Echoes From the Campfire

A man is able to struggle with his heart and mind only about so long, then there comes a time when all logic collapses and he falls back upon the instincts which are strongest in him.”
              –Ernest Haycox (Wipe Out the Brierlys)

    “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”
              –John 16:33 (NASB)
         “We do not live enchanted lives; we are all here in the flux of history, and the great question is, what are we to do; what is the difference between us; how are we to adjust ourselves; what is to be our attitude towards current events and affairs; what is our duty with respect to life in this world, and how are we to conduct and comport ourselves?”
                   –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    In this crazy and foolish world how are we to conduct ourselves as Christians?  The trumpet has yet to sound and Jesus said that we must occupy until He comes.  The Key:  God’s Word.  We are to live by God’s Word.  We are to be according to what the Word of God says.

         “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” –Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)

         “I have treasured Your word in my heart, So that I may not sin against You.”  –Psalm 119:11 (NASB)

We must have God’s Word in our heart so that we can obey in these evil times.  I fear that far too many Christians do not “treasure” God’s Word, that it is just something to carry around, or set on the table, or once in while read a favorite verse.  We must have the whole counsel of God so that we do not sin.
    There can be no excuse saying that it’s just too hard to live in a pagan world.  There are too many temptations, too many pressures and stresses.  That is no excuse, we are to live and obey, or as the great hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (John H. Sammis)  Let me go ahead and share the first verse of that grand song:

         “When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word,
          What a glory He sheds on our way!
          While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
          And with all who will trust and obey.”

    I want to take you to the pagan empire of the Chaldeans and the city of Babylon.  Judah had been conquered by the Chaldeans and Daniel, along with several other young people had been in the process of preparing themselves to be leaders, and teachers in Judah, but now were sent as captives, slaves, to live in a new culture.  Daniel “purposed, determined, resolved, set his mind” that he would not defile himself.  (Daniel 1:8)  Now this was in regard to the king’s table, but it went much deeper than that as we will find in the rest of Daniel.  In a pagan, apostate, and foolish world we must “purpose, determine, resolve, and set our mind” that we will not defile ourselves.
    It is our duty to live as a testimony in this type of culture.  We are to be salt and light in the midst of evil and darkness.  We are here, in this time and place, to live according to the Gospel.  We are to let our lights shine, we are to be “living letters” and “Christ’s ambassadors” to a sin-sick world.  

         “And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every kind of literature and expertise; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.”
                   –Daniel 1:17 (NASB)

Notice, they did not defile themselves, however they did continue to learn.  It is important to realize and understand that a person can discern truth and not turn to falsehoods even when it seems that all around are lies (fake news) a “woke” society.  In the midst of the falsehoods we are to continue to prepare ourselves.  One never knows when God may tap them on the shoulder for some special duty so we must be prepared.  Daniel continued to word and serve God in this pagan society.
    I might add that by doing so we leave a testimony.  Look at what happened to Nebuchadnezzar during the time of Daniel and the others.

          “Your God truly is a God of gods and a Lord of kings…” –Daniel 2:47
          “there is no other god who is able to save in this way”  –Daniel 3:29
          “the Most High God has done for me.” –Daniel 4:2
          “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” –Daniel 4:37 (NASB)

Did Nebuchadnezzar become a believer?  Only eternity will reveal that to us, however, he definitely made strides in his knowledge of God thanks to the testimony of those who lived according to God’s Word in this pagan culture.