INCURSION SERMON SERIES
INCURSION wk 1
Positioning for Influence
I will be sending out a LifeCom study series aligning with the theme of INCURSION covering the practicals of Living on mission in the workplace, in your school, in your family. Week on week your lifecom can cover – the Biblical Foundation of Mission / Sharing your Story / Strategic Mission – Finding the person of peace / Ministry in the Market place and more. I REALLY encourage you to get plugged into a LIFE COM!!!
TURN TO DANIEL 1.
1 Cor 10:6 – these things occurred as examples and a warning to us...
Background realities of the book of Daniel
Israel has some centuries earlier come out of a period of great strength but has now been defeated
Hear this commentary on the background situation...
“The summer of Israel's national glory had proved as brief as it was brilliant...In revolting from Judah, the Israelites also apostatized (or turned) from God; and... (Forsook) ...the worship of Jehovah, they lapsed into open and flagrant idolatry. After two centuries and a half unillumined by a single bright passage in their history, they passed into captivity to Assyria; and on the birth of Daniel a century had elapsed since the date of their national extinction.”1
Daniel is mentioned three times by Ezekial as a righteous man – Ezekial 9:23, 10:11, 19
God never directly speaks – he speaks through...
Written in Hebrew and Aramaic (Dan 2 – 7ish) – we will get to the importance of this later
Daniel is not a “professional prophet”, he is not a paid priest, in actual fact 75 percent of those that spoke prophetically or extended the kingdom in the OT and NT worked in what we would called the 'secular' world but God does not maintain such a divide.
This is however a tension we have created and maintained in the Church, people often think of Godly leadership and influence in terms of 'professional ministry' – a misnomer if there ever was one. We think of Pastors, Prophets and Evangelists as being paid concepts.
Such is not to discount 'paid ministry' but that is actually not the norm. Many of the great prophets, pastors and evangelists are to be found in the work place and the worst thing we could do is professionalise their gifting.
Daniel gives example, encouragement and warning about living and speaking into the world.
Daniels life is a biblical example of INCURSION – KINGDOM LIFE IN CONTESTED SPACE
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babyloncame to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.
Comment: So often we pray for a perfect door and it seems everything goes wrong, we don't directly hear the word of God, it seems the enemy has won YET the reality is that the hand of God is actively present.
'The best opportunity to shine the light is in the midst of the darkest hour'
We know such to be true but then when the dark comes we allow our light to dim rather than rest upon what we do know.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b]
5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among those...
Quick thought: What happened to the others. Sure we hear some later stand up for the one true God
….who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
Daniel 1 is not about a diet and Daniel is certainly not doing a fast
It is about identity and the result of a Godly identity.
Despite the surrounding circumstance declaring defeat – Despite them being named after Babylonian god's – they never took on the characteristics of the surrounding world or succumbed to the pressure of being what the world expected them to be.
Daniel – God is my Judge. - Belshazzar - prince of Bel or Bel protect the king
Hananiah – The Lord shows grace. - Shadrach - Shudur Aku "Command of the moon god"
Mishael – Who is what God is? - “Who is like Aku?' (another god)
Azariah – The Lord helps. - Abednego - "servant of Nebo/Nabu," or Abednergo, a variation of Abednergal, "servant of the god Nergal"[
WHOSE HE IS
WHO he is
HOW he is called to LIVE
ONE OF THE WORST MISTAKES CHRISTIANS MAKE... is trying to qualify or understand their identity through their context, through their giftings, through their experiences. These settle our identity not in Christ but in this world.
You are NOT your experiences, your past nor your job. You will never live the KINGDOM IN CONTESTED SPACE – whilst we allow our identity to be shaped by the world.
EPH 1:4 – We are chosen IN HIM – our Identity is IN HIM.
EVERYTHING COMES FROM THAT UNDERSTANDING – remember 1 Cor 3:16 Paul says... “Do you not know you are the temples of the Holy Spirit”!!!
Three thoughts from the preceeding verses
1. Holiness requires resolve v 8– Resolves stems from our Identity in Christ – Holy living is a given expression.
Verse 8 says...
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
2. The place of blessing is in the place God's blessing V 9 - 10
9 Now God had caused the official to show favour and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
3. Testing should not only be expected but sought V 11 - 16
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”
We often want the power and presence of God in our every day lives but we don't want to live in a place which requires great courage.
The power of the Holy Spirit exists because the calling of God leads us to places that require the boldness brought by the Holy Spirit.
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall have awesome meetings, do great things in the Christian crowd, NO!!! 39 out of 40 miracles were done in the marketplace in ACTS!!!
Courage is required to stand the tests and declare and demonstrate the kingdom in your sphere of influence. Courage does not come because of courses but because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who give give the words to says WHEN WE DON'T KNOW WHAT to SAY. Who will give boldness for witness.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
4. Don't confuse the platform with the prophetic declaration
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
God will enable you in your sphere of life, but as with everything else for his KINGDOM SAKE. He can equip you to even excel in your work place or learning but to be a mouth piece for his KINGDOM not for our glory
Remember – Declaration without demonstration of the KINGDOM often leads to us looking like arrogant twats. DEMONSTRATION without DECLARATION just makes US look good.
When these two come together, when the Gospel is Verbal and Visual in your life. Then there is credibility.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. 21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.”
DO NOT CONFORM TO THIS WORLD BUT BE TRANSFORM BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND Romans 12:1
Dont confuse the platform with the prophetic? With the declaration
When no one is looking – we all know how to look the piece when at Church or at LifeCom but the challenge of the mission is in contested space. Will we conform or will the transformation of the word hold us steady through the strife.
When we know WHOSE we are, we know WHO we are, when we know WHO we are – our actions come into sync.
That is why the Apsotle Paul asked the Corinthians in 1 Cor 3:16 – DONT YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY sPIRIT !!!