What does the Bible say about horoscopes, astrology and the zodiac?

Pt 1: Should a Christian consult horoscopes?

Pt. 2: What does the Bible say about astrology or the Zodiac? Is astrology something a Christian should study?

Question: "Should a Christian consult horoscopes?"

Answer: The purpose of a horoscope is to gain insight into a person’s character and foretell the future. The basic belief of astrology is that planets and stars exert an influence upon our lives. Those with special knowledge—astrologers—can predict events in a person’s life. It is distressing that most major newspapers have a horoscope column, and even more distressing that many Christians read their horoscopes.

The Bible expressly forbids divination, sorcery, and hidden arts (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God’s people are to heed God only (Deuteronomy 18:15). Any other source of guidance, information, or revelation is to be rejected outright. (See also Acts 16:16-18.) The Bible points to Jesus Christ as the only proper focus of faith (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 12:2). Our trust is in God alone, and we know that He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Faith in anything besides God is misplaced.

Astrology, then, opposes biblical teaching in at least two ways: it advocates faith in something other than God, and it is a form of divination. We cannot determine God's will for our lives through horoscopes. As Christians, we are to read the Bible and pray to God in order to gain wisdom and guidance. Consulting a horoscope is a violation of God's means of communicating with His children. We strongly believe that horoscopes should be rejected by Christians.

Recommended Resource
: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition.



Question: "What does the Bible say about astrology or the Zodiac? Is astrology something a Christian should study?"

Answer: The Bible has much to say about the stars. Most basic to our understanding of the stars is that God created them. They show His power and majesty. The heavens are God’s “handiwork” (Psalm 8:3; 19:1). He has all the stars numbered and named (Psalm 147:4).

The Bible also teaches that God arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. The Bible mentions three of these: Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and “the crooked serpent” (most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32; and Amos 5:8. The same passages also reference the star group Pleiades (the Seven Stars). God is the One Who “fastens the bands” of these constellations; He is the One who brings them forth, “each in its season.” In Job 38:32, God also points to the “Mazzaroth,” usually translated “constellations.” This is thought by many to be a reference to the twelve constellations of the zodiac.

The constellations have been tracked and studied for millennia. The Egyptians and Greeks knew of the zodiac and used it to measure the beginning of spring centuries before Christ. Much has been written of the meaning of the zodiacal constellations, including theories that they comprise an ancient display of God’s redemptive plan. For example, the constellation Leo can be seen as a celestial depiction of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), and Virgo could be a reminder of the virgin who bore Christ. However, the Bible does not indicate any “hidden meaning” for these or other constellations.

The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for “signs” and “seasons” (Genesis 1:14); that is, they were meant to mark time for us. They are also “signs” in the sense of navigational “indicators,” and all through history men have used the stars to chart their courses around the globe.

God used the stars as an illustration of His promise to give Abraham an innumerable seed (Genesis 15:5). Thus, every time Abraham looked up at the night sky, he had a reminder of God’s faithfulness and goodness. The final judgment of the earth will be accompanied by astronomical events relating to the stars (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 3:15; Matthew 26:29).

Astrology is the “interpretation” of an assumed influence the stars (and planets) exert on human destiny. This is a false belief. The royal astrologers of the Babylonian court were put to shame by God’s prophet Daniel (Daniel 1:20) and were powerless to interpret the king’s dream (Daniel 2:27). God specifies astrologers as among those who will be burned as stubble in God’s judgment (Isaiah 47:13-14). Astrology as a form of divination is expressly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God forbade the children of Israel to worship or serve the “host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Several times in their history, however, Israel fell into that very sin (2 Kings 17:16 is one example). Their worship of the stars brought God’s judgment each time.

The stars should awaken wonder at God’s power, wisdom, and infinitude. We should use the stars to keep track of time and place and to remind us of God’s faithful, covenant-keeping nature. All the while, we acknowledge the Creator of the heavens. Our wisdom comes from God, not the stars (James 1:5). The Word of God, the Bible, is our guide through life (Psalm 119:105).

Recommended Resource: The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, and Psychic Phenomena by Ron Rhodes.


