Daniel: How to Live in a Shifting Culture

Oct 07, 2018 | Thad Key, Senior Pastor

Daniel: How to Live a 
Countercultural Life

Living a countercultural life requires you to authenticate what you believe by how you live.

How to Live a Countercultural Life...

Be Extraordinarily Faithful(6:1-11)

Daniel was intellectually, spiritually and socially more exceptional than his peers, and the culture made him an influential “high official” (6:1-2; 1:18). 

The countercultural quality of an “excellent spirit” will tangibly distinguish you from an unbelieving culture (6:3).

If your life is “faithful” to God, it is unassailable because there is “no error or fault” that is discernable in your life (6:4). 

God’s will is that you insulate yourself in the culture but not isolate yourself from the culture as you live a life of conviction without compromise (6:5).

Culture’s gravitational pull is to use government power to enforce restrictions on you and coerce you to compromise your Christian identity (6:6-8).

Living as a countercultural Christian is a deliberate decision to obey God and not men by deviating from culture whatever the personal cost (6:9-11).

Living Counterculturally Requires...

1)  Knowing Your Life’s Purpose

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”-Ephesians 2:10 

You have a specific calling of God on your life to impact this culture in a countercultural way by fulfilling your life’s purpose.

2)  Aligning Your Words and Life

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

-1 Peter 2:12-15 

If the culture is going to listen to what you have to say, they have to see something extraordinary in how you live.

How to Live a Countercultural Life... 

Go Into the Lion’s Den(6:12-17) 

When your lion’s den moment arrives, you have to be resolved to be obedient to God’s unchanging Word and not cave to culture’s pressure (6:12).

The shifting culture means that what was once accepted and legal may become unacceptable and illegal (6:13).

Daniel’s silence reflected his belief that God alone was his judge (6:14-15; Mt. 26:63; 27:12; Mk. 14:61; Lk. 23:9).

The quiet silence of a faithful life that willingly walks into the lion’s den can awaken and attract the culture to our God (6:16).

God’s will is not to rescue you from going down into the lion’s den, but for you to stand firm in the lion’s den as a witness to the culture (6:17).

Living Counterculturally Requires… 

1)  Desperation that Authenticates God’s Deliverance

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”-2 Corinthians 1:8-10

God will place more on you than you can humanly handle so he can divinely deliver you in your moment of greatest desperation. 

2)  Choosing What is Right Over What is Easy

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

-Jesus in John 17:14-15

God’s will is that you insulate yourself in (not isolate yourself from) the culture as you live a countercultural life of conviction not compromise. 

How to Live a Countercultural Life...

Authenticate God’s Miraculous Intervention(6:18-28)

The question of this unbelieving culture-”Has your God whom you serve continually been able to deliver you?” is a question of whether your God is real and can deliver you (6:20). 

Seize the opportunity to communicate God’s supernatural deliverance of your life to authenticate God’s work in your life (6:21-22).

Faith believes and lives knowing that God can and will deliver out of what looks like an impossible situation (6:23).

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”-Hebrews 11:1 

The “decree” of Darius was a watershed moment for the aged Daniel whose life was dedicated to being a countercultural force in an anti-god culture (6:25-26).

“Signs” (extraordinary breakthroughs) and “wonders” (miraculous interventions) are moments when God interjects himself into your hopeless situation (6:27).

Living Counterculturally Requires... 

1)  Know God is Working His Will

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”-Joseph in Genesis 50:20

What if God has you in the lion’s den because he wants to authenticate who he is to unbelievers around you?

2)  Surrendering to God’s Will

“Not my will, but yours be done.”-Jesus in Luke 22:42

“You will never tame the lions in your life, unless you let God be the untamed lion in your life.”-C.S. Lewis 

Challenge-Am I a countercultural force for Jesus?

 

 

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