Monday, July 1, 2013

Living In America - Today! Part 2

The spotlight was placed on Daniel many times in his life by those not of similar beliefs.  Daniel was challenged with food in Chapter 1.  In chapter 2 Daniel interprets the vision/dream of King Nebuchadnezzar when no one else could.  Daniel is recognized as one with wisdom and insight not only in chapter 2 but also continually from chapter 2 on.  How did Daniel rise in recognition.  Di Daniel have a public relations strategy?  Was there an agent promoting Daniel?

Today Christians live in and live out our narcissistic behavior.  The promotion of self drives much of what we do.  We have traded the protest lines and parades for our social media tools.  Some are real good at self promotion.  So good that in today's world a person with limited success or wisdom from experience can rise to a popular level quickly.  Maybe personality plays into the factors involved.  It is possible that we humans are simply gullible enough to pass over the scrutiny that was once found before our attention and affections were given.  Make no doubt, we promote but we also see simultaneous loss of influence in our world.  And this is an important connection to understand.

With the increase use of secular methods comes the increase message of secular thought.  Daniel was known and respected for his beliefs.  His being known was not due to his self promotion but simply the conduct of how his life was lived out in the real world - a world that did not worship the God of Daniel.  Much like today, few in Daniels time listened to the things of God.  Yet they sought Daniel to enlighten them.  We should ask the question WHY?

A close look at Daniels life reveals a life of consistency to his determined purpose.  He had purposed in his heart whom he would worship.  He adjusted his life to live out that purpose.  Daniel wanted all glory to go to God.  He lived for nothing else.  He respected those who disagreed with him.  He sought to understand them while resisting the human tendency to take things personally.  He was relational with his life.  And Daniel avoided arrogance almost perfectly.

Daniel was a person who influenced while only promoting God.  Daniel was anything but narcissistic.  We should seek to understand the Daniel way of living in our American secular culture.  We should pray that God would give us the opportunity to influence people in a manner similar to Daniel.  To be sought out because of how we live bears greater fruit than our self promotion could ever produce.

The lesson from Daniels popularity is profound.  When God blesses and grants his favor, the evil one's in this world will pay attention.  promotion is cause for humility.  Humility is the path to influence with people.  Daniel loved people much like Nehemiah did.  He cared about the pain and destruction that would occur in their lives without surrender to Jehovah God.  He knew that only from building relationships with them could he ever hope to find them willing to listen to his thoughts.  Daniel lived his life loving God, loving people, and dependent on God to promote and provide the opportunity for influence. And in Daniel we that God opened doors in God like fashion.

I guess we could say about Daniel that he did have a public relations agent after all.  He had the one that you and I have today - he had God.  The difference between us and Daniel is easy to see.  We promote for our sakes.  Daniel was promoted for his exaltation of and living for, God.

When our lives match our announced commitment, God will promote bigger than we dream!

Self promotion can never gain us the influence that God can.  So why do we continue to live in a such selfish, narcissistic manner?

Part 3 will deal with our methods.