Living for God, being true to the Bible and being faithful as a follower of Jesus can be tough in the real world. There’s pressure to blend in, fit in and go along with everyone and everything else.
Daniel is a great example of living without compromise. After being carried off into exile, to Babylon, the first thing the Babylonians tried to do to Daniel and his friends was change their names - from what God had called them originally to what their culture thought they should be. Sound familiar? A world trying to relabel and redefine us from who God has called us to be?
Interestingly, Daniel doesn’t object. He actually co-operates and goes along with it – for now. He sees bigger battles coming up. Sticks and stones may break Daniel’s bones, but names will never hurt him. He’s way to secure in his God given identity for that. Seeing the bigger picture and not dying on the hill of name change brought Daniel an audience with the king and Godly influence.
But Daniel also knew when to say no. He didn’t object to a name change, but he did object to eating food and drinking wine that was unclean. Daniels life is marked by saying no – but no from a place of influence.
So, at the start of this year; can we seek to influence our world without compromising our beliefs? Daniel shows us we can; it’s possible. There are people who we do life with every day that need the life changing message of Jesus to be lived out right in front of their eyes – without compromising truth when things get tough!
My prayer for us this year, as we go about engaging our culture with the good news of Jesus Christ, is that we may really know who we are in Christ, (see below). I need to know who I am, daily.
I’m praying that that may we may see the bigger picture – that as we seek His Kingdom we may seize opportunities to maximise our influence.
And I’m praying that we may own our ‘no’ and be ready for the day of compromise with hearts and minds that are fixed towards heaven.
Questions for application:
- Do I know who I am in Christ? If not, why not? What’s stopping me?
- Where has God put me right now? How can I bring Godly influence to that situation?
- What do I need to say no to now – to make space for yes later on? Is this a person, an opportunity or a way of life?
Who does God say I am?
I am God's child.
I am Jesus' friend.
I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17
I am a place where God's Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19
I am God's Incredible work of art.
I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9
I am created In God's likeness.
I am spiritually alive.
I am a citizen of Heaven.
I am God's messenger to the world.
I am God's disciple-maker.
I am the salt of the earth.
I am the light of the world.
I am greatly loved.