Last week, we looked at the season of getting and how we are to pursue the things of God if we want to attain them. Today, we look at the other side of getting. Once we've attained what God has for us, what can we do to keep hold of it? What else in our lives is worth keeping? Find out below.
What is keeping?
The terms most closely associated with the phrase to keep are observe, guard and give heed. All of these terms are related to paying attention. So, we can say that to keep something is to give it our attention. How much attention should we be giving things in our lives though? To answer that, we need to look at our priorities.
Prioritizing in Palaces
The things we keep most will be those things we prioritize. Daniel prioritized his commitment to God from his first days in captivity. He refused to eat the king's meat, rather choosing to separate himself out unto God (Daniel 1:8). He didn't break his commitment to pray to God even thought it meant he would be thrown to the Lions (Daniel 6:10). Looking back at these two examples, Daniel wasn't in a place of persecution or desperation at the outset of his trial. He was in good favor in the king's palace and had a comfortable lifestyle compared to most people. However, he didn't let the comforts and affluence afforded him keep him from his commitment to God. Daniel regularly fasted when everyone else around him were eating fancy meals. He didn't join in the big and immoral parties with the upper class even though he was respected by them. Daniel stuck to his covenant with God and the calling God put on his life. This led Daniel to stand up to kings, pray prayers that brought demons into submission and prophesy over Israel that they would return to Jerusalem. All of this was accomplished because Daniel prioritized God before the world. He kept his covenant, his calling and his purpose.
Daniel's story is one that many of us need to ascribe to. Especially for most of us living in the West, we are surrounded by opulence. The opportunity and temptation to blend into secular society and adapt to our culture rather than stand firm in our covenant, calling and purpose in Christ is great. However, if we are to be like Daniel-to be used by God to fulfill His will in our lives and the lives of others-we must prioritize God's ways and gifts first in our lives.
How to Prioritize God in a godless society
Secularism, anti-christian movements, and apathy towards God are as prevalent today as they were at any other tough time recorded in the Bible, even Daniel's day. The enemy is trying to put a stranglehold on this world and to isolate and idle God's people to the point of ineffectiveness. In order to break the yoke of isolation and idleness around us and to release others from the enemies stranglehold, we are going to have to become active in our attention towards God and His ways. Below is a way to be active in God like Daniel so that your focus and attention will remain on God:
Daniel never isolated himself from society or ran away from the community in which he lived. He lived separately among them. This separate lifestyle led Daniel to be favored by leaders, have respect from his covenant peers and to lead people to relationship with God. We can be effective witnesses in our community while remaining separate saints of God. We just have to make sure we keep our commitments to God by maintaining our attention on Him and His ways.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.