Guess who the most consistent golfer is? That’s right – the Tiger. Take a look at the perfect swing right here -
Consistency counts – but how do we achieve it?
On day 2 of the Daniel fast and a couple of people have been in touch to ask whether chocolate counts as a vegetable. Someone suggested a chocolate orange was okay! I have managed to lay off tea and just go with hot water instead – and I love my tea! But it feels great to say no to something good, to say yes to Someone better.
I noted yesterday how from being a young lad, Daniel had a great love for God, and as long as he stayed intimately close to God, Daniel was given the wisdom he needed to be consistently wise. And it all comes down to our practices in the end. Your practices will make you, or break you.
Tiger Woods started when he was 18 months old and uses what he calls the “over-kill method” when practicing. And it’s not just any practice. He repeats perfect swings until he burns them into his mind and body. Then, even under the most intense tournament pressure, those swings hold up. That’s how consistency is built, one practice at a time. The secret of success is in your PRACTICES. What you do in practice, you’ll do under pressure. And I’m not just talking about sport am I?
We’ll look at some of the key practices Daniel kept up, that helped him be consistently wise.
1) Go for God.
Daniel didn’t always have it easy. But whatever he faced, Daniel always kept in mind the size of his God, not the size of the problem. At one point he stood before the emperor – the most powerful man in the world at the time – but because he was used to being in the presence of God, he wasn’t freaked about that. He said to the King, “My God holds your breath in his hands, and owns all your ways…”
His friends were just the same. When the king wanted to make them bow down like everyone else in Chapter 3 they looked at the massive gold statue he’d made, and said, “Sorry your majesty, but our God’s a lot bigger than that.”
The Bible (Ps 110) says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” That doesn’t mean we have to be scared of God, if we know Him as Father. It means we have to have a right perspective. That God’s always Sovereign, in charge, all powerful, holy and good – he’s God – and we’re not.
I love Daniel 10. The young boy has become the old man by now, he has been praying and fasting – that’s his practice - and he’s seen visions of angels, but it’s like that’s not enough for him. Daniel starts off praying for understanding – he wants to understand the visions – not just have them, and he always wants to see and connect with God. it’s not clear whether he gets angels here or possibly a touch from the Lord of hosts…
one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”
When you pray, when you worship – do you go for GOD?! Surely we want to encounter GOD!? We don’t just want answers – we want the One who is the Answer. We want His face not just his hand. We don’t just pray to meditate and think things through ourselves . Of course we want understanding and revelation and strength and wisdom and answered prayer– but not for their own sake!
We want GOD! Daniel CONNECTED to GOD! God who is the source of revelation about what had happened to him, and what was happening to him, and what would happen.
Don’t just pray through a list – even a good and worthy list – go for God’s face!
Whatever you’re going through – practice this – keep the size and the love and the POWER of God in mind. Whoever rules the nations’ governments, in Babylon or Britain – God’s on his throne! And if he appeared here so we got just a GLIMPSE of his majesty and awesome glory, we’d be trembling too! But then he’d touch you, and tell you – “You are deeply loved!”