting injustice for even at the cost of personal loss and public persecution.

Like Daniel and his three friends, Forward Thinkers, we must believe God is able and no weapon formed against us will prosper.

4) Protection

Daniel 6:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

Daniel 6:22-23New International Version (NIV)

22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Forward Thinkers, the bible just said it all. God will protect you and those that come against you; God will deal with them. As the bible says and the singer sung, this battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s.

Forward Thinkers, God will protect us from the fire and the lions.

5) Promotion

Daniel 6:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

God elevated Daniel because he endured through it all. God always has a promotion on the other side of persecution and dark situations. Forward Thinkers, I love the fact that Daniel’s three friends said they don’t look like what they been through.

Forward Thinkers, when you stand for what is right, God will do what is right and cause us to prosper so others will know His power and give Him glory.

6) Progression

Daniel’s action caused change to take place and a new decree was issued that everyone could now worship God openly.

Forward Thinkers, we must remember our actions today will affect the lives of others for the better. Forward Thinkers, we are world changers and impact players; so when we take a knee, others will be given the freedom and courage to get up and run their race to victory.

In conclusion Forward Thinkers, I believe it is clear; as Believers, we have a Christ-like responsibility to speak out against injustices and support those without a voice. And for those that believe protesting serves no purpose, let me bring to your attention, we protested at NRG on last Sunday afternoon and before the nightly news aired, the Houston Texans Public Relations team had issued a statement which meant they felt our presence and heard our voices.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located at 200 W. Greens Road, Houston,Texas, 77067. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at pastoreadeckard@pdq.net , follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.