The question we’ll encounter throughout the book of Daniel is this: How can I be lovingly and respectfully faithful and obedient IN this world but not OF this world?
It’s not an easy question to answer, but thankfully we have the example of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to learn from. These four young men were plucked from their homes in Jerusalem and dropped into Babylon to be enculturated, indoctrinated, and assimilated into the most wicked society in the world at that point in history.
And yet, these four youths had something that shielded them from the influence of Babylon—integrity. Their integrity allowed them to be in the world, but not of the world. It allowed them to keep their identities to serve God behind enemy lines. Because of their courage, convictions, and integrity, these men became brilliant diamonds on the black backdrop of Babylonian culture.
Daniel 1:8 says that, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” This mentality and perspective permitted Daniel to live out his days in Babylon without compromising any of his convictions. We have a lot to learn from Daniel as we navigate our our own cultural indoctrination. And a good place to start is by purposing in our hearts to not defile ourselves—to be in the world, but not of the world.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends