Don't change your address.
Don’t Change Your Address
We live in a world where people are bogged down with burdens, perplexed with problems & tripping over trouble. These issues of life have forced all of us to pray at one time or another. Yes every one of us here today has prayed at one time or another. Maybe you prayed for a sick child, an injured spouse, a job lost, or a bad report from the doctor. Maybe you prayed for deliverance, if you are saved you had to pray for salvation. No matter what the case maybe, we all have prayed.
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Maybe that was your first prayer. “Our father which art in heaven, hollowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven, give us this day, our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power & the glory, forever & ever amen.” That may be the only prayer you know. But nonetheless, we have all prayed.
Somebody’s prayer was answered in a moment a twinkling of an eye. Somebody else’s prayer was answered over a period of time. Somebody here just got an answer today. Yet somebody here is still waiting for an answer.
Just in case you are still in the waiting group, I want to share with you today how to get an answer. Anybody interested. Don’t change your address. Waiting can be the hardest part of any thing. Waiting in the cold for the bus. Waiting in a courtroom for the verdict. Waiting on the results to come back on test.
Waiting on God, for an answer. Yes waiting is hard on the mind, but you still got to wait. The songwriter said, “You can’t hurry God, you just have to wait. He’s never in a hurry but He’s never late. So while you’re waiting, don’t change your address. There are three things that can make even the most sanctified soul want to relocate, they are times of challenges, times of crisis & times of confusion. But if you want to hear from heaven then don’t change your address.
Daniel lived in perilous times. A time when his people Israel was living in captivity, the temple had been destroyed & all the people of position & power had either been killed or enslaved. My brothers & sisters If there is ever a time to pray it is when we are held captive by people, problems & persecution. But if you want an answer to your prayer you must have the patience of Job to wait, the conviction of Paul to be steadfast, unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, then you must have the humility of Daniel & don’t change your address.
What do you mean preacher, don’t change your address? I mean your humble position before the Lord. If your heart was broken when you prayed, then stay broken until God mends it, until you get an answer. If you had a contrite spirit when you fell on your knees then you need to stay there.
For the bible says in Isaiah 57:15, not only does God dwell in the high & holy place but also with those that are of a contrite & humble spirit. David said it psalms 34:18, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart & a contrite spirit.” So if you want an answer from God, don’t change your address.
If we pay attention to the life of Daniel we will find that he like you & I faced many challenges, crisis & confusion. Daniel’s homeland Judah had been destroyed at the hand of the Babylonians. It was the custom of the Babylonian people to take the cream of crop, & train them for service in the king’s palace.
Daniel was chosen for this service. Even though Daniel was a Jewish captive, he had it going on. For he was a dream interpreter for king Nebuchadnezzar, he was educated in the king’s court. The king gave him gifts & made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon. Daniel was the chief of all the governors.
It does not matter what position you hold in life, where you live or what people think of you, there are some challenge we all will face in this life. Yes Daniel was the man, but Daniel was not without challenges. For in chapter one, Daniel & three of his homeboys Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah, ya’ll know them, Shadrah, Meshach & Abed-nego. These four young men found themselves faced with all kind of challenges. The challenge of learning a new language.
They faced the challenge of having new names, Daniel meaning “God is my judge” now is called Belteshazzar, Hananiah meaning, “ Jehovah is gracious,” now is called Shadrach. Mishael meaning, “Who is like God,” now is called Meshach, & Azariah meaning, “Jehovah is my helper,” is now called Abed-nego.
They faced the challenge of a new home. No more temple to worship in, no longer did they have the influence of their godly parents. Maybe it was them that first said, “Lord don’t you know, I have no friend like you, if heaven is not my home, then Lord what shall I do.” Some of us love the opportunity to be a stranger in a strange land so we can do whatever our heart desire.
But now they faced the challenge of standing up for God & defying the king’s order. The king had commanded they be fed with the same food he ate, to drink the same wine he drank. The same food they offered to their god before they at it. But these young men stood on what they believe. For the bible says, Daniel purpose in his heart that he would not defile himself. Daniel knew the requirements of the Law governing what he should and should not eat and drink.
Daniel’s desire was to please God in all he did. So he resolved that even though he was not in his own land but in a culture that did not follow God’s laws, he would consider himself under the Law. Even though he had a change of physical address. He didn’t change his spiritual address. He remained humble before God. Because of his commitment to God, the bible says God showed favor unto Daniel.
If you want favor with God, you got to be humble before God, not just on Sunday, then live like a Babylonian the rest of the week. Makes no difference where you call home. Makes no difference what your name is or was. You can move to china, change your name to Muhammad, learn to speak Greek, Hebrew, or Chinese. If you want and answer from God, you must stay in humility to the voice of God. Whatever your challenges maybe today, if you are on the Lord’s side. Don’t change your address.
