Daniel: Day 3

Identity Crisis

by

Today's Text: Daniel 1:1-7, 1 Peter 2:11-12

How important is a name?

Think about it for a minute: If you are a parent, you probably gave a lot of thought to what you would name your children, didn’t you? Or, maybe you’ve named a pet, a company, a blog post, or a boat. If you’ve been married, I bet changing (or not changing) your last name took some getting used to. (Be honest—how many checks did you have to throw away because you signed your “old” last name on them?) I know a family who built a new house on a new street and were actually tasked with naming their street. No pressure. It only took them two months to agree on something.

A name means a lot, doesn’t it? Maybe because it feels permanent. Maybe because names are such an enormous part of our identity. But, I would venture to say, as important as names are to us now, names were even more important to Daniel and crew then.

How do I know this? Because names are a serious theme throughout biblical history. In the culture of the Ancient Near East, a name was an indicator of a person’s character. Angels appeared in dreams to name John the Baptist (Luke 1:13), Isaac (Genesis 17:19) and Jesus (Luke 1:31). When Jacob had an encounter with the Lord, his name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Abram and Sarai became Abraham and Sarah after the Lord promised they would be the patriarch and matriarch of many nations (Genesis 17:5,15).

And let us not forget, the Name above all Names (Philippians 2:9). The name that is not to be taken in vain (Exodus 20:7). The Name at which every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:10-11).

So, yes. Names are a big deal. And changing names is an even bigger deal—particularly for these “good-looking” Jews plucked out of Jerusalem to be trained to serve in the king’s court.

Check this out:

chart640

(I know. I love a good chart, too.)

Each of the four Jewish exiles were given names by their fathers which relate with the one, true God. But, as a part of their acculturation—in order to make them forget the God of their fathers—the chief official gave them new names that reject their upbringing and instead savor the idolatry of false gods.

Of course translations of the names will vary slightly from commentary to commentary, but look at the wildly intentional similarities! Matthew Henry says the name changes were intended to “wean them from the [religion of their fathers] and instill [that of their conquerors] into them.”

As temporary residents of a foreign land, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah involuntarily found themselves in a true identity crisis—how can we serve God and Babylon? Is that even possible?

Nebuchadnezzar did everything he could conceive of to “take the Jerusalem out of the Jews,” but as we will see in the coming chapters, it will go nothing like he’d hoped. These faithful men will remain steadfast in the midst of a cultural cesspool of idolatry. But I guess that’s getting ahead of things a bit…

For now, let’s ask ourselves:

How different is the Babylonian exile from where we stand today?
Are you struggling to serve both the true God and a false god?
In what ways might we be expecting others to do the same?
What is your “identity crisis?” What does God say about how we should conduct ourselves and why? (Read 1 Peter 2:11-12)


“They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”
-Philippians 3:19-21


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  • ergfir nolikz

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  • I just realized that Daniel and his friends must have only been in their early teens (https://bible.org/seriespage/1-early-life-daniel-babylon) and they were probably taught divination and strange magic (https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/daniel/introduction-in-exile-at-babylon-u.-daniel-1/), which would have been horrible for young Jews, brought up with the Tora.

    In your identity forming years, this must have been a horribly confusing time for those young boys!? I can’t imagine the inner conflicts they were confronted with: new names, new worldviews, new teachings, new mentors and puberty at the same time…
    Phew, happy I could get over those years without a foreign king trying to convince me everything I know is wrong and that I need a new name.

  • Christine

    Struggling with the fact I still carry my abusive ex husbands last name post divorce. It was better for me professionally to keep it. It’s been two years and hasn’t gotten any easier. I’m realizing in this moment that God has spoken a name over me, and my identity and worth should be found in that name.

  • Our citizenship is in heaven!!! We’ve been adopted into royalty. Stand up and sing.

