Hello Wave Collective,
I shared this message recently at Wave Church and know it will also bless you.
CANCELED: DANIEL VS CANCEL CULTURE
10 TIMES BETER
Jesus died for a purpose, to show the world that God’s way is the highest way, God’s way is the best way, but God’s way is not the easiest way.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Don’t get the picture that not many people are going to make it to heaven. The scripture is not saying because it’s narrow there aren’t going to be many people who make it. Jesus is saying, it is not the easy way. You have to stand up and have some courage to be a Christian. Anyone can choose the easy way, but Christians are called to choose the harder way. It’s the way of life. I love the scripture
Proverbs 15:24 (NKJV)
The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below.
God’s way winds upwards, it doesn’t spiral downwards. Christian’s are called to be the head not the tail. They are called to be above and not beneath. They are called to be more than conquerors.
1 John 4:4b (KJV)
because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Daniel 1:1-18 (NIV)
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Note these qualifications. These were 4 men that were sought out by King Nebuchadnezzar.
What the King was looking for:
- Someone Young
- Age is an attitude. It is your attitude that determines how old you are.
- Young people are teachable, flexible and willing to learn.
- They are open, curious and moldable.
- They are able to receive instruction.
- Without Physical Defects
- Without imperfections, flaws or blemishes
- They were good physical male specimens
- Good looking and striking
- The dictionary describes handsome as pleasing and dignified in form or appearance.
- We think of handsome only in the realm of good looks. But there is a sense of dignity that characterizes them. That’s what makes someone handsome.
- Ability and skill and capacity for learning and education. They were readers of books
- They knew how to study. They were industrious in gaining knowledge.
- They were hard working
- They were well informed. They developed a talent for gathering information.
- They formed networks to gather data and were relationship orientated.
- They were quick to understand and fast learners.
- There was an intuitiveness about them.
- They were instinctive, discerning, insightful and wise.
- They were qualified to serve in the king’s place. They knew what it was to serve, to administrate, to manage and to lead in civil affairs.
- They showed capacity, skill. They had experience and decorum.
- They knew how to speak and act in the palace.
This is what the king was looking for. But I want to tell you that the King of Kings is still looking for that kind of Christian. Who would be 10 times better than anyone or anything you could find in the world.
- He was able to teach them language and literature of the Babylonians.
- He wanted them to become a part of his culture.
- He wanted to create his culture in them.
- He wanted them to carry his culture and become the architects of culture for the future.
The Bible says they were well trained
Daniel 1:5. (NIV)
They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
- They decided that they would remain true to their God.
- They believed in the laws of God that governed their eating habits.
- They sought to live a life worthy of His name.
- These men wanted to be holy to the Lord.
- There was a consistency about their lives.
- They walked with God on a daily basis in a hostile and foreign land.
I believe the church should be the leader of culture.
I believe Christians should be leaders in the community.
I believe the bible teaches us to be the head and not the tail. (Duet 28:13)
Christ died to reinstate you and restore you in to a relationship with God that is Holy, that is mighty, that is powerful. That is the work of the cross.
Daniel 1:17 (NIV)
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
God added super to their natural abilities
Daniel 1:19-20 (NIV)
The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
They were ten times better than what the world could produce.
God is raising that kind of generation today. There is a sound of a generation rising that is set apart and anointed.
People who will distinguish themselves as a servant of the most high God
People of uncompromising character and gifting that are 10 times better than that of the world.
What you hear and see here today is the sound of a generation rising that is set apart, anointed and marked by spiritual fervency and fire.
Walking in holiness and uncompromising character. Exemplified by a spirit equal to none.
They are young at heart and ready to achieve greatness.
There is an enormous challenge before anyone who wants to serve the Lord.
I wonder where the challenge comes to be 10 times better. Where does the desire come from to live a life undefiled by the world?
Why would people decide to live a life that shouts God’s fame?
Where does that in motivation come from that would cause us to distinguish ourselves before all the world?
Where does that motivation come from?
I believe it’s put in deep in the hearts of people.
Psalms 8:1 (NKJV)
Oh Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth
We are made in the image and likeness of God
If there are things about the world a Christian doesn’t like, he can change it.
The bible says, in the beginning was God.
Genesis 1:1.3 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
God created the world we live in by the words He spoke. We are made in His image and likeness.
