It seems like more people are living for the world than for God in today’s culture. How do we live as Christ-followers in a world that seems to be spinning out of control and seemingly turning away from God? The Old Testament book of Daniel gives us a model. The spiritual resolve of Daniel and his three friends sets an example of courage, confidence, and hope for God’s people then and now. Even while living in a secular society surrounded by anti-Christian people. Here are 5 keys to keeping your faith strong in a godless, anti-Christian society.
5 Practical Ways to Stay Strong in Your Faith in a Secular Society
1. Create time to PRAY
This is something we see Daniel repeatedly do in chapters 1, 2, and 6. He was consistently praying to keep himself in alignment with God and keep his faith strong. It helped him to remember that God was with him and that He is greater than anything (or anyone) in this world. Prayer helps put on your spiritual armor against the devil and the ways of this world. From prayer also flows the strength and wisdom to do the following tips.
Free Resource: 12 Practical Tips for Powerful Prayer – Video Series
2. Resist ISOLATION with COMMUNITY
Daniel wasn’t alone while living in Babylon. He had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with him. They were also young men of strong faith. And beyond just those four, there was also a remnant of God’s people who were faithful. Being surrounded by other strong believers is a critical way to keep your faith strong when it feels like the rest of the world is against you. Ecclesiastes chapter 4 also reflects this concept in verses 9 and 10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up, But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
No one can stand alone in this world. God’s design for his people is community. Do you have a small group, a church, or some good friends who are following Christ with you? The Grace Online community or joining a challenge group are both great ways to help strengthen your community of other Christians who are interested in strengthening their faith as well.
3. Undermine cultural INDOCTRINATION with God’s TRUTH
Choose your kingdom in order to choose your battles. Make a conscious choice to follow the kingdom of God and His word. Many times, Christians will have one hand in the world and one hand in the kingdom of God. But Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” To follow Jesus is to keep your eyes fixed on Him, to put your full trust in Him, and to know that your hope is in Him and Him alone. Also, dwelling on what we will inherit in God’s kingdom ahead will help us to continue to be strong for God and not strong for this world.
What does God’s kingdom look like? Jesus answered that question when He gave the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He said in chapter 5:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
God is looking for people who will stand tall in obedience. While it won’t be an easy life, it will be one full of His blessings. Make sure you are spending time with God every day and reading God’s Word to help keep you focused on the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of this world.
4. Supplant secondary IDENTITIES with WHO YOU ARE in CHRIST
The world around you pressures you into choosing your identity and living your own truth. Everything from your gender, to your sexuality, to your personality is supposed to be determined by you and only you. That’s exhausting! And impossible!
Thankfully, there is no doubt as to your identity in Christ. Because He is the Shepherd, you are a beloved sheep. Because He is the Father’s Son, you are adopted into His family. You are His child and an heir of all His promises. Because He is the King of kings, you know to which Kingdom you belong. Because He is Lord, you know He is worth following.
5. Wisely resist COMPROMISE and TAKE A STAND
In Daniel 1 verses 8-10 we see Daniel taking a stand against King Nebuchadnezzar’s demand to start eating food that would cause Daniel to disobey God. Daniel didn’t see himself as the helpless pawn of circumstances beyond his control. He resolved to act with courage, but it’s how he did it that really made an impact.
With humility, Daniel wisely and politely just proposed a little test – we’ll eat our food – everyone else can eat theirs, and we’ll see who comes out healthier. And God’s way proved to be better. But notice his attitude. He spoke graciously to each person he encountered. This will be his pattern throughout the whole book.
Note the key qualities of Daniel’s approach to taking a stand:
- Graciously spoken
We will never have an impact on a world that thinks we hate them, so it’s important to take a firm stand with these attributes. Humility is what allows us to build relational influence.
It’s also important to remember that we don’t need to fight every single battle. When you are “anti” everything, eventually, everyone will tune you out.
If you are in line with God’s will and take the right approach, He will successfully help deliver you from the ways of the world and the devil. Although, God will often deliver you IN the fire and not FROM it. Just as we see when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remained untouched in the fiery furnace and were fully delivered by God.
Finally, remember that your devotion to God in our seemingly godless society can be a huge inspiration to others. Especially during times of suffering. Understand that people are watching and go be the change & light that you want to see in the world… just as Jesus did.
Become a Prayer Warrior
One of the key ways Daniel navigated a society that didn’t stand for God was through prayer. Prayer can be one of the most powerful tools God has blessed us with if we learn to tap into its full potential. We put together a free, 12-part video series that will help improve your prayer life and strengthen your relationship with God. Access the free video series now to become a prayer warrior!