How does God want us to live in a caustic culture that's becoming increasingly hostile to biblical values?
Do we isolate ourselves and associate only with other like-minded individuals? Should we join the demonstrations? Fight back on Secularists' terms? Retreat within the shelter of our cocoons and pray for the Lord's return? Or perhaps just give up, take the path of least resistance, and capitulate to the enemy's mindset—hoping God will understand how hard it is to stand up for what is right at this particular time in history?
Every generation is accountable for its own influence on society—good or bad. This isn't the first time God's people have fought an uphill battle against a hostile culture.
Many people have had it worse.
Take the story of Daniel, for example. Ripped from his home in his mid-teens and carried hundreds of miles away to Babylon, Daniel was thrust into a culture totally dominated by pagan thought. He faced educational indoctrination, pressure to compromise his loyalty to God, jealousy from his peers, threat of physical violence, and the hazard of untimely death throughout his life. Yet in the midst of daily struggles, Daniel remained committed to God. As a result, God used him to influence ancient culture profoundly. Daniel's life provides us with a paradigm to live a life pleasing to God in today’s world.
Many down through history have followed Daniel's example and had great success: the first century church grew from a handful to a six million persons in less than two hundred years; William Wilberforce, member of the English parliament, saw slavery abolished in the British empire; Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting that eventually saw millions come to Christ in the mid-1800s.
Sound incredible? Could things like this happen again? Without a doubt. What God has done before, He can do again. He will use faithful men and women who choose to follow Him. Who are they?
They will be ordinary individuals who let faith influence every area of their lives. They will be the salt and light God will use to change our culture.
If you are passionate about bringing positive transformation in our society or searching for what it means to be a faithful Christian, then look no further than Daniel. His life reveals a powerful paradigm that yields practical ways for ...
- How to survive when the bottom drops out
- How you can influence your sphere of influence, beginning here and now
- How to seek divine guidance while in the trenches
- How to develop a culture-changing-size faith
- How to recognize opportunities to affect positive change in negative circumstances
- How to maintain a relationship with God when everyone else is compromising
- How to stand up for what is right when everyone else is giving in
- How to hold up under persecution and attack
- How to face and appeal to those in power
- How to attract others to Christ without a pulpit
- How to remain a man or woman of integrity and survive the test of success
- How to develop and use the most powerful means for change in a culture
As we follow Daniel's example and are faithful to God in the ordinary course of our daily lives, others will be attracted to our gracious Savior. In a few cases, God will give some people recognition and extensive influence. Most of us, though, will be like the countless men and women who spread the gospel during the course of everyday life, to millions across the Mediterranean during the first century.
History pivots on the actions of individuals, and we never know what unconscious display of character, what minor act of courage, or inconspicuous act of heroism might be used of God to tip the balance and change the world. Such is the potential of any ordinary man or woman, like Daniel, who desires to be faithful.
How about you? Are you ready for God to use you? Dig into the book of Daniel and ask God for guidance for how He wants to use you, starting today.
Adapted from Bill's book, Living in the Lion's Den without Being Eaten