Thank you brother Job. Job faced challenges. You name it. Job had it. From death to disease, Job’s wife challenged him, to curse God & die. But like Daniel & his crew, Job purposed in his heart. Listen at him, “ Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Naked I came out of my mother’s womb & naked I shall return.
The Lord gave & the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. For I know that my Redeemer liveth & that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” You got to purpose in your heart, to wait & don’t change your address!
Then there are the crises of life. A crisis is defined as a turning point for better or for worse. It’s a decisive moment. A situation that has reached a critical phase. It’s the Rubicon of life, a point of no return.
First Daniel’s friends found themselves in a hot spot. They had been set up to fall by those that envied them & their position. King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold & sent out a decree, “When you hear the music, you must all bow down & worship the golden image. & Whosoever does not fall down & worship shall be thrown in the fiery furnace that same hour.
This was the opportunity their enemies had waited for, because they knew these three boys would not bow down. So they were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar asked them is it true that you refuse to worship my god? He went on to say who is this God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Yet these three young men had a made up mind. I don’t know who was the spokesman for the group but somebody said, “King we have nothing to say about the matter. A’int no sense in us arguing with you about it. You got your mind made up & so do we. For we know that the God we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace & out of your hand. But just in case He doesn’t, we want to leave it on record with you we won’t bow down. We won’t change our address from heaven to hell.
We have a promise from God, “In this world you shall have tribulation, you are going to face some crisis’s. The closer you walk with God, the hotter the furnace is lit. Thank you brother Peter, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you as thou some strange thing is happening to you.” God never forsakes His own when we face the fiery trials.
He may not keep you out of the furnace, but he will go with you & bring you out. You never really know how close God is to you until you go through some crisis in life. But if you want God to bring you out, you got to stand still to see His salvation.
They didn’t know about the apostles, but they were living out the decree of Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Down through the ages this section of Daniel has proved to be a constant encouragement to God’s people that have faced crises. These young men could have made excuses, & went along just to get along, but they recognized that God’s authority was greater than the authority claimed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Though Nebuchadnezzar employed them, they served God. Yes we are all going to face some crisis in life. It is then that you have to make up your mind wither you are going to stand for God.
I don’t care if you are young or old; you are going to have some crises in your life. They say you can’t pray in school or you will get kicked out, that’s a crisis. They want you to lie on the job or you’ll get fired. They doctor says I can’t help you go home & make peace with your maker.
Your friends want you to do one thing, but you know you should do another, crisis. You could cheat on a test cause the teacher is out of the room, crisis. Crises are all around us. When Daniel was in the lion’s den that was a crisis. When Paul & Silas was in jail that was a crisis, when Herod had killed James with the sword & Peter was in prison facing the same fate. That was a crisis. That’s the time you have to make up your mind then & there for God I’ll live & for God I’ll die, before I take it back, I’ll add more to it.
When God brings you out, you come out with a testimony. “The Lord is my light & my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of shall I be afraid. When the wicked even mine enemies & my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled & fell.” Sometimes it got hot, but God kept me in perfect peace cause I kept my mind stayed on Him.
There is a word for somebody in the midst of a crisis here today. God says if you don’t change your address, if you don’t get knocked off your square, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you & though the rivers shall rise, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, for I am the Lord thy God. So don’t change your address. .
Finally there are the confusions of life. Daniel was a praying man. As a matter a fact he prayed more in one day then some of us pray in a month, for the bible says, He prayed three times a day. And you know it can be confusing & frustrating when you pray & don’t get an answer.
But my bible says that God is not the author of confusion. So what do you do when you have prayed & cried, cried & prayed? You need to do what Daniel did. He got down his bible & he began to read the word of God. Daniel wanted to know, why is it that my people are in this situation. Why have we not been delivered? Why are our young men walking around with their head down? So he began to read the scroll.
The place he began was the book of Jeremiah. He read about what would happen if the people of God did not repent. As he read the book of Jeremiah, I’m sure he ran across Jeremiah 2:11, “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which profits nothing. I’m sure Daniel read 8:5-7, “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened & heard but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness saying what have I done.” He kept on reading until he got to Jeremiah 8: 22, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? He walked a little further to Jeremiah 17: 9, “The heart is deceitful above all things & desperately wicked who can know it?”
He kept on reading until he got to Jeremiah 25. There he found an answer for his confused mind. For Jeremiah spoke by the word of God unto the people saying, “I have risen up early & stayed up late, just to tell out what thou said the Lord, but you have not listen.
God has sent preachers & prophets but you have not inclined your ear to them either. They came crying for you to repent, but you laughed at the prophets & talked about the preacher. You went after other gods, gods made by man’s hands. I think I need to tell you right here, any god you have to make is no god at all.
