Daniel: How to Live in a Shifting Culture

Sep 09, 2018 | Thad Key, Senior Pastor

Daniel: How to Stand Firm in a Bow Down Culture

Standing firm requires doing God’s will by obeying God’s Word, knowing God is doing something to you so he can do something in you and through you.

How to Stand Firm in a Bow Down Culture…

Refuse to Go Along to Get Along(3:1-12) 

The worshiping of the “image” by bowing down was designed to create a national compliance in a religiously pluralistic Babylonian Empire (3:1-2).

An intolerant government and culture are tolerant as long as you “fall down” and “worship” someone or something they can tolerate (3:4-6).

The image and music represent the enticing draw of culture to assimilate you, while the fiery furnace represents the threats of culture if you do not (3:4-6).

Culture’s lie to get you to comply is that everyone believes it (pluralism), and it is all the same (syncretism) (3:7).

Bow down cultures seek out, call out, and put out those who fail to fall down and worship at the altars of what culture deems all important (3:8-12).

Standing Firm Requires… 

1)  Turning from Your Idols 

“A person will worship something...That which dominates our imagination and our thoughts will determine our lives, our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…”

-1 Thessalonians 1:9

2)  Guarding Your Eyes and Ears

“Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.”-Proverbs 4:23

You must carefully guard what your eyes see and what your ears hear (Job 31:1; Ps. 119:37; 40:6; Mt. 6:22-23; 13:15-17).

How to Stand Firm in a Bow Down Culture…

Obey God’s Word Not Culture’s Whims(3:13-18)

Bow down cultures want you to “serve” and “worship” what it serves and worships (3:13-15).

Faith believes and lives knowing that “God...is able to deliver” out of what looks like an impossible cultural conundrum (3:16-17).

“For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to show himself strong for those whose hearts are completely his.”-2 Chronicles 16:9 

When the moment of truth arrives, you have to stand firm by obedience to God’s Word while refusing to bow down to culture’s whims (3:18).

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image...You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God…”-Exodus 20:3-5

Defiant faith trusts God to deliver while simultaneously trusting that God is working his plan and purposes (3:18).

Standing Firm Requires…

1)  Living for God’s Approval 

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

-Galatians 1:10 

You cannot please both people and Jesus (1 Cor. 4:1-4; 1 Thes. 2:4). 

2)  Standing on God’s Truth

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

-1 Corinthians 16:13-14 

The courage to not compromise requires the conviction of believing and obeying the objective truth of God’s Word whatever the cost (2 Thes. 2:15).

How to Stand Firm in a Bow Down Culture…

Live by Faith in the Fire (3:19-30)

Like Babylon, the fury of America’s compliance culture is increasingly hostile to those who do not submit to the culture (3:19). 

The one “like a son of the gods” was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus (3:25; Gen. 18:1-3; 32:24-30; Josh. 5:14; Judg. 13:3-6; Isa. 6:1-8). 

Jesus never sends you into a fire that he does not walk into the fire with you.

God’s will is not to remove you from the fire but for you to stand firm in the fire, as he delivers you through the fire so you can witness to the culture (3:26-27).

“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

Jesus willingly went into the fires of hell at the cross, blazing a trail for you to walk by faith in the fire with him (Acts 2:24; Heb. 12:2).

Standing Firm Requires… 

1)  Embrace God’s Work in the Fire

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”-1 Peter 1:6-7 

When God is doing something to you, it is because God wants to do something in you and through you. 

2)  Persevere in the Fire 

“Therefore my dear brothers and sisters stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”-1 Corinthians 15:58 

Stop asking God to take you out of the fire, and ask him to walk with you in the fire as you stand firm and unmovable.

Challenge: Am I running away from the fire or into the fire?

 

 

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