How to Shine Light into a Dark World
The book of Daniel is about shining light into the dark world of the Babylonian empire. It was a mighty nation but lacked understanding about spiritual things and the best they had been able to do was tap the supernatural powers of gods that simply reflected their own limitations and desires. Then they captured Daniel and his friends during the overthrow by Babylon of the tribe of Judah and the town of Jerusalem. In spite of the deteriorating spiritual condition of Judah and Jerusalem these boys had gotten a true understanding of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now they find themselves in captivity in the nation of Babylon. Circumstances were NOT ideal and yet they knew what was needed if God was to use this situation for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Today we are captive in a world that is increasing in darkness! I find in Daniel’s experience much that teaches me about how I can share the light from the Kingdom of Heaven. I invite you to look over my shoulder as I explore and find ways to apply their experience to life in this place and time. Let’s start with Chapter 1.
3 Then the king told Ashpenaz the chief of his officials[a] to bring in some of the sons of Israel from royal descent and nobility— 4 youths without any defect, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable, intelligent and capable of serving in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
Why would I think that Ashpenaz thought these 4 young men met those qualifications? It was because they lived out of a realization of who they were! When you know who you are and who’s you are all the wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and capability is yours. They knew their God and they knew they belonged to His kingdom. That was manifested in their speech, demeanor, attitude, and interactions.
SO…Knowing my true identity is the first qualification that will allow me to be a Light in a dark world! This means I will need NO OTHER Significance! I will not need to find significance through my employment, my money, my outward appearance or my human relationships. Nothing that is offered in the world will make me powerful, famous, effective, popular or “More than”! All that is good about me will spring from KNOWING who I am in the Kingdom of God and my relationship with its ruler! Yeshua!
That should make it really easy, right? Knowing God IS a restful place BUT the dark world is not in sync with that and finds it grinds against their desires and goals. So I need some practical, rubber-meets-the-road examples of how that looks in the real world.
I will explore that next! Stay tuned!