Sunday, Pastor Tim began a new series entitled “Invasion.” The series takes us into the book of Daniel, and more specifically for this Sunday–Daniel 1:1-16. Following a military invasion; the army of Babylon invaded the land of Judah and conquered it. The defeated nations were indoctrinated into Babylonian culture and were challenged to think, act, and worship like Babylonians. And among the group from Judah were four teenage boys. The names of these boys were: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
The teenagers redirected the invasion of Babylon, not with armor or armed with swords. Rather, they invaded wearing godly character and armed with the courage of a lion! After about 60 years – these four men were still standing with their faith in God in tact…and it was Babylonian kings who had fallen to their knees in submission to the God of Daniel, Hananiah Mishael and Azariah!
Jesus prayed these words in John 17:15-18 and he could not be clearer about how he hoped his followers would conduct themselves, relative to the cultures they would live in: “I am not asking that you take them out of the world, but to keep safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”
This is the core idea of the series in the book of Daniel:
- Be in the world but not of it,
- Be engaged in the culture but don’t be absorbed by it.
- Be a part of the culture be set apart from it in ways that matter to God.
What these young men teach us about being an invader:
1. Choose where to take your stands wisely.
It seems apparent that there were some things that were true for these young me:
These young men had evidently been raised by godly parents who taught them well; and, they were committed to obeying God’s Word no matter what and no matter who was watching.
- Are you investing yourself in learning God’s word?
- Are you seeking to live it out in your life in ways that are representative of the God you claim to follow?
2. When it’s time to take a stand, do it with grace.
John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…he came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”