How did we see God move this week as we tried to live out the Spirit’s leading? What challenges did we encounter? What victories can we celebrate?

(Dan 7:1-18 ESV)

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. 2 Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. 5 And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ 6 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

9 “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

Recall from Sunday:

Daniel 7:9-12 – God rules from his throne

Daniel 7:13-14 – God gives the kingdom to the son of man

Daniel 7:15-18 – God’s people receive and possess that kingdom forever

Reflect: What sticks out to you personally from the passage?

What impacted you on a personal level from Sunday’s sermon?

Daniel’s vision pictures the nations as violent terrifying beasts. When we look around at the news, the trajectory of nations, and the tragedies around us, we can become anxious and afraid. What is causing you fear and anxiety? Does Daniel’s vision of God provide courage and comfort for you? How do you remember God is in control when you are afraid?

God gives his kingdom and authority to his people (v18). Can you think of any Christians who faced injustice and trouble with courage from God? Do you believe God’s authority could move through you like that?

God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. As you identify what makes you afraid, seek the Spirit together to discern how you can process those situations differently. Are there Bible verses you can keep in front of you as you read the news? Can you support each other with encouraging words of God’s rule in the world this week?

We don’t just shrink back like turtles in our shells as we face problems beyond our strength. If God really has inaugurated his kingdom in Jesus, and given that authority to his church, we can go on the offensive, looking for God to pour his authority through us. Where do you long to see God’s rule and reign? What is a practical step the Spirit is telling you that you can take this week to make a difference?