At First Baptist Dallas, we know that God has called our church to transform the world with His Word… one life at a time. But how – you might ask – can you contribute to this audacious mission? In the book of Daniel, we see how God used one man to impact a nation and transform the world because he dared to be different.
As a teenager, Daniel was captured and taken to Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel. He lived in a secular and pagan culture that was hostile to his faith and his God. Despite his circumstances, however, Daniel thrived under the protection of the Lord because he dared to be different. Daniel was exceptional because he distinguished himself for the Lord in three specific ways.
1. Dedicate yourself to the Lord.
Despite his circumstances, Daniel resolved to honor the Lord through prayer and practice. Shortly after Daniel was taken to Babylon, he was drafted into the service of King Nebuchadnezzar along with other teenagers from Israel. These men would be trained in the ways of the Babylonians and assigned rich food and wine from the king’s table. Daniel, however, remembering what the Lord had commanded the Israelites regarding food and drink, resolved not to defile himself. Because of his obedience, God showed him favor, and so did King Nebuchadnezzar seeing there was no one else like him. Ultimately, even King Nebuchadnezzar would proclaim, “Now I praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven because everything He does is right and all His ways are just.”
When presented with royal food and wine that violated his commitment to the Lord, he respectfully declined to participate. When threatened with death, Daniel persisted in prayer. Likewise, when you are confronted by the culture, remain committed to your convictions. You do not have to set-out to stand-out, but steadfastly commit yourself to the Lord. God will use your commitment to disrupt the world around you.
2. Disrupt the world around you.
God blessed Daniel and distinguished him from others in his company. Even pagan rulers took notice that Daniel was different. As a result, God used Daniel to stir the hearts of kings and caused many to praise the name of the Lord.
Just as God promised Nebuchadnezzar, a new kingdom invaded. King Darius led the Medes to overtake the Babylonian Empire. Darius immediately recognized there was something exceptional about Daniel and planned to set him over the whole kingdom. In an effort to depose Daniel, others convinced the king to issue a decree making it illegal for Daniel to worship the Lord. But Daniel remained faithful. Daniel was thrown to the lions, but God protected him. As a result, the pagan king and his entire kingdom praised the God of Daniel.
Your faith will grab the attention of those around you as extraordinary, and God will give you divine appointments to glorify His holy name and bring others into a saving relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
3. Do what God appoints you to do.
When God gives you divine appointments, do what God appoints you to do. Daniel was a man of action. He seized opportunities to courageously proclaim the Word of God.
After Nebuchadnezzar, a new evil king assumed the throne of Babylon – Belshazzar. When confronted by the very hand of God, King Belshazzar called on Daniel to interpret the message. Daniel boldly delivered the Word of the Lord, telling the king that his kingdom would come to an end because he refused to honor the one true God. Even when presented with this dooming message, Belshazzar recognized that Daniel was different and honored him in the kingdom.
Just as God used Daniel to deliver His Word, shake up a kingdom, and glorify His name, God can use you! God has instructed us to serve as salt and light in this world – to push back against evil and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. God will present you with opportunities to minister to others. This is your chance to transform the world with His word… one life at a time.
Do what God appoints you to do by sharing your faith in Jesus Christ or inviting others to visit First Baptist Dallas – a church built on the Bible – where they can hear the truth of Scripture. Dare to be different and God will use you to impact the world!
Written by First Dallas Staff