In Captivity But Not Captive Pt 2 – Ps Kerrin Wallis [11/08/2019 AM]

The story of Daniel

Episode Notes

Kerrin wanted to give opportunity for people to respond and have prayer because he felt so stirred by the Holy Spirit that this is part of some people unlocking God’s hand on their lives.

  • There are people here today and you have been thinking what is it?
  • Why does it seem like I just can’t make ground in my life?
  • Kerrin believed that for some the understanding and therefore response of today is key.

Recapping on last week

  • Daniel is a powerful man of God in the Bible!
  • He is highly influential in the ruling of four separate kings.
  • He sees the miracle power of God.
  • He sees spiritual gifts flowing and operating in his life and calling.
  • He works a ‘secular job’ in a secular kingdom and is highly successful.
  • He is a man of prayer.
  • He is a man with no recorded mistakes.
  • Daniel is exceptional, yet he does this all while being a captive in a foreign land!
  • Daniel spends his life captive to violent and ungodly regime in a land far from his own, yet he flourishes and lives out a powerful influential life for God.
  • We seem to be surrounded by a material and physical earth filled with brokenness and the effects of sin, death and evil – yet we as Christians no longer live captive to that same bondage.

John 14:13-18 (NIV)

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

(God’s plan is not just hanging on or surviving till we get to Heaven)

14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

  • We are in the world but not of the world! We don’t have to live under others broken world.
  • This is where the story of Daniel starts!

Daniel 1:1-2 (NIV)

1 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 gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

  • Ask what, not why? Decide to ask what?
  • It is a temptation of the human soul to ask why, but we rarely if ever get the answer.
  • Too many people run away from God asking why instead of running to Him asking what? What are you saying?
  • Refuse to change your name and don’t give in to defeat.
  • One of the first things the captivity of this world wants to do is change our names!
  • For every person here today, there will be some kind of name or label that this world and its captivity will want to put on you.

However:

  • Choose to live by what God says about you!
  • Choose to live by faith rather than your circumstance
  • Choose to live free in Jesus Christ – despite the captivity and brokenness of this world.

1. Resolve to give God your best and don’t defile.

Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

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.

This verse follows straight after v7 where they intend on changing Daniel’s name.

  • Not only does he refuse this and stays with what God says about him, but Daniel refuses and resolves not to defile himself.
  • Daniel resolved to give God his best.
  • If the devil can’t change our name and get us subject to his attempts at defeat, he will try to defile us.
  • The devil has many tricks of the trade when it comes to this:
  • In Daniel’s case it was with things that would water down his faith and holiness.
  • The foods and customs that in his God given country and people would have been considered unholy.
  • What is meant by God with this idea of ‘defiling’. What did Daniel refuse exactly?
  • There are only a few references to this word in the Old Testament and a key one is found in:

Malachi 1:6 (NIV)

6 “A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

(This is speaking to the believers, not just unbelievers or sinners, but those who should know)

“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “By offering defiled food on my altar.

“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. 8 When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

9 “Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11 My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.

  • God is clear here in the most challenging of terms. This is a confronting passage.
  • God is not saying that we are out committing gross sin or hideous immorality. that would be too easy for us to recognise as a plot of the devil.
  • The devil has already tried intimidation, failures and changing your name.
  • He is not standing with a neon sign and a pitch fork.
    • Too often we think the devil walks around with a red suit, horns and a huge pitch fork saying – come and sin!
    • Like signs on the highway saying police radar ahead.
  • Instead, he simply tempts us not to offer God our best!
  • To defile means not giving God our best!
  • God will not take second place in our lives and if we think that is ok, the devil has won in convincing us to defile ourselves.
  • God has already given us His all!
  • He gave his best!
  • He didn’t send an angel or just a good guy.
  • He sent His only Son Jesus.
  • God expects our best in return.
  • We see this in the Old Testament:
  • Abraham the hero of faith
  • The hero of faith was not tested by God to give his best property, but his only son!

David in:

1 Chronicles 21:24

24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

In the New Testament:

  • Jesus asks the rich young ruler to sell everything and give to the poor – not just a tenth.
  • The young man left feeling sad.
  • Nothing compares to life in Jesus Christ.
  • God doesn’t take second best.

What things in our life are we surrounded by that are tempting us to defile us?

