Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Faith Under Fire".
Series: Faith Under Fire (Daniel)[#1]
VICTOR OR VICTIM?
1. Faith is strengthened through testing. No exemptions!
2. God allows us to be tested.
3. When tested, we must choose whether to be a victor or a victim.
Test #1: Isolation
1. Then: Babylonian captivity; destruction and theft of Temple items; isolation of ¡§up and coming¡¨ youth.
2. Now: Feeling of being alone and abandoned; comfort zone ¡§shaken up¡¨.
1. Victor: Understand that all are tested and it is out of our control.
2. Victim: Moping, crying, blaming others, quitting, etc¡K
Test #2: Indoctrination
1. Then: Babylonian school; new knowledge; attempt to change beliefs via education.
2. Now: Teaching of tolerance concerning religion, morals, etc¡K to our children.
1. Victor: Remember Who the final authority is: God and His Word; stand up for Truth.
2. Victim: Give in; don¡¦t seek the truth; claim ignorance; stay quiet.
Test #3: Compromise
1. Then: Babylonian food; new diet; subtle changes.
2. Now: Subtle changes in moral standards; ¡§If you can¡¦t beat them, join them¡¨ mentality.
1. Victor: No compromise. Full obedience to God.
2. Victim: ¡§There¡¦s nothing I can do¡¨ attitude.
Test #4: Confusion
1. Then: Babylonian names; new names represented Babylonian gods; attempt to confuse identity.
„© Daniel (¡§God is my Judge¡¨) became Belteshazzar (¡§Bel, protect the king¡¨).
„© Hananiah (¡§The Lord is gracious¡¨) became Shadrach (¡§Command of Aku¡¨, the Sumerian sun-god).
„© Mishael (¡§Who is like the Lord?¡¨) became Meshach (¡§Who is what Aku is?¡¨).
„© Azariah (¡§The Lord is my helper¡¨) became Abednego (¡§Servant of Nebo¡¨, another Babylonian god).
2. Now: Attempt to confuse our Christian identity.
1. Victor: Choose God. The world cannot take your salvation. Stand firm.
2. Victim: ¡§Go with the flow¡¨. Believe what everyone tells you. Be ¡§wishy-washy¡¨.
1. Read ¡§The Fellowship Of The Unashamed¡¨.
The Fellowship of the Unashamed
I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won¡¦t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow,
my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won¡¦t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I¡¦ve preached up,
prayed up, paid up, stored up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns,
give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He stops me.
And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.
2. Christian, are you going to be a victor or victim?
3. Lost person, you can only ultimately win with Jesus Christ as your Savior.