  • This is so timely. As a newlywed, I find myself in an identity crisis at times– especially because I have a new last name. I miss my old identity and I get resentful sometimes but I also know that God brought me into this new journey for a purpose. And in that reminder I find peace to let go of the resentment I sometimes feel because I am “not me” anymore. Today’s devotion is to the point– I am still the same me but with a new name, one that God intended me to have all along.

    • Kandace

      Thank you for this. I’m getting married in two weeks and I struggle with the same thing. I needed this.

  • Mama from Pittsburgh

    Labels, like names, are a big thing too. When we accept a label for ourselves, we subconsciously begin to live up to that label and make it a part of our identity. If it's an ungodly label, it can pull us away from our Father. Been trying to stress that with my teen, tween and youngest daughter. Labels like "Emo" or "<pick a favorite band> FanGirl" or even "jock" or "nerd" begin to shape us into what the world expects of that label, and usually away from God. My oldest daughter has begun to flirt with accepting some worldly labels and it gets my mamabear all in a tizzy. What a great lesson and apt warning for us as individuals, but also as moms and people in our circle of influence!

  • So thankful for this sweet reminder of my identity. I think so often I know in my head that my identity is in Christ and I am wholly his but so often I want my identity to be my own and long to make a name for myself. I want to fit in with the world rather than be set apart as the lords and the war waging in my flesh so often wins. Today I am reminded and encouraged that I belong to Christ and my name is His Beloved. Today I hope this is the identity I choose to live by and the way that people see me.
    Thank you for pointing me to Jesus continually!

  • Kasey Summers

    Thankful my worth and identity come fully from Christ!! He gives me my purpose! He saved me! And He deserves all the glory!!

  • How awesome! God told me a few months ago, "I am giving you a new identity". He didn't same name but he meant an identity so rooted and grounded in Him, that NOTHING can shake me! I still think it would be awesome for Him to give me a new name though. Not a physical name change, but a name between me and Him that resides in the Spirit. Something special that one Him and I know! Can't wait for the rest of Daniel. I am excited!

    • Jess

      Katie, I encourage you to ask God what he calls you. Wait on him and see what he speaks to your heart. I did this a few weeks ago after going through a very cool prayer experience mostly rooted in forgiving others. At the end I got to ask Him what my name is. I sat and listened. He said, “cutie”. It seemed a bit shallow to me at first so I asked Him “why Cutie?” His response made it so clear why and it blessed my heart in so many ways to know that this is the name he gave me.

  • "And let us not forget, the Name above all Names (Philippians 2:9). The name that is not to be taken in vain (Exodus 20:7). The Name at which every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:10-11)."
    We read in the preface of the Bible that His special or proper name is YHWH, but was not pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name.
    In the same way, Jesus is the English translation for the original Hebrew "Yahshua" or Yehshua meaning "YHWH saves."
    If names are as important as they are, shouldn't we address our Savior by His proper Hebrew original name?
    I know He is still the same Lord and Savior no matter which language we use, but this is something that is confusing to me.
    Thoughts?

  • pickettje

    Excited to jump into Daniel. Loved the questions – would love it if there were a few at the end of each devotional. Thank you for your ministry!

  • As someone who is Chinese-Canadian, this post speaks to my life-long journey of my identity, in which my name has played a role. I used to be embarassed to share my Chinese name because it was something I rejected, that it belonged to a person I did not even know. But through reconciliation on many levels, God has gently showed me the beauty of this name, as well as the connection with my English name, to my surprise.

    • Mama from Pittsburgh

      God bless you, Jenny! You are a beautiful creation of God, and your name is part of who He created you to be. I'm so glad that He has brought you to reconciliation with your name! I don't know your Chinese name, but because it is something that you received outside of your control, I know it is something within God's will for you, and therefore, it's absolutely gorgeous!

  • What a good and timely word tonight. I truly enjoy my job and struggle with it overtaking my life because I do actually love what I do. Reading this, especially the last bit reminded me to keep it all in perspective. To keep my eyes on the Lord FOREMOST. And to not let other things, though they are good, crowd out what is best for my soul.

