Relevant: No Compromise
“Surviving a Babylonian Culture”
Daniel and his three friends had the ability to stand firm in God in a pagan culture.
We have a few choices:
1) We either set the culture or reflect the culture
2) We either be a thermostat or a thermometer.
We are called by Jesus to let our light shine before people so that they will want to glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Jesus reminded us we are in the world, not of it (John 17:15-16). But God still wants us to thrive in Babylon!
But how do we live in the world and not become part of it?
Firstly, recognize that Babylon is not just a locality, but a mentality.
I want to expose how Satan operates. Satan says, “I’m all about you but God is all about Himself”. This lie of Satan comes in different versions. Read Genesis 11:4-9.
When we follow a way other than God’s way it produces confusion in our lives. God wants to be involved in our lives.
2 Chronicles… If My people:
– Humble themselves
– Seek My face
Then I will answer.
Babylon’s motto is “I am, and there is none besides me.” How sad! Babylon elevates “self”. It is all about me. Self-adoring! Self-building! ‘I can do it without you, God, I will let you know when I need you.’
Babylon is self-indulging! If it feels good, do it! It’s a narcissistic life style. A belief in our feelings.
Our culture tries to lower God’s standards. Satan says, ‘God doesn’t love you.’ ‘If He loved you, He would let you be who you are.’
The greatest expression of love is protection! God protects us from what He knows will destroy us.
Satan says, ‘God is not for you. He is not on your side, He’s mean, outdated, and old fashioned.’
This lie lowers God to our standards, and it makes us think we know how to run our lives and our society better that He can. Let us remember that everything God put in His word is for our best interest and not His!
Satan says, ‘God wants too much from you.’ This is a Babylon mentality.
In Daniel 4:4 Nebuchadnezzar spoke about his comfort and prosperity. He was admiring himself.
But God intervened and abased Nebuchadnezzar’s exalt (Daniel 4:25-26).
“You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals.”
Note: God always leaves an opportunity for restoration “…(until) you acknowledge that Heaven rules…”
When we acknowledge that Heaven rules, it will work out for us. But Nebuchadnezzar did not listen – he mocked God until sanity was restored. “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High (Daniel 4:34-37).
Note: When God humbles us, He does not leave us there. “my honor and splendor were returned to me…” Nebuchadnezzar realized the true King.
There are 3 “I wills” we must acknowledge in order to survive any ungodly culture, or a Babylonian culture.
THE 3 ‘I WILLS’ TO SURVIVE A BABYLONIAN CULTURE:
1. I Will Exalt God
Not just Sundays! In my whole life. Not only in my private life – also in my open life. The world does a lot of exaltation of their stars when they go to sport games and concerts. But when we exalt our God, they call us fanatics!
People may expect us to celebrate and shout for a team who does not even know our names and be silent with a God who knows us personally by name and who saved and gave us joy and eternal life.
Psalm 145:1 ‘’I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.’
2. I Will Acknowledge God
Nebuchadnezzar said, “…your ways are just Lord, I will never question you…”
1 Corinthians 4:7 (TLB) ‘What are you so puffed up about? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?’
We need to acknowledge that everything that we have and are belong to the Lord God Almighty.
3. I Will Humble Myself
The Bible says in James 4:10
‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.’
We will be faced with either humility or humiliation.
Insanity, like it happened to Nebuchadnezzar, it can happen to anyone who has the Babylon mentality.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but it is thinking of yourself less.
God doesn’t leave you down there – God will bring you up.
Remember – the man on his face can never fall from that position – therefore stay low, serve God, serve people, make it all about Jesus.
Let me leave you with these words:
“Standing strong in a pride-inflated Babylonian culture begins facedown.”
Let sanity be restored Lord, in Jesus’ name!
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on January 27, 2019 at New Life Christian Church