And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus. Daniel 1:21
It’s easy to rush by this detail in Daniel 1:21. It says Daniel remained until King Cyrus’s first year, roughly 60 years. Sixty years of faithfully living as a citizen of two kingdoms! One reason for this longevity seems to be his ability to be flexible yet not compromise his relationship with God. Daniel did what they asked whether it was to learn a new language, change his name or learn their culture. However, when asked to eat a diet that would defile himself, he drew a line in a gracious way. It was ok, ok, ok, not ok.
We also need to learn how to live as citizens of two kingdoms. We have obligations to our country, to our homes and to our families. But we also have an obligation to God. As citizens of a country, we should not only follow the laws but avoid causing unnecessary offenses. As citizens of the kingdom of God, we first and foremost are called to honor God. There will be times we need to draw a line in a gracious way like Daniel because we will find ourselves as citizens of multiple kingdoms.
Drawing a gracious line will look different based on our context. Maybe we work in a company that pushes us in ways we don’t prefer. We might have to choose where and how to draw a line if we are asked to do something we believe is wrong. Maybe it’s a relationship with someone who lives by different values, and we try to be thoughtful and respectful. We may end up having to draw a line graciously when we are expected to live by their values.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Pray and ask God to give you the wisdom to live well in two cultures at the same time. Ask him to help you know when it’s appropriate to draw a line and how to do so in a gracious way. If you’d like to talk more about what it means to be a citizen of the kingdom of God, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to share it with you.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.