Summary: Pretty much everything in our culture is designed and is conspiring to distract you, impact you, and draw you away from God. You need to be ready. You need to prepare your children. You need to prepare your grandchildren. Prepare by having the right mindset.
FAITH FOR EXILES: LIVING IN BABYLON
INTRODUCTION… Right Mindset (p)
There are certain activities and events and things that we do that you absolutely need a particular mindset to do.
I happen to think that a fighter pilot needs a certain mindset. You want someone calm cool and collected, skilled, and also a little full of themselves with a tad bit of crazy. Maybe that is from watching too much Top Gun as a kid, but I would think a successful jet pilot needs to think and be a certain way.
Working at Chick-fila produces a particular mindset (https://blog.gomindset.com/chick-fil-as-secret-sauce). ChickFilA trains their employees on a simple four-part model when serving customers. First, make eye contact. Second, smile and strive to see the customer return a smile. Third, engage personally. Fourth, every ChickFilA staff member has the unilateral power and they are encouraged to offer complimentary food in an attempt to make a customer’s day better. Now I have you thinking about ChickFilA on a day when it is closed. My pleasure.
Being Humpty Dumpty’s doctor takes a particular mindset and the ability to accept limitations. You have to know that Humpty Dumpty is going to fall at some point and there is nothing you can do or no specialist you can call in to put him together again. The mindset is accepting inevitable failure.
A mindset is a way of thinking that can be developed and shaped by experiences, but overall shapes how we view our world and how we shape our lives. We are talking about the right mindset for a believer in Jesus today as we live in a culture that does not encourage faith in Jesus Christ, but rather discourages faith in Jesus. The right mindset for a believer in Jesus is formed by the Bible, experience with God, and viewing our lives and the lives of others through the wisdom God teaches. Not all mindsets are the same.
Today we continue a 5-week sermon series (2 of 5) that will focus our attention on a basic truth that not all of us want to admit. We no longer live in a Christian nation and we are living in a land where God is not the priority and just about everything in our culture is designed to pull us away from God. If you are a ‘believer in Jesus Christ’, you are absolutely living in a foreign land. We do not live in a nation rooted in Biblical values, but rather we live in Babylon. Babylon has a completely different mindset than what is presented to us in God’s Word for those of us who are citizens of the Kingdom of God.
I want to again briefly share with you what I mean by… “we live in Babylon.” I do this because part of living in Babylon means people attend church services once a month and they believe that is ‘regular church attendance.’ Chances are some of you did not hear the first message.
In the Bible and in the world, Babylon was a real place. Babylon began in Genesis 11 with the building of the tower of Babel which was an actual tower that people tried to build in order to take control from God. Babel was that place where people on purpose tried to replace God. In the Book of Revelation and in other prophetic books in the Old Testament, Babylon became a symbol of a society that marches to the beat of its own drum away from God and away from His way of living. We live in Babylon.
In this 5-week series, we are going to focus on the life of a believers in God who were forced to live in Babylon and draw from his life principles for us. He lived in Babylon. She lived in Babylon. We live in Babylon. They were pulled away from God. We are pulled away from God. Along the way, I hope we will be able to discern more clearly how our society is changing away from God and how we can apply Biblical principles in your life to live faithfully in a society that only pulls you away from Christ.
WE LIVE IN BABYLON
I cannot explain to you all in one sermon how it is we find ourselves in Babylon and what that looks like, but I will explain this idea little by little each week. We will come to understand that we live in Babylon and today we will dig into Daniel chapter 3 and Esther 4 to find the right mindset for living in Babylon.
ILLUSTRATION… FAITH FOR EXILES (Kinnaman & Matlock, pages 21-24) [adapted]
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ living in the United States today you are caught between two ways of living. There are two ways at war in our society and they most of the time do not get along and do not mesh.