  • In our devotion to God and His ways – do we give our best?
  • Does business convince us we don’t have time?
  • Does TV, social media or just not thinking, cause us to not bother?
  • In our commitment to His service – do we give our best?
  • Do we serve our boss better than we serve God? Do we serve our mates opinions better than we serve God?
  • In our worship – do we give our best?
  • He will only take first place.
  • People say they are just not the kind of person to get passionate in worship.
  • YET at a football game they shout and yell – maybe we just don’t care about God… or have let lukewarm Christians talk and ‘defile us’.
  • In our giving financially do we give our best?
    • If we think we can live with God’s blessing and not tithe – we have been tricked into defiling ourselves and giving our scraps. This is the exact meaning of Malachi.
  • In our speech – does God get our best, or leftovers?
  • In our time – does God get our best, or leftovers?
  • How much of what we do goes to serving God’s kingdom, or our kingdom?
  • In what we put into our mind – watch, listen to, read.
    • How much honours God vs leftovers?
    • How does God’s input weigh with other inputs?

This seems a little intense Church, but this is a reality that God takes seriously and sadly much of the time believers live captive, it’s because they do not take it seriously.

We cannot live outside of God’s kingdom in a whole bunch of areas and then expect His freedom that is for within His kingdom.

  • Daniel’s temptation was to lower his standard of best.
  • This is where Daniel is such a brilliant example, because he was in a foreign nation.

Have you visited other nations and found life is different?

In Fiji Kerrin lived on rice and sauce.

  • Not because he was Godly, but he didn’t trust village food.
  • Rice and sauce is not good for your system after a week.

In Poland Kerrin got lost.

  • Couldn’t read the street signs, they were in POLISH!

For Daniel, being Captive in Babylon meant two things!

#1 – He did not have the freedom in life he wanted. Things were not in his plan.

  • Anyone feel like there are things in your world you don’t ‘have control of’?
  • The weight of a mortgage or financial decision.
  • A marriage that needs more effort than we thought when we were starry eyed and no responsibilities.
  • A job that frustrates us.
  • Taken a risk.
  • A habit or struggle we just don’t seem to be able to click our fingers and have God take it away.

#2 – Daniel had no restraints of God – no one to tell him what to do.

  • No-one was compelling or forcing Daniel to take God seriously.
  • He was choosing to because of his personal love and commitment to God.
    • He wasn’t forced to pray.
    • No-one was pressuring him to prioritise God.
    • He actually had peer pressure to abandon his commitments to God, yet he resolved not to.
  • In most of these things or areas, no one will know or is telling us what to do, it’s between us and God – but He knows!
  • Serving God is about revelation of His Word.

Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

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.

Kerrin loves the words ‘Daniel resolved’! There is power in that because it was his:

  • Personal choice.
  • Not the easy road.
  • Required commitment.

Daniel accepted responsibility in all this. It doesn’t say:

  • “Daniel wouldn’t let the king defile him”.
  • “Daniel wouldn’t let the circumstances defile him”.
  • Daniel didn’t defile.

Other people and circumstances can’t defile us, only we can! It is our choice.

  • Someone can hurt us – but only we can defile ourselves with offence!
  • Circumstances can be financially tough – but we defile ourselves by putting God’s tithe down the priority list.
  • Life may not pan out like we wanted – but only we can choose to get angry with God, give up on Him, get cynical about church and faith.
  • The guys or girls at work can surround us with topics and language that is dirty and ungodly – but we have the choice to join in or not.
  • Life and feelings can make us feel like not worshipping Jesus – but only we defile ourselves and choose not to praise and worship.
  • You have a personal decision to choose not to defile.
  • Too many people blame everything and everyone else instead of taking responsibility to choose not to defile themselves.
  • We make choices. We choose to focus on God. We need to choose daily.

Ever had a cut or wound that got infected?

Kerrin’s friend Craig B got a stick in his foot when they were fishing down at the creek. The doctor who treated him didn’t clean the wound properly and Craig ended up really ill with infection. It could have killed him.

Our lives are a bit like this:

  • This world might give us a cut now and then, but if we don’t clean the rubbish out it will poison us.
  • It is our responsibility to ask God to clean it out and not to let it get infected.
  • Don’t let the poison become invisible.
  • Don’t put God second place in your life. Put Him first.
  • Show people He is number one in your life.
  • Don’t be tempted to lower your standards.
  • Don’t be a lukewarm Church.
  • Don’t lower the bar.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions

  1. Can you resolve to give God your best?
  2. Do we give God our best in all our lives?
  3. Do you know who people blame everything and everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own actions?
  4. Do you choose not to defile yourself?
  5. Discuss the consequences of not making the right choices.