© Copyright 2002-2011 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved. www.gotquestions.org - Bible Questions Answered. Articles and links provided for non-commercial, educational use only.


The Background

Hollywood Connect E-Newsletter (08-20-09)

The Background

In my first few months in Hollywood, I spent some time in one of the more anticlimactic positions in the entertainment industry, that of the Background Actor. I know you’ve seen them: those seemingly inconsequential people tucked into the corners of film and television scenes, sitting in the coffee shop or walking intently by or engaging in earnest (but silent) conversations or doing whatever it is they’ve been directed to do. In those rare moments you pay any attention to them at all, it’s usually only to wonder, briefly and rather indifferently, what they’re talking about, before you turn your attention back to the lead characters.

Being in the background is not always easy work. Several years ago, the last television scene in which I was as an extra, though shot here in Los Angeles, was set in a New Jersey park in the middle of winter. So the kind folks in the wardrobe department bundled us up in layered clothing and winter coats and sent us out into 90-plus degrees of summer heat. Talk about suffering for one’s art.

It becomes even more difficult as one sits waiting for the grips and gaffers to set up the next shot. Terrifying introspection sets in like an encroaching fog. Did I come here for this? Do I matter at all to this process? Is gracing the background the extent of my calling? While I’ve run into one or two “career” background actors, most actors I know didn’t come to Hollywood with background work as their highest aspiration. Some are even slightly embarrassed to admit they’ve done it, as if it is demeaning to their talent, a selling short of one’s giftings.

So it’s when those times of introspection hit that I try to smile, emotionally hitch up my trousers, and start looking for the deeper truths underlying the situation, those life lessons that help keep it all in perspective and that give me something to do as I stand in my wool overcoat under the unsympathetic sun, sweat trickling down my back.

Nobody wants to be a background actor. We live in a world that elevates the person in the spotlight. The player who is effective at drawing attention to himself is king, and the rest are too often relegated to the background as being of considerably lesser importance. And so, in our search for significance, it is to the point of distraction that we find ourselves striving to escape the obscurity of the background.

It’s easy as modern-day believers to fall into this same mindset: spending a good amount of time, money, and energy trying to draw attention, trying to avoid falling into the background, trying to make certain that we – and our art, our churches, our ministries, our messages – are seen. It’s not that marketing and promotions are necessarily bad. In fact, there’s most certainly a place for it in this information age. But I wonder if the sheer volume of effort that we exert in trying to be noticed is a sign that we’ve missed the abundance of true life to which God calls us.

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, Jesus said, in reference to us as believers. I wonder if we should focus more on being that city on the hill, rather than worrying about whether it can be seen or not. Because if that city is truly being what it is created to be, it doesn’t have to worry about obscurity – according to Jesus, it can’t be hidden. If the life of Christ is truly being exhibited in us, obscurity will be impossible. Rather than spending our time searching for the spotlight, the light will come from within.

When it comes down to it, our Christian movies, television, music, novels, and most everything else the Christian pop subculture generates to draw people’s interest to Christianity are not really necessary to Christianity. Being a Christian is not primarily about finding a good means of drawing attention to the message of Christ, it is about being the message of Christ.

If I want to step out of the background, it will occur by vigorously being who God created me to be, by living out of the life that He puts inside of me. It is by that direction that each of us escapes the decline into obscurity.

Shun Lee
Hollywood Connect

(c)2009 Hollywood Connect

VOM–USA Prayer Update for August 28, 2009

VOM–USA Prayer Update for August 28, 2009
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

INDIA — Christians Attacked in Villages in Karnataka — VOM Sources/Compass Direct

