We have been talking about being different, using the example of Daniel, who resolved to not be conformed to his surrounding. And as the church, we are called to be different from the world.
However, there is a difference between deciding to be different and remaining different. In a world where were are constantly in a battle, how can we be unique? How can we live without comparing ourselves with others? Be a Christian who remains a Christian? We often start well but compromise along the way.
How can we stay away from bad influence? How can I be a model as a wife, a husband, a Pastor, a singer…
- Knowing God intimately and truthfully
We have to know God in a way that is not superficial and we have to know Him in truth.
In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul declares: “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced hat he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me”. And Job said: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25)
We will all go through difficult times but our knowledge will make the difference.
When Moses was leading the people of Israel out of Egypt and they reached the Red Sea, with Pharaon’s army behind them, he told the people: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:13, 14). Yet God had not given him any instruction but he knew that the God who had spoken to him would surely lead them.
What is your level of knowledge of God? What are you certain of?
In Exodus 6:3, God said to Moses: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them”.
Moses knew God as El Shaddait, the great I AM, the sovereign God but God also wanted to reveal Himself as the God who saves, who delivers and who sets free.
Daniel 6:10 tells us that when Daniel heard that an injunction forbidding to pray any other god or man but king Darius had been signed, “He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously”
Prayer is fixing our eyes on God, on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
As long as Peter was fixing his eyes on Jesus, he walked on water but when he looked away, he started sinking (Matthew 14:29-30).
We tend to pray as a last recourse but Daniel prayed “as usual” and interestingly, prayer didn’t stop him from being thrown in the den of lions. God didn’t intervene right away, because He had given orders to the lions.
Maybe you are going through a difficult situation and God seems silent, despite your prayers. Remember that even in the tomb, He is LORD.
- Separating from bad company
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
You cannot walk with those who are different from you and remain uncorrupted. They will surely influence you.
Bad company is anyone who does no share your faith, your goals or your vision.
How can you spend your time with drunkards and remain uncorrupted? That’s why you are spiritually dry and tired and you are unable to pray. God has warned you that such a person will be a stumbling block to you. For the desires of the flesh are contrary to those of the spirit. If you love the company of worldly people, you will not be different. Paul said: “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
- Being ready to suffer
We are introduced to another gospel that says that salvation spares us from suffering. Yet Paul, Peter and Jesus Himself suffered! Facing hardship does not mean that we are sinful but in the midst of hardship, God is at work.
In Mark 10:30, Peter asked Jesus what reward would receive those who have forsaken all to follow Jesus. And Jesus answered: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and inthe age to come eternal life ».
1 Thessalonians 3:3: “…that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this”
2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
1 Peter 4:12-16 : “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name”.
John 16:33:”In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world”
When sufferings comes, I should not panic but I should ask God, what He wants teach me.
The church is a bride waiting for the bridegroom , we live accordingly, as sojourners, we invest our lives in things that will give an eternal reward.
While we are waiting for Him, we seek to be transformed into His image, by reading and meditating on His word day and night and by living an obedient life.