Daniel lived under the authority of the Persian government and served faithfully in its government. But Daniel also lived under the authority of God, an authority that exceeded that of the Persian government. A decree to pray only to the Persian king brought these two loyalties into conflict and violated the religious freedom that Daniel had previously enjoyed. And I believe Daniel’s response to this is instructive for us today, who might find ourselves facing the same conflict between our loyalty to God and the government we live under.
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.Daniel 6:10 NIV
Daniel did not protest the loss of his rights. He simply continued to be faithful to God, praying as he had before. He knew the consequence of his action and was willing to pay it in order to remain faithful to God.
Daniel sets a good example for me. To live as a good citizen under the authority of the government God has placed over me. But to also recognize the higher authority of God in my life and to be faithful to him. Especially when these two authorities come into conflict. When that happens, I don’t need to protest or complain about what I perceive as a violation of my rights. But I do need to remain faithful to God and continue serving him without fearing the consequences.