Acts 4:29-31
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

* GABBUR VILLAGE - On Aug. 9, Hindu extremists barged into a worship service in Gabbur village and assaulted Pastor James dragging him out of the building. He escaped the attackers and filed a report with police. Later that night, the extremists attacked Pastor James again at his home and chased his family out of the village. At last report the family has not returned to their home.
* ANNIGERE VILLAGE - On Aug. 11, 80 Christians were attacked by Hindu extremists while attending a training camp for teachers. Extremists accused the Christians of being involved in forcible conversion. They confiscated cell phones, Bibles and assaulted the pastors. One pastor escaped and sought help from the police. Police arrived on the scene but, according to media reports, they watched as Bibles were collected and burned. Eight pastors were arrested later and charged with unlawful assembly, rioting, criminal conspiracy and "acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs." The names and addresses of the other Christians were recorded by police before they were sent home. The detained pastors were released on bail on Aug. 18.
* PADMANABHANAGAR VILLAGE - On Aug. 16, Pastor John Quadros was attacked and harassed by Hindu extremists while visiting a home to pray for a sick believer. The pastor was accused of forcible conversion, questioned and told to inform officials of any future prayer activities. The extremists threatened to attack him if they heard of further prayer meetings.

Pray that increased persecution in India will result in increased boldness among Christians. Ask God to work in the hearts and lives of Hindu extremists so that they will turn to Him. Pray believers will remain faithful and courageous.

CHINA — Chinese church banned, Christians arrested — China Aid Association

Psalm 5:10-12
Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, For they have rebelled against You. But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

On Aug. 13, Li Guangren and Zheng Xincai, two members of the Laojie Christian Church in Henan province were arrested two days after authorities officially banned their church for a second time, according to China Aid Association. The Bureau of Religious and Ethnic Affairs in Xiayi County officially banned the Laojie Christian Church, declaring it "an illegal site for religious activities." An earlier statement abolishing the church had been issued on June 27. The church's ban follows a recent proposal made to them by the Village Party Committee of Sangdong to exchange their church property for another only half the size. When the Christians asked for a more equitable replacement, the committee threatened to demolish the church building. Ask God to protect and sustain Guangren and Xincai during their detention. Pray for courage for Chinese believers as they continue to serve the Lord despite harassment and arrest.

Add the PrisonerAlert.com application on Facebook by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/prisoneralert/

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Good Works Vs. The Blood

Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, there has been a need for a blood sacrifice. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins," says the Bible (Hebrews 9:22). God demonstrated this first by providing the skin of an animal for Adam and Eve to wear, by doing this he was really sacrificing the blood of an animal and then covering humanity in it. There has always been the need for blood to cover man's sins - life for life. So, when it came time for Cain and Abel's offering, Cain got it wrong (good works) and Abel got it right (blood sacrifice). There had always been a need for animal sacrifices for the blood/life, but it was always planned by God for Jesus to come at a certain time in history and pay the price once and forever. Now there is no more need for continual animal sacrifices because Jesus paid it in full, forever: "Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people." (Hebrews 9:28) You cannot be saved by good works, but only the blood of Jesus: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."


Life Aquatic

Image copyright JesusBranded 2009. Displayed for personal, non-commercial use only.

Life Aquatic by JesusBranded

Sometimes I temporarily forget why I do JesusBranded- either I get caught up in the art aspect, or I let opinions, both the great and nonsense, gnaw away at me. It gets really difficult to want to continue whenever I lose sight of God, and before I know it I'm working 10x as hard just to somehow earn His favor and approval over this project. Tonight was a great night because I got reminded of Him by Him, and so "Life Aquatic" came to be.

I already had a piece planned for tonight, but for some reason before I started, I decided to deliberately have quiet time in my room for a bit. I turned on an old playlist and just meditated in prayer- and not long after, a conversation began playing itself out in my spirit. I wondered what draws those who don't know Him, to Him; I imagined what sort of apprehension one may find in seeing a Christian's life, and using that as a basis as to whether or not this Christ is worth seeking after in the first place. I remembered an old high school acquaintance of mine, who confided in me that "Christianity may not be for him, because he knows he won't be able to follow all the rules." That's always lingered in me til now, and this new realization came about: What if that's what the way we live our lives communicate to the world? That it's all about the tedium of rules, the sad-stories of our failures, the grandness of our uphill wars? Yes, I understand that it's not meant to be easy, but that's not what's in question at the moment- the thought is simply, when did this freedom that Christ died for cease to turn the world around us upside down? (By the way, I saw someone's Facebook status update earlier that said "let's put the 'amazing' back in grace" or something to that effect)