We can change the world in which we live with our words. We can be 10 times better.
Where did the doctrine appear that Christians have to be doormats, useless, plain, wimpy, average, regular, standard, run of the mill, lacking boldness or compromised?
Where did it come from that if you are a Christian you are inferior in your intelligence? Or because you have faith in an eternal God and a loving redeemer, you are somehow intellectually substandard, low grade or second rate?
Where did it come from that if you are a Christian that you are mamby pamby, wishy washy, bland, weak-willed, nerdy, pathetic, puny, boring and unattractive?
Who is responsible for that type of propaganda?
Who is behind the idea that Christians should live risk-free, safe lives?
Where does it say that a Christian is the one who should be out of date in their fashion, the one with dodgy morals and shaky ethics or they are just too nice?
Who says Christians can’t wear cool clothes, have great haircuts and drink good coffee?
Who deemed Christians to live lack-luster lives?
Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
A friend of mine told me a story of a soldier in the army of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great was walking through his camp late one evening and he came across a guard who had fallen asleep on his post. Alexander woke him up. The guard was so afraid because he knew the punishment for sleeping on guard duty could be death. Alexander asked him his name, and the guard responded with his name Alexander. Alexander the Great responded by saying, either stay awake or change your name.
Every day Jesus asks, what’s your name? My answer is Christian.
Do my everyday actions reflect the name and character of the Lord I serve?
Do we live a life of fear, punishment or reprimand? Or do we live a life that is faithful to the name of Jesus?
Would he ask you to change your name?
Are you living a life that is worthy of his name?
Have you risen to the 10 times better challenge?
We are all challenged by this scripture. It’s true that many Christians have handled the reality of the name of Jesus in a clumsy manner. Some have grown tired, apathetic, luke-warm. Some have become careless and others live blatantly in contradiction to scripture.
So many people have risen to levels where their character couldn’t keep them and they come crashing down. They walk around like time bombs ready to bring destruction. The consequences of living like this are awful.
We live below the level of our Christian confession.
We live in a manner that is not worthy of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We live in fear and agonizing about hell instead of living a life of devotion and faithfulness to the call of Christ.
- We are to live a life worthy of the Lord
Either do that or change your name. Don’t call yourself a Christian unless you are living a life that is worthy of the Lord.
- We are to please him in every way
The word of God is our instruction. Not our feelings or our emotions or our impressions.
We live by the Word of God. And the Word has every instruction you need to live a life that is worthy of the call upon you.
Read it, study it.
Don’t live careless lives in regards to your study of the Word of God.
- We are to bear fruit in every good work
Fruitful service not just perspiration. There are some people who are busy, and they are sweating, and they are going about doing stuff but God is not interested in busyness.
He is interested in bearing fruit.
He is interested in results.
- Growing in the knowledge of God
To grow you need to be planted.
Planted in biblical terms implies that you need to be planted in a local church.
Not just coming to church for Easter and Christmas but you would rise to the challenge of being 10 times better.
You can only grow were you are planted.
- They are strengthened in power
To know the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
I know a lot of Christians who sport a great menu but don’t have anything cooking in the kitchen.
They haven’t been fanning into flame the gift of God in them.
We are in desperate need of the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are to be strengthened with power – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
The power that brought Creation to pass.
We are to be clothed with power from on high to be witnesses for him. (Acts 1:8)
We need the Holy Spirit’s power to ignite our lives.
- To have endurance and patience
Endurance is not a word we like to hear.
Be patient as God does his work in us, before he does his work through us.
So many people today have the philosophy that if it doesn’t work, then just chuck it in.
Whenever the going gets a bit tough – go shopping.
We live in a microwave, throwaway society.
Sticking with something, staying through hardships in a situation, the stress of seeing though a circumstance or relationship seems almost alien to some people nowadays.
If our generation doesn’t develop some stick-ability, we are doomed for a fruitless life. Our destiny will be compromised if not ship wrecked
- Joyfully giving thanks to the Father
The way to live for Christ and God decided it. The way to live for God is full on. On fire, red hot and burning for Him.
Living 100%, full throttle, pedal to the metal. There is no other way you would want to live.
His name and His nature demands our highest commitment.
TEN TIMES BETTER!
I pray these few powerful words will encourage and inspire you to seek God’s wisdom.