You Aren't As Woke As Others Say You Are
Today we start a new chapter of Daniel. But as we do, I want to set up the framework of chapters 7-12. Daniel has four visions in these chapters that happen at four different times. They appear to him under two different kings. The first two were under Belshazzar in Babylon. The second two were under Darius/Cyrus in the Medo-Persian empire. This is the last vision and will carry us through to the end. Here is how it begins.
In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. — Daniel 10:1
So this moment backs us up to chapter one. Jerusalem is destroyed, and Daniel is taken into captivity in Babylon. He is then castrated, so he will never be able to produce children. He is then subject to indoctrination by government-controlled education. And then, to top it off, he is given a new noun and not by his choosing. His new noun is Belteshazzar, which means "Bel protects his life." Which, by the way, is projected at him day after day in the shadow of his birth name, "Daniel," which means, "God is my judge."
I mention this here because this old name appears to stick with Daniel even into the Medo-Persian empire, even though it was given to him 70 years ago during the rise of the Babylonian empire. And I mention this here with intention.
Many men struggle with this — the conflict between a former identity with its label and a new identity with its label. I talk to men daily who are plagued by the labels of their past, the labels of defeat, and the unfair labels of others. And I have to guess that Daniel struggled with this as well. I bet every day he had to decide if he would embrace the label projected onto him by his woke culture or if he was going to be the man God called him to be. He had to wake up every day and decide if he would act like a son of Bel or a son of God. And do not forget, for 70 years, people projected this name at him.
And fellas, this is our daily challenge. Will we live out the label of our past, the label of defeat, the unfair label of others, or the label given to us by God?
If you are struggling with this, I hope that today you will cling to these words in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which read, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." Now go live in it.
ASK THIS: What old label plaques you?
DO THIS: Embrace your identity in Christ and nothing else.
PRAY THIS: God, you are so good to me. Thank you for all you have done for me and in me.
PLAY THIS: Good Good Father.
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