It's not grace that's at fault, so it's gotta be the steward of the grace that needs to be examined- and this forced on me this question that I can no longer deny: What would it look like if I more closely understood this love of Yours, if I really really understood and was consumed by Your joy over me? What would I look like if I really KNEW this freedom that You speak of? I realized that I can't rest until I find out, because whatever it is I have now is NOT sufficient- the insecurities that hold me back from building bridges, the fears that hold me back from pouring unto others, the bitterness that eats away not only my victories, but the victories of those around me. And this is what desperation began to mean to me: that if such a freedom from our chains that bind exist, then nothing else will do until I experience it deeper and deeper; and hopefully the world around me changes as a result of coming face-to-face with this freedom I begin to live out and pour out to others.

At this point I hadn't realized I was already in tears because the thoughts had happened so quickly- and by coming to, I was just in time to hear out the pre-chorus to Rick Pino's "Your Love Is Like" playing in the background: "Your love is like an ocean, I'm drowning in Your presence... Getting lost in the gaze of your eyes, getting lost in the warmth of your smile..." As I repeated those words over and over, I had already decided to ditch my original plan and go with this new idea. And the coolest part is the connect-the-dots that followed: immediately after that song, JesusCulture's "How He Loves" randomly played next, and I just had to have a laugh because of my favorite verse in that song: "We are His portion, and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, if grace is an ocean, we're all sinking" At that point I knew "Life Aquatic" was a go.

So this is my piece to encourage you, wherever you are in your journey, to pursue nothing less than being known by Him, and in turn knowing Him to the point where you're submerged in His grace (what does that mean? I don't know, you figure it out, haha). "For I desire knowledge of God over burnt offerings... The time is coming when I will make a new covenant, I will write my laws in their minds and hearts, and no longer will man teach his neighbor about Me because they will all know me, from the least to the greatest... The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-alive; a living knowledge of God, ocean-deep, ocean-wide." (Jer 31 NIV / Isa 11 Message) So jump in- and hopefully I'll see ya at the bottom.

Update (06/30/2011): Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know JesusBranded doesn't exist anymore as a website or in selling t-shirts with their unique designs. But, there is a Facebook group.


Honoring God’s Anointed Fallen

Honoring God’s Anointed Fallen
August 09
by John Paul Jackson

Most of us are familiar with the story of Saul, first king of Israel. God chose this young man to be the leader of His people. He anointed him and gave him favor; however, Saul did not handle God’s anointing well. Much was entrusted to him, and he failed. The sins he committed had severe and public consequences, one of which was that God removed the kingship from him and gave it to another man, a shepherd named David.

Here, we come across something surprising: God removed the kingdom from Saul; He did not remove the anointing.

Many of us know men and women of God who have committed grievous, public sins. They fell. They made Christianity look bad to the rest of the world. They hurt a lot of people, and today, they may or may not be sorry for it. Having witnessed their shortcomings, it would be very easy for us to pass judgment on them. But before we do, we need to remember the anointing.

There is a reason the Bible clearly says, “Touch not My anointed” (1 Chronicles 16:22). Doing so can be dangerous. Saul was obviously operating out of the flesh. He tried to kill David; he tried to kill his own son. But he still carried the anointing. David recognized that and refused to harm the man, even though no one would have faulted him for doing so. The man had tried to kill him! Nevertheless, David let God bring judgment and chose not to lay a finger on Saul.

God is the One who directs His anointing. He is the One who removes it or pours it out. We need to be very careful what we say about our brothers and sisters who have fallen and maybe even left the ministry. We don’t have a right to speak against them.

The anointing is dependent on God

We are “anointed” when God puts a measure of His Spirit in us, and that measure resides with us. Similar to oil, the anointing has a tendency to leave a residue on almost everything it touches.

When people carry God’s anointing, that anointing touches us when we come near them. We aren’t touched by the people themselves or their charisma. The anointing is not dependent on what those people say, do or think; it is not dependent on how appropriately they act. It is dependent on God.

