I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know.
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, (ooh oh)
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory
Have you ever read about Daniel and his friends? (Daniel c 1-4) If you have, then you know that whatever society threw in their paths, they did not move, they stood firm to their beliefs, they were unshakeable. No matter what changes around them ensued, what they were told they should do to comply, they remained steadfast in their faith in God.
Back in Daniel’s day, Jerusalem was conquered by a king named Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and some of his friends were chosen because they were young, probably teenagers, they were handsome and intelligent. Old Neb just wanted the best and the elite of Jerusalem. He wanted them young because their young minds could be taught and manipulated to change.
First off, their God-honouring names, were changed in order to honour the gods of Babylon.
Now think about this: Today we have those who would have our children believe
that they really aren’t Sally or Jane…they are Tommy or Joe.
Then Old Neb, and his pagan environment wanted them to be obligated to serve him and have them committed to him. He was offering them the good things his palace could offer, such as delicacies to eat and wine, so they would be happy and never want to go back to their old life and beliefs.
Now think about this: Today the young people, especially, are bombarded with music, just geared to them. With advertising, just geared to them. Whatever can be instilled in a young mind, over and over, would eventually be passed down to others in the future. So even something that has let you down, you still become drawn to it, bringing you down even more.
Old Neb wanted to change their speech. He wanted them to learn the language and literature of the Chaldeans, to better serve him. Forget about the language you were raised with and the ideals and philosophies you were raised with, change for the betterment of the place you now reside. Forget the God you served and just serve me.
Now think about this: Today you have to be politically-correct in what you say and think. You have to be tolerant of the feelings of others regardless of whether they are to you. You must not speak out against something that you don’t agree with because you will be called a bigot or racist or a radical. You must only think what society says is right, and leave God out of everything.
Lastly, Old Neb had an image made of gold, which he commanded all to worship. Kind of, his desire to have a unified religion in his empire. He said when the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, they must fall down and worship the gold image. And if anyone did not comply, into the fiery furnace they would go. Daniel 3:3-6
Now think about this: Today we have money, cars, smart-phones, sports,
anything to take our minds off of God. They are the idols of today.
Not much difference in today’s society as in Daniel’s. You are being directed, subtly, in a manner that is so delicate it’s difficult to analyze or describe and in a clever and indirect way, in order to achieve being conformed. Starting with taking God out of everything. We are being re-programmed. The pattern for the future is what we have learned and repeatedly done. The more you do something, the more it becomes second nature. To dissuade you from your walk with God. What’s evil is good and what’s good is evil. Identities are being changed.
Your identity, the one God gave you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV When we are weak, when we feel we can’t change the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, to change the old habits and be better people, remember, He is strong.
So how do we change that and bring that into our everyday lives? When I feel inadequate, I just have to whisper his name and somehow there’s always these moments where I feel like God just stepped in and over-rides my feelings of inadequacy. Paul wrote, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)
The four lads in our story stayed focused on God in prayer. They didn’t waver from their faith in Him. We can do the same. Start your day with God in prayer. Get a glimpse of Him before you take on the world. In the middle of your day keep focused on Him…ask yourself what would God have me do? Then at the end of the day thank Him for getting you through the day and your faith in your walk with Him will strengthen you and victory will be your delight.
Don’t get buried in the confusion, in the waywardness around you, just remember to stay the course, with Jesus by your side.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Now ask yourself this question,
“What Does Jesus Think of Me?
Am I the person He wants me to be or am I the person society wants me to be.
You can be the person God wants you to be, the person you ought to be.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 In Christ the old has gone; although the struggles rage on, with the Holy Spirit’s help, following Jesus day by day will align us in a good position until He returns.
Here’s a prayer to get you started….