We wrapped up our summer ManSchool today and will not meet again until mid-September. We are formulating plans for the fall and will be back with you with the details.
Today, Andy Stanley talked about Daniel and the decision he made to not cross a certain line when he was being melded into Babylonian culture. The analogy to you and I today is so powerful. Every day, you and I face a “Daniel decision” – that moment where we come up against a line we should not cross. It may be cheating on your taxes, lying to your boss, looking down the waitress’ dress, saying things to your wife that subtly punch at her, letting your anger boil until you lash out your kids, etc.
Each day, we face that moment, that friction. Each day, we run up against a guardrail and the question is, “Will I cross this line? I know trouble is on the other side of this. Will I step over?”
Guardrails make so much sense…for everyone else. When it comes to me, there are lines I will cross that probably I would not want my best friend crossing. There are financial guardrails I leap over that if I were advising my brother, I’d tell him to avoid. There are compromises I will make sexually that I wouldn’t want you to know about and I darn sure would advise you to avoid. Again, the guardrails in theory make a whole lot of sense when I am talking about you. But what about me? Why is it that I don’t want to apply them to my life?
And that’s the whole point of this entire summer series.
Daniel had a line he would not cross. Do you?
He had a line where he said, “enough is enough, I will not go there”. He made his mind up long before he knew what the outcome would be – after all he was only a teenager when this happened. A teenager taken into captivity and living under the King being offered his best food and sweetest wine. But Daniel knew that if he immersed too far into their culture, he’d lose himself, lose his God and his identity. So he drew a line.
And because he did, a turning point appeared in his life. God empowered him. God gave him great knowledge and enabled him to interpret dreams. The king noticed him and Daniel was promoted and played a huge role in history. Had he not drawn that line, we’d never have heard of Daniel.
The direction of your life, not your intentions, determines your destination. It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter what you intend to do. Don’t kid yourself. If you are fooling around where you KNOW you shouldn’t be fooling around — if the direction of your life is pointing to destruction, pointing to the cliff — that will be your destination. It is sort of like saying, “I know I shouldn’t go to dinner with this woman” to help her work through a problem and yet to do it anyway. “I know I shouldn’t go back to her place” and yet you do it anyway. “I know I shouldn’t go upstairs with her…” you get the point. The direction is total disaster regardless of what your intentions are.
You have no idea what hangs in the balance of your Daniel decisions today and therefore, you have no idea just how important guardrails are in your life. You’ll never know until you draw the line, until you stand for something and declare, “this is a line I will not cross” and until your heart, in so doing, is simply to glorify God. God has given us great direction in His Word, great teachings on money, sex, idolatry, etc. to follow His teachings, Trust Him, set down some guardrails and lines in the sand you won’t cross brings glory to Him.
No one may ever know where you take your stand. You may never receive any earthly accolades for being a man of integrity but you know what, God knows and He is all that matters and oh, by the way, He has called us to being men of integrity! “The integrity of the upright guides them” Proverbs 11:3.
Watch the video. It will help you. LiveUP!