In a way, the anointing is like the wind. We don’t know where it’s going next, but we do know when it’s present. God chooses when the anointing resides and when it leaves. If it resides, it resides to serve God’s purpose. This is why it’s important not to speak against our family — our brothers and sisters who have made mistakes and poor choices. We are not the One who determines where the anointing should go and what it should do next. If David was not willing to touch Saul, a twisted, sinful man who never truly changed, then we should not be willing to touch God’s anointed, either. In due time, God delivered to David everything He had promised him and more.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a few thoughts to ponder. Would Israel’s history be different now if David had responded to Saul the way many of us would have responded to him? How much do our words delay or escalate our destinies? What if our potential has been stifled because of the judgments we have made and the words we have spoken against God’s anointed fallen?



Rifqa Bary: Ohio runaway teen who fears family after Christian conversion

Runaway teen who fears family after Christian conversion ordered to DCF custody

Amy L. Edwards and Rene Stutzman Sentinel Staff Writers
August 11, 2009
Source: Orlando Sentinel

She looked more like a timid child clinging to her protector than an Ohio teen runaway brazen enough to flee her Muslim family out of fear for her life.

The girl, who turned 17 on Monday, is at the center of a custody dispute in Orlando, where she sought help from a family she barely knew -- a pastor and his wife willing to take in a teen who feared her own family's retribution because she converted to Christianity.

The Orlando Sentinel is not identifying the teen because of her age.

The girl appeared before a crowded courtroom full of lawyers and spectators on Monday when an Orange Circuit Court Judge ordered her into Department of Children and Families emergency custody.

It was another in a series of legal decisions in a complicated case: Beyond the girl's religious preferences, the court must solve jurisdictional issues related to child services and courts.

In addition, the teen, a native of Sri Lanka, is not a U.S. citizen.

Her dispute with her family became news several weeks ago when the girl ran away from her home in Columbus, Ohio. She hitch-hiked to a Greyhound station and boarded a bus to Orlando.

Once here, she borrowed a cell phone to call Beverly Lorenz, who with husband Blake Lorenz is a pastor of Global Revolution Church in Orlando. The Lorenzes met the girl through a prayer group on Facebook.

Although the girl was a stranger, Beverly Lorenz told her they would house her. The teen told the Lorenzes she feared her family would hurt her, kill her or send her back to Sri Lanka, Beverly Lorenz said.

"We are doing everything we can to protect her," said Blake Lorenz, who said he has been told his life may be in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, the girl's parents reported to Ohio law enforcement authorities that their daughter was missing. They put together a flier, with her picture on it, asking for tips to her whereabouts.

Beverly Lorenz said they called an abuse hotline, prompting a visit on Friday from the Orlando police. Officers picked up the girl to be placed in state custody.

The Lorenzes appeared in court with the teen Monday, as did her father from Ohio.

When the petite girl walked into court, she immediately bolted for Beverly Lorenz, who held her. The teen then joined Blake Lorenz at a table with lawyers. He comforted her throughout the entire hearing with his arm around her shoulder.

Rosa Gonzalez, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, told Orange Circuit Judge Gail A. Adams the teen is in fear for her life. The sight of her father makes the teen "frantic and hysterical," Gonzalez said.

The teen's father said little during the hearing.

Reached by a Sentinel reporter by phone, the girl's mother said little. "Yes, of course" her daughter would be safe should a judge eventually order her back there, she said.

And her father would not harm his daughter if she wanted to be a Christian, the woman said. She referred other questions to her husband. He did not answer his cell phone after the hearing.

Gonzalez said her organization, which sends pro bono lawyers to work on cases involving Christian issues, is concerned the teen could be returned to her parents.

"We don't take those threats lightly," she said.

Imam Hatim Hamidullah, with the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said the Muslim faith does not call for a father to hurt his child, should she convert to another religion.

"It is not Islam for the father to bring harm upon his blood daughter or any other human being because of anger," he said. "Our position is to exhaust all measures that would bring peace and harmony back to the family," Hamidullah said. "Being angry and threatening the life of someone is not one of those methods."

A DCF spokeswoman said the agency is working with Ohio officials to ensure the teen's "safety and well being."