  • Elisabeth

    Hello SRT family! I wanted to reach out to you all. My sister in law at full term, has been told her baby girl’s heartbeat is unable to be found. I wanted to ask those of you who read this to be praying for a miracle, that this little one’s heartbeat would be beating strong!! she will be induced soon and we are hoping a lovely little miracle girl will be brought into the world. Love to you all.

  • Colleen Cordero

    I ma so enjoying this study. I’ve read Daniel many times but as always the word of God is always fresh and new.
    :)

  • This question stood out to me: Are you struggling to serve both the true God and a false god?

    Is it just me or is it sometimes pretty tricky to figure out if we're serving a false god or just getting through life and taking care of business?

    I know that to some degree I am because my heart aches sometimes with the yearning for a closer connection to my God. I feel the distance and know something is out of balance. My problem is that I don't even know exactly which false God I'm serving. I'm almost nine months pregnant with my fourth baby in under seven years and I'm working full time and those aren't the end of the complications in my life. Most of the time, it feels like I'm just in survival mode and it's the day to day stuff that takes my time and energy so that there's so little left at the end of the day to crack open a Bible or prayer journal and settle into the warm palms of my savior. I think back on today and how I frittered away 15 minutes here and there– looking for area rugs for the kids' room, browsing a cookbook, looking up Karen Horney's pioneering psychological theories for no reason except just 'cuz (and because it's super interesting). Nothing too nefarious, but when time and life is stretched so thin, it's those little things that matter, that make a difference between having the time and not. I know I'm distracted, too. My mind going places, analyzing things, trying to figure people out. It's hard to know where the line is between just getting through life and over-indulging in fruitless thought, trying to provide peace, understanding, wisdom for myself instead of letting God do His work. So maybe that's the answer: go to Him first, let him work in me. And if there's time left over, spend it looking at the rugs, browsing for a good Tuscan soup, trying to understand the dynamics of painful relationships.

    • Gema Muniz

      Thanks for sharing sister, at least I know I’m not the only one dealing with motherly issues and separating time for God. May we continue to seek God and continue to remind ourselves to put God on first place.

    • Shannon

      I agree in this struggle. I think we all struggle with spending time with God vs. doing our daily tasks. I teach 10 year olds and we talked recently about how to pray without ceasing like it says in the Bible. We talked about this doesn’t meN you are always in prayer but that all your actions are in reverence to God. So when you are shopping for rugs, do it with a sense of Gods presence and respect for him. Hope that helps

  • Aly.Croasdell

    As I am reading this I am reminded of the Daniel study I did from Beth Moore. What you have said here is what she said. They were in the midst of an identity crisis! I know how much a name means. I just got married 2 months ago and am still getting used to my new last name. I have known that I would have this last name for a while, but I’m still getting used to it. It’s hard. Thank again for the things that I needed to be reminded of.

  • Did anybody have a problem with the chart cutting off? I wasn’t able to see more than Daniel :/

  • Identity crisis. This resonated with me, as literally one year ago I was a completely different person. Dealing with my mom’s cancer and depression/anxiety, I chose to numb myself completely by drinking and having dangerous, promiscuous sex. Today, I am living at home with my parents reading the bible for the first time, and recently experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, vowing to abstain from both alcohol and sex until I get married. I am 33 yrs old! If you would have told me I would be here, I would have laughed. Tremendous changes that I am thankful for.

    • Rochelle

      God is so good. We can never go too far for Him to bring us back.

    • Hope

      My mom also has cancer and I’m dealing with my own depression/anxiety. I know what it’s like to want to escape. Desperate for relief, I turned to God in a way I never had before. He held on to me through my darkest moments and I am beyond thankful! Praying you will stay strong & that your relationship with Jesus will grow stronger every day!

  • shultzy27

    Love this plan so far! Does anyone know if the Hananiah renamed Shadrach is the same as Hananiah the false prophet? Or are there two Hananiahs? Thanks!!

