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The Bread That Impacts Culture

August 1, 2017

 


Earlier this year as I was spending time with the Lord, I kept hearing the
sound of two swords clashing together. As I pressed into what I was
hearing, I felt it was the sound of two kingdoms meeting, the kingdom of
darkness, and the kingdom of light.


Many have felt a lot of turbulence in the atmosphere, some of it easily
defined by the conflict and controversy that continues in our nation and
many other nations as well. It has certainly been a time of clashing
ideologies and beliefs in many arenas.


In the midst of the clashing, I sense that the Lord is sifting and shaking
everything. Though it may not be fun at the time, the Lord’s shaking is
always a good thing. In describing this sifting and shaking I also heard
the word “threshing” that is used to describe what they did with wheat
in Bible times. Threshing means: the process of loosening the edible part
of cereal grain (or other crop) from the scaly, inedible chaff that
surrounds it.


God is applying His “threshing” to our hearts. In this threshing process
of our hearts, He is separating the edible from what is inedible. As we
live our lives as those representing the kingdom of light, we need to be
carriers of the “edible”.


I don’t know about you, but sometimes as I browse social media or
listen to the news I see and hear things that can cause my emotions to
rise. The temptation to type a sharp word or put someone in their place
so easily occurs. I believe in standing up for godly convictions, but the
way we stand up for what we believe is so very important. God is
shaking what can be shaken even within our hearts, so that His kingdom
shines forth brightly.

Is the bread I offer the world edible, or inedible? Will they take a taste
and want to spit it out, or will they come back for more? Do I represent
the heart, intention and integrity of the kingdom I am serving?

The Lord is sifting and shaking all around us. He is sifting and shaking
nations, governments, the lost, and the hearts of those who have called
Him Lord.


As I asked the Lord for the way we should position our hearts for what
He is doing, He reminded me of Daniel. Daniel was placed in a very
difficult situation to serve King Nebuchanezzar of Babylon. But, God
gave Daniel wisdom in how to navigate his time with Nebuchanezzar,
and the result was that Daniel’s life became bread that was “edible” in
the process. His life impacted the king in a powerful way.
Here are some things we can learn from Daniel:


1. Daniel refused to compromise his convictions. Whether it was
eating healthy fruits and vegetables, or refusing to bow to a pagan
king, Daniel was steadfast in his commitment to righteousness,
even at the threat of losing his life.


2. Daniel operated with honor and integrity. Even though Daniel
was placed into situations against his will and beliefs, he
continued to operate with honor and integrity. He practiced the
art of making a respectful appeal when he was required to do
something against his beliefs. Even a wicked king showed favor to
Daniel because he saw something different in him.


3. Daniel relied on the power of God. When given the challenge of
telling King Nebuchanezzar his dream and the interpretation of
his dream, Daniel knew that God was the only one who could
fulfill this bizarre request. Daniel urged his friends to plead to God
for the dream and interpretation, and God gave Daniel a vision in
the night revealing the mystery to him.


4. Daniel’s life became bread that even a wicked king would
want to eat. King Darius issued a decree requiring everyone to
worship him, and him alone, for 30 days. Daniel, of course, refused
and continued to worship the one true God. Some of the king’s
servants told the king about Daniel’s refusal, and reminded him of
his decree. The decree had stated that anyone refusing to obey
would be thrown into the lion’s den. The scripture tells us that the

king was greatly distressed and made every effort to rescue
Daniel, but the law said that a decree or edict could not be
changed. The king’s true heart and fondness towards Daniel and
his God can best be seen in this statement he made as they threw
Daniel into the lion’s den, “May your God, whom you serve
continually rescue you!” (Dan. 6:16b)


5. Daniel’s courageous life shifted the course of nations. King
Darius was so impressed with Daniel’s life and the protection of
the God he served, he wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of
every language throughout the land requiring them to fear and
reverence the God of Daniel. (Dan. 6:26)

Think of it. One man’s commitment to lead a godly, courageous, yet
humble life, caused a ripple effect that changed kings and nations. I’m so
challenged by Daniel’s life and thankful that he gave us an example of
remaining true to convictions at the same time showing honor and
humility.


As we continue in the shifting and shaking process, we can be thankful
that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. We can also be thankful
that “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it”.
(Phil. 1:6) Part of that good work may be threshing out the inedible
parts of our lives that don’t line up with His kingdom and purposes. But,
the very good result will be lives that shape, influence, and impact the
culture around us with the kingdom of light.

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