Attempts to talk to the teen after the hearing were unsuccessful -- her legal guardians ushered her out of the building without letting her speak to a reporter.

On a baby sitter Web site, the girl described herself this way: "One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is cheerleading for my high school and of course tumbling as well. I have a little brother who is about to turn 5 years old. With this, I have had a lot of experience with toddlers and many years of sitting for him."

Blake Lorenz, who retired after serving as pastor at Pine Castle United Methodist Church for several years, said the teen believes her dad will kill her.

"We are doing everything we can to protect her," he said.

Lorenz said he has been told his life may be in jeopardy.

After Monday's hearing, Blake Lorenz said he was relieved the teen is not returning back to her family in Ohio immediately, but he's still cautious. He's "very concerned that the system will let her down."

Walter Pacheco contributed to this report. Amy L. Edwards can be reached at aledwards@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5735. Rene Stutzman can be reached at rstutzman@orlandosentinel.com or 407-650-6394.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

P.O.D. "Alive" (w/lyrics)


The Convictions We Live By

The Convictions We Live By

Charles F. Stanley

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-8

I. Introduction: Convictions guide our decisions and determine our character. In order to live a godly life, we must have strong biblical values. With a firm foundation based on God’s Word, we’re ready to face whatever challenges come our way.

II. The Bible is full of stories about believers who had uncompromising convictions.

1. They courageously obeyed God’s will for their lives.

A. Noah needed strong faith to build a boat despite the ridicule of his neighbors.
B. Regardless of beatings, persecutions, and imprisonment, Paul didn’t compromise his convictions.
C. When the authorities told Peter and John to stop preaching about Jesus, they replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).

2. As Christians, we should base our decisions on personal convictions––strong beliefs founded upon the truth of God’s Word. Unfortunately, most people make decisions according to their preferences and desires.

III. Daniel faced unusually challenging circumstances in a foreign land.

1. Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, fell to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and Daniel was taken captive (Jer. 25:9-12). Along with other attractive, intelligent young men, he was selected to train for service to the king. As part of the process to assimilate the captives into Babylonian culture, the king gave them new names and invited them to eat from his table.
2. Daniel and his friends chose to live by their convictions, although they were far from their homeland. The king’s food had not been prepared according to Jewish dietary laws and may have been offered to idols (Deut. 34:12-16).The young men’s overseer permitted them to eat only vegetables.

IV. What was Daniel like? He was a man of:

1. Principle: “Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food” (Dan. 1:8). He determined to obey the Lord no matter what happened.
2. Courage: For declining the king’s food, Daniel and his friends could have lost their lives.
3. Faith: When Daniel asked for permission to eat only vegetables, he told the supervisor that their diet would make them healthier than their peers.
4. Humility: The young man respectfully asked his leader for permission to try eating only vegetables. His modest attitude won the favor of the official.

V. Daniel and his friends faced consequences because of their determination to live by godly convictions.

1. Promotion:
A. When Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah entered the king’s service, Nebuchadnezzar found them ten times better than his other men (Dan. 1:19-21).
B. By his excellent service, Daniel distinguished himself from the other administrators (Dan. 6:1-3).
C. God granted him a long life. Daniel worked and ministered in a foreign land for at least 70 years, through the reigns of four kings: Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar of Babylon, Darius of the Chaldeans, and Cyrus of Persia.

2. Testing:
A. Daniel courageously prophesied to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar (Dan. 4:19-27; 5:1-31).
B. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego boldly refused to bow down to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, despite the threat of being thrown into a blazing furnace (Dan. 3:16-18).
C. Daniel continued to pray to the Lord after prayer was outlawed, and he spent a night in the lions’ den as a consequence (Dan. 6:1-20).

VI. What can we expect when we live by our convictions?

1. God’s protection: The Lord covered these godly young men in each situation they faced.
2. Pain and testing:Those who want to live according to their convictions will be tested. When you are falsely accused and mistreated, stick to your biblical standards. The history of Christianity is filled with men and women who refused to deny their faith, even to the point of death.
3. Promotion: As we saw in the lives of Daniel and his three friends, the Lord will honor and promote those who hold firmly to godly beliefs.
4. The Lord’s work in the lives of others: The kings under whom Daniel served all acknowledged the one true God. People today want to see if your life is consistent with your convictions. In every situation, make it your goal to live by biblical standards.