  • Having just read this a realization hit me f r the first time, as a 35+ year old single women my identify has been and still is first in my singleness. The shame. The fact that no one has chosen me to be his special one. But at least now I know and knowing gives power. So I will be praying into this. Laying it down. Asking God to break this false identity and instill the correct identity. That I am His beloved Child in Him.

    • Molly J

      Sending a hug your way, Lizanne. From one single girl to another! Such a good reminder that we are His beloved and our true identity is in Him.

  • Beth Buker

    I’m SO loving this study. I got the companion study guide and at first was surprised how much space is there for me to write- I’m used to a study guiding my thought processes a little more, leaving less space to think it out for myself. I thought I might have a hard time using all the space you give in the book. I was so wrong! Today I read through the verses first, studied myself before reading the devotional. It was such a blessing to be challenged to dig in to the word on my own and not be spoon fed. But then, I also have the devotional if I need a little guidance.
    God’s word has so much to ponder that I shouldn’t have doubted His Spirit’s ability to teach me enough to fill 2 pages full of my own notes!
    You ladies are doing a great ministry here, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Danielle

    Loved today’s reading! Especially the question about “identity crisis.” I pondered it all morning discovering the challenges I face personally. Areas where I am called to have different views that I need to stand with on a personal level in the life God has me living. It was very liberating and empowering to write them down, and be able to pray about them. Can’t wait to share them with my husband later when he is back from work.

  • Katelynn

    This is such powerful truth today! Seeing the name changes was something I'd never heard before, and it makes the way they stood firm as exiles so much more inspiring and encouraging. Maintaining my identity in the Lord is something I've always struggled with, even though it amazes me constantly when I am reminded of who Christ says I am. It's so easy in the world, especially as a 21 year old college student, to let things such as academics, relationships, and appearances define me. Today serves as an encouragement to remember who I am and Whose I am (cliche, maybe, but powerful all the same). Thankful for the person He says I am, and trusting that I continue to grow in the knowledge and foundation of that identity.

    • Hope

      You are blessed to have realized your true identity at such a young age! I’m quite a bit older than you and I am only just learning that. Stay strong & have a great semester!

  • The chart was so cool I loved it so much! And Rachel I loved the devotion today!

  • Raechel:

    I love the chart!!
    I was fascinated by the name info…
    And I am LOVING this study. Looking forward to it every day.

    Have I mentioned what a pure BLESSING y'all SRT ladies are?? Know it!

    In Christ,
    Babs

  • Thank you for this study. The chart is amazing. This study is so relevant to the times we now live in. America is in an identity crisis.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      I never thought of it that way, Ruth! America is definitely in an identity crisis.

  • “What does my Father call me”? The first thing that popped into my mind is “Beloved”!

  • Love this. But I think I should point out that its not the same Hananiah from yesterday (Jer 28). That Hananiah died within a year. It was just a common name back then.

    • Raechel Myers

      YES! This is absolutely true, Nomali! These were two completely separate men :)

  • Leslie Olson

    REV 2:17 To each one will be given a white stone and on that stone will be a new name that no one will know except for the one that receives it.

    Won’t that be the best day for us ! Also by Gods design a great podcast on National Community Church site (this past weekend) by Heather Zempel on names….. “You will never get past your past.” (Title is sarcasm) I got in the car and thanked God for what others call coincidence I love it when God speaks loudly through repetition throughout the day!

  • I loved today’s devotion! Seeing the meaning of their Hebrew names and Baylonian names was really interesting. I knew that the king gave them new names, but seeing what they meant in contrast to their real names was really eye opening. It helps solidify how important knowing our identity in Christ is. The world will constantly try to pull us away from Him, but we can cling to the fact that we are His daughters and no one will ever change that.

