What It Means to Stand for God
October 30, 2019
By Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Instead of allowing his life to be influenced and shaped by his culture, Daniel yielded himself to God. Daniel’s experience is also our experience. We, too, are captives in this world, in our bodies, and we cannot serve both God and man today, my friend.
This yielding to God becomes clearer in light of two areas of Christian conduct. In the first, Romans 12 and 13 is very clear: As Christians we are to be good citizens, submitting to the laws of the land. We should pay our taxes and bills and show respect to those in authority. We are not to commit adultery, kill, steal, bear false witness, or covet what someone else has. This is how we as believers in Jesus Christ can love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to be honest and avoid carousing, drunkenness, strife, and jealousy. The Bible is very clear on these things.
The second way the Bible says we should live is not so black and white. For this grey area God hasn’t laid down rules for us in His Word; instead He has given us three important guidelines.
Guideline #1: Conviction
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. -Romans 14:5
Whatever a Christian does today he should first purpose in his heart. That’s the answer to all questionable things. If there’s any question in your mind about it, then it is wrong for you to do. Be fully persuaded in your own mind and carry out your conviction with enthusiasm.
Guideline #2: Conscience
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. -Romans 14:22
Anything that a Christian looks back upon and wonders, “Should I have done that?” was wrong for him. It may not be wrong for the next man or woman, so don’t criticize them. But, friend, if your conscience bothers you about it then it was wrong for you.
Guideline #3: Consideration
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. -Romans 15:1, 2
Let’s not argue about what is right and what is wrong. The Bible is clear on those points. Instead, the question is, are you driving somebody away from following Jesus Christ by what you are doing? If so, it is wrong.
I have a friend who quit going to professional baseball games. Baseball isn’t wrong, so why did he choose not to go to games? He found out a bunch of little boys followed him, and he said, “I don’t think I can win them for the Lord there with that crowd at the stadium.” That was for him; it may not be for you. Consideration of others is a principle, not a rule.
My friend, when you believe and receive Jesus Christ, you come to the Lover of your soul. You are wedded to Him, you love Him, and you are now trying to please Him. Can you imagine if a fellow got married and after the honeymoon was over he presented his wife with ten commandments she was supposed to follow? “You shall not date any other men. You shall cook my meals, etc.” What would that do to his bride? To begin with, it would probably break her heart. But I imagine she’d say, “Well of course I’m not going to date anybody else—I married you. And I’ll cook your meals not because I have to but because I want to. I love you.”
Christian conduct today is not about how far you can go before you are wrong, it is what you can do to please your Savior. To be separated to Him means you feel as Daniel felt when he “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.”
In any given situation, ask God to give you wisdom and courage like Daniel, to stand for Him. Ask Him for eyes to see the true issues and the righteous path forward. God is pleased with this kind of request and will surely point the way for you to walk, and to stand apart for Him.
LEARN MORE FROM DANIEL ON HOW TO STAND FOR GOD.
Download our free booklet, "Stand Up: Lessons of Courage from the Book of Daniel."
Every Step Matters
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. -Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk. In other words: Be full of care about the decisions you make every single day. In the original language, this sentence reads: “Look hard, think carefully, be thoughtful, meticulous, diligent, be methodical, be vigilant, be cautious, be introspective in the decisions you make.”
Most of your choices will not be black and white. God shows us what to do then. Most decisions you’ll face this week will be determining what is better and best. God promises to give us wisdom to know how to obey in these grey areas, but we must listen closely and walk carefully.
Father, Thank You for Your Word that is a light to our path. Help us to walk in that light and follow Jesus, who is our Light and Life. In His name we pray, amen
3 Questions to Guide Our Choices
#1: Conviction: How does this choice match my first priority of pleasing Jesus?
#2: Conscience: Will I ever look back on this choice and regret it?
#3: Consideration: Will this compromise what I say about Jesus to anyone watching my life?