VII. Conclusion: As believers in an increasingly secular culture, we need to learn from Daniel’s determination. You and I should base our convictions on the Word of God instead of allowing society to set our values and priorities. Like Daniel, we should purpose not to defile ourselves with ungodly choices and behavior. Ask the Lord to grant you the desire and courage to live by your convictions.

© 2009 In Touch Ministries® All Rights Reserved.


Steering Clear of Compromise

Steering Clear of Compromise

By Charles F. Stanley

As he took a sip of his first beer, the young man thought, “I hope I end up an alcoholic.”

Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? No one starts out intending to be an alcoholic or a drug addict, unable to cope with life unless he or she is intoxicated. It just happens—one little step at a time.

Accommodating Sin

Now, you might not be struggling with alcoholism. But maybe there’s another area of your life in which you’ve been less obedient lately. Maybe not a big sin, because we seldom start with serious sins. Instead, compromise happens little by little. The slope to sinful patterns is gradual and smooth.

Consider a woman who purchased a dress to wear one time to a formal dinner. She reasoned that God would want her to look her best. But her finances were tight, so she returned the dress the next day. No problem. No complications. Instead, a lot of compliments. The next time she needed a dress for a special occasion, she didn’t struggle over what to do. Each time got easier. Eventually, it didn’t bother her at all.

Then there was the college student who needed an original idea for his term paper. He realized that if he plagiarizes a little on it, he would sound more intelligent. Writing the paper would take less time too. He was sure God wouldn't want him to hand his paper in late. So he cheated—just a little at first. No hassles. Good grade. The next time it wasn’t such a big deal. Eventually, he even purchased entire papers online to turn in as his own.

None of these people wanted to fall away from God’s best for their lives. In fact, they were trying to seize the things they thought would bring His best. But good people fall hard when they give up what they know is right.

I’m sure if you had asked Solomon at the beginning of his reign if he would ever consider worshipping an idol, he would have passionately replied, “Never!” But his temptation didn’t come at him head on. He never expected his wives to lead him astray. What started as admiring the beauty of foreign women ended up as the worship of false gods (1 Kings 11:5 & 8). We are no more immune to the consequences of compromise than Solomon.


What’s the best way to protect yourself against the temptation to compromise? Develop an accountability relationship with someone you respect and trust. As long as Satan can keep you isolated, he has a better chance of getting to your thoughts. Lonely, isolated people are prime targets for his schemes. Busy workaholics are equally vulnerable.

The last thing Satan wants is for us to spend time together, revealing our weak points and praying for each other. That’s why it’s so important for me and you to find someone (of the same gender) we can get real with, drop our pretenses with, and allow God to work through.

Renewing Our Minds

Since compromise can be born in a single thought, we cannot take lightly the command to “renew our minds.” We must make a special effort to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks. Personal Bible study, corporate worship, or any opportunity you have to fill your mind with the truth is something you must be engaged in regularly. The mind will be either fertile ground for the truth or vulnerable territory for the lies of Satan.

Opening God’s Word once on Sunday morning isn’t enough to equip you to fight Satan’s attacks the rest of the week. But that’s what he wants you to believe. Don’t fall for his lies. Study and equip yourself for the battle of a lifetime.


Finally, I suggest you journal about the areas of your life in which you are tempted to compromise. I have a friend who began writing things down on paper many years ago. He found great insight and comfort as he looked back over the years of written pages that chronicled his life’s story. You don’t have to worry about someone thinking you’re weird or you don’t have the right answers. You can write from your heart, turn over your written thoughts to the One who loves you and gave Himself for you, and then profit from what He can teach you.

No formula can guarantee you’ll never fall prey to compromise. But take these simple steps towards safeguarding yourself, and you’ll be one step ahead of Satan’s plan to sabotage your intimate walk with God.

Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living (1996)

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