Summary: This message tells of personal experiences of the pastor facing personal experiences and how with God’s help he found victory.
Living Your Life in Control in an Out of Control World
As I reflect back on my life a time in my life that was out of my control was when my parents separated. When I just happened to be playing at a neighbor’s house several blocks away from our home in Gypsum, KS. I happened to see my Dad drive his car up to a neighbor’s house, go inside and come out with a lady and they both got into his car.
Now Gypsum is a small town, only 500 people. Others in town probably knew my father was seeing another women but I had a rude awakening at the age of 14. When I told my mother she confronted my father and she decided to find a teaching job in another city and separate from my dad and move away. We moved to Sterling, Kansas a town west of Gypsum about 90 miles away.
When we moved I was 15 and starting my sophomore year in High school. We rented an apartment, we had no car, I was in a strange place and my life was in turmoil. What had happened was out of my control.
But my change of lifestyle was nothing compared to Daniel and his friends when they were taken as hostages from Jerusalem to Babylon. Daniel and his friends determined to live their lives in control in an out of control world.
Daniel is a good example of what you can do to live your life in control in an out of control world.
I. Daniel resolved not to compromise his beliefs. Daniel 1:6-21
Daniel stood tall for God in a godless culure. He confronted culture and planned his life to stay true to his convictions. Daniel and his friends faced false teachings and false good head on. The Babylonians did all they could to turn Daniel and his friends away from their Hebrew faith. They even changed their names:
(Daniel) means "God is my Judge" - - Belteshazzar
Hananiah means "Yahweh is gracious" -
Shadrach - Command of Aku"
Mishael means "Who is like God?" - Meshach
Who is like Aku?)
Azariah means "Yahweh has helped" - Abednego - Servant of Nebo
Bel, Aku, and Nebo were Babylonian gods.
All during his life Daniel refused to accept the Babylonian identity. He never forgot that he was Daniel. He always referred to himself as Daniel and not as Belteshazzar.
He refused to live as a Babylonian and would not eat the meat ordered for them by the king. All the meat and wine in the king’s household was first offered sacrificially to the Babylonian gods. According to God’s law, for Daniel to partake of the meat would be to participate in idolatry. Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine. Daniel 1:8
Daniel challenged the chief official to give them the test for ten days of eating nothing but vegetables and water to drink. After ten days they were healthier looking than those who ate the king’s royal food.
Daniel also had the test of truth. For three years he was indoctrinated in pagan Babylonian thinking and education. His professors told him over and over that the Hebrew God was dead. Only the Babylonian gods, Bel, Aku, and Nebo live. Daniel remained true to his faith in God.
#Carollyn had her faith tested in her last year of college. We were married after I graduated from Greenville College and Carollyn had one more year to finish college so she attended Transalvania College in Lexington, KY. She had one professor that used every opportunity he could to make fun of Christians and tried to convince his students that no one need God. He make it clear that he believed all the stories in the Bible were myths.
I was coming home from Seminary all inspired and she was coming home filled with doubts.
#A friend of our son, Tim, in L.A. had his faith tested recently. Tim’s friend was working for a company that goes into doctor’s offices and puts files and records on microfilm. Tim’s friend is a new Christian and is trying to have a Christian home.
A couple months ago when the Jessie Ventura Governor of Minnesota was quoted as saying that all Christians are weak and religion is a crutch for weal-minded people. The boss of Tim’s friend asked him what he thought of the statement by Jessie Ventura. He told him that he thought the Governor was ignorant of what Christianity is all about. Within a few weeks after he made that statement to his boss he was fired.
Friends, there is often a price to pay when we remain true to our convictions as a Christian. Like Daniel we can resolve not to compromise our beliefs.