  • A PEACH IN ITALY

    I love the book of Daniel! It is one of my favorites, especially because of Shadrach, Meshach and Abenego. I LOVE this story. I never looked up the meanings of their name before. Nor did I ever pay attention to their given names, except for Daniel. It's amazing the things you discover when you dig :)

    Reading todays devotional, I was surprised to learn that Hananiah (Shadrach) was the same guy from yesterdays reading in Jeremiah 28! He was deemed a false prophet in that passage. I'm jumping ahead a bit here, but knowing his history as one of the three in the fiery furnace and to know that he ended up being a false prophet saddened and convicted me. Our walks can change so much if we forget who we are in Christ and follow the ways of the world around us. Lord, may I always remember who I am in you, and not give into the ways of this world!

  • Wow, that chart! I've never looked at it that way before. How bizarre to hear, with every time your very name is spoken, lies that go directly against what you know to be True. What a continual blow. The Babylonians knew exactly what they were doing there.

    And how much greater to know out identity in Christ?! No matter what the world chooses to call us. This makes me realize the importance of a firm foundation in the easy times because when captivity comes, when we are pressed in from all sides, it is the Truth of our firm foundation that will strengthen us.

    Working on a firm foundation right along with you all!

  • Such a good devotional this morning with so much to glean from it! What stuck out to me this morning in the reading was Daniel 1:2 “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand…” I was struck by the fact that nothing that happens in our lives is a surprise to God. He is always in control and is always orchestrating circumstances for our ultimate good. In every circumstance we, like Daniel, Hannaniah, and Mishael, can purpose to glorify God. What a challenge and encouragement this morning!
    I love all the insight that you ladies add to each study. Thank you for enriching my life! And thank you SRT for keeping our gaze turned toward Jesus. God bless you all!

  • I absolutely love SRT and its community! I have learned so much – not only about God and the Bible, but also about who I am! This devo on names really spoke to me because so often in this world we do lose our true identity. We search & seek not realizing our identity is in Christ! I am writing today to ask for prayers for my sweet daughter. She has lost her identity & is following the world’s lies. You see, she has been manipulated into believing it’s okay to be in a same-sex relationship. I say manipulated because I saw how it happened, I saw the constant crying, I saw texts where she confided in a friend that this girl, “K”, was pressuring her & my daughter wrote that she didn’t like girls, she didn’t want that kind of relationship with “K”, but “K” was so important to her she would do anything to make her happy. One day my daughter came to me & told me she knew this relationship was wrong & she asked for help. Next thing I knew she’s back with “K” because, as my daughter told me, “if anything happens to her it will be my fault!” I was in an abusive relationship in high school so that sounded all too familiar. Anyway, despite all our efforts, she has now completely embraced this lifestyle and I am asking for prayers. I am praying she will desire to seek God’s truth again. I am praying for the Lord to bring Godly friends into her life that will speak God’s Truth to her. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to convict her. I love my baby (19 y/o but still my baby) sooo much and my heart is breaking beyond what I even knew was possible. It has been a rough road for my husband, my son and me, but we have not given up on the hope that she will return to God and to us! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I thank God for every one of you!

    • Jodi

      Praying for your daughter and that she will find her true identity in Christ!

    • JamesGurl

      Hope, thank you for encouraging me. I am in the middle of a mess with my son who is making poor choices and the flesh has me spitting nails. I am embarrassed to say I have let anger and bitterness define the situation. The thing is, I want him to see things clearly now, right now! I am impatient. Instead I need to turn to God and realize this is too big for me. I need to pray that he will desire to seek God's truth., to be surrounded by Godly friends, and that the Holy Spirit will convict him. Thank you for helping me to see things clearer. I will not give up on him for I have no doubt he will return to God. After all a wretch like me returned.

      • Hope

        JamesGurl, it’s taken me a long time to get where I am now. I, too, have been angry, bitter, and a host of other not so nice feelings. I’ve been sick, depressed & anxious, wanting God to fix this mess NOW! Finally, I heard God telling me to be still and to simply love her. I had to “let her go” trusting that God is looking out for her. After all, He loves her even more than I do! Thank you for your reply and please know that I’m praying for you & your son.