Daniel kept on reading until he got down to the ninth verse where God spoke about the punishment of His people. Then Daniel did something that we all need to do more of. Instead of reading his bible & putting it down to get on the phone, instead of reading his bible like it was a bedtime story. Instead of reading his bible & forgetting what he read, Daniel got down on his knees & prayed. This was Daniel’s usual procedure.
Unlike us he didn’t wait until he faced a challenge, he didn’t wait until the time of crisis & he didn’t wait until he was confused. But Daniel was a praying man.
Daniel was not confused any more about why he was in the situation he was in. Daniel was not confused any more about why the temple had been destroyed. But Daniel got down on his knees & confused his sin & the sins of the people before God. Here is one of the greatest saints who ever lived, yet he still had not reached the point where he could say, with confidence the words of Proverbs 20:9, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean.”
Can’t you hear Daniel crying & pouring out his heart to God? Can’t you hear him crying, Lord against thee & thee only have I sin. Daniel was confessing not only the sins of the people but his sins as well. Maybe you been saved a while & you don’t think you need to confess any more, but I don’t care if you have been saved 20,30, 40 years. You still need to confess your sins.
Daniel did not change his address, he did not change his humble position before God, & the bible says, before Daniel finished his prayer, God sent an answer.
There was no evening sacrifice being offered in Jerusalem, but yet Daniel was offering himself in his pray at the time it should have been. Since the arrival time immediately follows the time of the evening sacrifice. What ever was troubling Daniel, God had an answer for it.
God is concerned about his children, & he hears & answers prayer. Sinlessness is not a condition for answered prayer. What ever you are confused about, God has an answer for you. Whatever trouble it was that moved your heart to come here today, God has an answer for it.
For the bible says if As soon as” Daniel had begun to pray, “an answer was given” by the Lord, which Gabriel had come to deliver. Daniel’s fervent prayer, humble spirit, & commitment touched the heart of God.
Notice Gabriel said “I” this stresses the fact that God sent one of his most important angels, Gabriel, to relay the message to the prophet. He appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, & to Mary the mother of Our Savior Jesus Christ. . He didn’t give Daniel a vision, but He sent him in person. Daniel had been heard by God, & one of God’s mightiest angels, Gabriel (“mighty one of God”), had come with an answer because Daniel was highly esteemed, because Daniel found favor with God, because Daniel didn’t change his address.
Yes sin will make you change your address. Just ask Adam. God came looking for Adam in the garden but because of sin, Adam had hid himself. Lying will make you change your address, just ask peter. After peter denied Jesus, the bible said he ran out crying. Murdering with the tongue & murder in deed will make you change your address, thank you brother Moses.
Drugs, alcohol, adultery all will make you change your address. You use to couldn’t wait to get to church. But now you find every excuse not to come. But if you want an answer from God, take a lesson from Daniel here in this ninth chapter. You got to set your face unto God. You got to sincerely seek Him in prayer. Sometimes you got to fast. Sometimes you got to cry.
But ultimately you got to confess your sin. For I heard the Lord say, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, seek my face, pray & turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven & heal their land.”
God has promised that if you pray & pray right, He will answer. Not when you say amen, not when you get up off your knees, not when you have cried & moaned, but like Daniel here at the beginning, when your heart turns toward Him.
But if you are wondering why you don’t have an answer, it’s not because God did not hear you, it’s not because He does not care. I heard the Lord say in Isaiah 59, this morning, “Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened that he cannot save. Neither his ear heavy that he cannot hear, but your iniquities have separated between you & your God, sin had his face from you that He will not hear.
God heard you when you first cried, God saw you down on your knees & at the beginning of your supplication yes He dispatched an angel to give you an answer, but you got up off your knees & you went back to your old ways, by the time the messenger of God got to where you should have been, he did not find a humble person, but instead he found a liar, a drunk a thief or a whormonger. Instead of finding children that were obedient, he found those that were that were unthankful, unholy, truce breakers, false accusers, So your answer got marked return to sender, address unknown.
But if you want an answer you got to repent, don’t let no body fool you, God does hear & answer prayers, thank you brother Peter, “for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous & His ears are open to their prayers.”
If you are on the Lord’s side, then stay right there. But just in case there is somebody here today. That don’t like where they live. You have God permission to change your address. Maybe you have been living on adultery lane, or Alcohol Avenue, maybe you been living in a gossiping circle or liar’s lake. You have God permission to move. Maybe you have been living on frustration front, of depression drive. God is able to save to the utter most.
Thank you brother Isaiah, “Have thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God faineth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint & to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Even the youth shall faint & be weary & the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount with wings as eagles, they shall run & not be weary & they shall walk & not faint.” But you God to hold on.
I glad today, that God will answer prayers. You may have to wait for an answer, but don’t change your address. You may have to cry while you wait, but hold on & don’t change your address. Sometimes you may see others blessed before you but don’t you give up, don’t you give in. the answer is already on the way.
One day you & I will have to move. Cause there is a lead in this old building..& My soul has got to move.