This week, I saw a quote on Facebook that read, “What a lot of people want to do is date God when He is really looking for a ring.” In other words, He wants commitment. He wants quality time.
Quality time is a fourth “love language” that some people express. People who appreciate quality time prefer one-on-one time with the person they love. Bring on long walks on the beach or a movie marathon with friends.
In terms of our relationship with our heavenly Father, He is always there for us. But how many of us take the time to get to know Him the way He invites us to? Are we too busy trying to “date” Him on our time instead of committing ourselves for the long haul?
Daniel is one of my favorite Bible characters, perhaps because I have always admired the relationship He shared with God. Yes, David was called a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14), but Daniel was called “a man greatly beloved” of God (Daniel 10:11). Wow. That’s some legacy.
How did Daniel reach a place of intimacy with God? It required sacrifice on His part. I wonder how many of us would be willing to follow his example.
In chapter one in the book of Daniel, we see Daniel setting himself apart for God in a heathen land. Taken captive by the Babylonians, Daniel and his friends refuse to defile themselves with the meat and wine appointed as their portion by the king. At personal risk, they choose to eat a simpler diet that does not go against the law given by God to Moses and Aaron in Leviticus 11. (Not until the New Testament in Acts does God call previously “defiled” meat “cleansed” for His people to eat.) As a result of Daniel’s faithfulness, God gives him wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Daniel 1:17)
In chapter two, Daniel seeks God’s face for an answer to the king’s dream that left the magicians baffled and unleashed the king’s fury on all the wise men in Babylon. When God reveals the secret to Daniel, he publically honors the one true God in the presence of the king and confesses, “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living” (Daniel 2:30a KJV).
Daniel prefers God above himself and testifies of Him before the most fearsome of kings. As a result, God promotes him to honor.
Perhaps the most famous example of Daniel’s closeness to God occurs in Daniel chapter six where jealous princes seek to destroy him because of his greatness. Their plot forbids anyone to pray to a god or man besides the king.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10 NKJV).
Did their evil plans prevent Daniel from meeting God as he always did? No. Despite the great danger, he remains faithful to the Lord.
Daniel would allow nothing to prevent him from spending time with God.
Quality time with God was a daily habit for Daniel, and I believe the reason why God greatly loved him. After all, don’t we spend the most time with the people we love? So it only seems reasonable that God loves most dearly the people who spend the most quality time with Him.
Don’t you want to be like Daniel? I do.