The crises of man are not new.
There is nothing “more secular” about the world today than there has
ever been, in any age or society. The world’s hostility toward God has
not changed since the days of Adam.
Living out your faith in a
secular world does not depend on the approval or disapproval, acceptance
or persecution, or health or disease of the world. The issue at stake
centers not on the depth of the world’s depravity but on the depth of
your personal desire for God.
Daniel, along with the whole
host of Scripture (see Hebrews 11, for example) stands to prove that it
is entirely possible to live out your faith in any age or condition. No
one suffered more pressure to conform than Daniel.
At 16, he witnessed the cruel
slaughter of his family and the burning of his village. He was carried
away to exile in a foreign land, utterly stripped and forced to serve
They required him to learn their
ways, study their arts and perform their wishes. They even changed his
name to reflect their gods. In every way possible, the ruling world
tried to claim Daniel—and failed.
Why? Because Daniel chose. Daniel chose his God, and he chose obedience
to his God, even if it meant death (see Daniel 6 and Rev. 12:11). The
whole secret to living out your faith in a secular world lies in one
simple, ageless word—choice.
David chose (see Ps. 27:4). Mary chose (see Luke 10:38-42). Jesus chose (see Matt. 26:39). And so it will always be for His followers.
Look up the following verses:
What can you conclude from these passages? Do any of them apply to you?
If you are struggling to live
out your faith in a secular world, it may mean that your choice is not
clear. All the performance of your choice is God’s, a responsibility He
assumed in the person of Jesus Christ.
Thus the problem is not strength, but resolve. God will perform your choice for you, and overcome the world in you, if that is what you really want.
The question is: What do you really want?
Julie R. Wilson is a Bible teacher, freelance writer, editor and author of books including Restoring Your Spiritual Heritage and Homecoming: A Prophetic Study of Ruth.