    • Andrea J

      Prying for your daughter & family, Hope!<3

    • Sheila Miller

      Please Google “Revive our Hearts” and go back to last Friday, 8/28, to listen to the podcasts about a prodigal son with thr same problem. It is such a relevant session f9r yiu, Holly! I know it will give you comfort. It has been continuingbthsi week and it will help your family so much, I think.

      Sheila

  • melindawatters

    I so enjoyed reading through all your comments! What a rich study! As my family has just made a huge move I have been challenged in my Sirit to keep my focus on the face of Jesus and keep my ear listening to His voice and His wisdom and not the wisdom of the qorld round me. I find this takes true intentionality and pray that as My husband and I settle our family in a new city, new church, new community, new schools, and new neighborhood, we would keep ou focus on Him and not stray in temptation.

    Thank you for all your insights!

  • Sarah_Olsen

    I absolutely love this lesson!! It is such a revelation to realize that what the world tries to "name" us isn't what matters. God is the one true God and He has an identity for us that is all we need. Culture tries to mold us into what they consider the normal, but it is far from it. Jesus makes it very clear not to love the world but to love HIM.
    Being exiles sure is tough, and having this realization has allowed me to grow in my relationship with Christ. That He is an unchanging God and He will forever be faithful to us.
    Society makes it inviting and comforting to love the things of this world and to be earthly and to "fit in". But let me tell you ladies, I want to "fit in" to the kingdom of God. I pray that my heart will continue to long for a relationship with our Lord and Savior and that each and every day I am able to let a little more of this world go.
    The Bible tells us we cannot serve two gods and this lesson makes it even more known! Daniel and the others continued to keep their sights on the Lord and serve Him. I strive to be like that in this time of exile here on earth.
    It was difficult at first to want the new pretty flashy things of this life. Sometimes I still catch myself lingering a little longer than I want on pages of beauty products or clothes. Items that would make my physical life on earth more convenient. I am in a constant battle of flesh vs spirit.
    Something that has been made pretty obvious to me through the Holy Spirit is that I can never be "good enough". Jesus, and only Jesus, is the price for my sin and His death has made my salvation possible. No matter how hard I strive to please God, to SHOW my love for Him, and to build a stronger and more intimate relationship with the Lord, none of that will aid in my salvation. Jesus has already paid that price. That is a concept and lesson that for some reason, I can't seem to grasp. I feel I need to do more, show more, live more to be able to be saved. But in reality (spiritual reality), its my NEW heart that is wanting these things. My spirit is longing to LOVE GOD MORE each and every day. I am a new creation in Christ and I am learning to love my exile.
    Embrace this exile, love the kingdom of God not the kingdom of man, and do not let any labels that society places on us pull us away from our missions to be godly women striving after the heart of God.
    Thank you sisters for all your wonderful insight!
    LOVE!!!

  • QueenBee

    ❤️

  • I work for a public school system, and because of recent focus on work that is intended to 'bring equality to instruction', I have been feeling a distinct nagging that this work is in effect a religion of its own and sometimes in direct contrast to what I believe. I have been praying about what to take and what to leave and intend on having a conversation with my superior about just what we are hoping to accomplish. Its ironic that our society and culture works so hard to figure out human relationships and understanding, when our amazing God has been teaching these values for thousands of years. We Christians certainly screw it up often, but the heart of the message is far more powerful than any 'work' we can ever engage in.

  • Esther Smith

    We moved a little over a year ago…and I can’t help but think how different our now home is…I grew up in a small town but lived the last 7 years in a metroplex. Trying to fit in, is just what you do…who wants to look like an outsider? Ever been the odd (wo)man out??
    But that is what God calls us to do…not to conform to the world. While we work our way to learn the community, people and a new church…we still have to be true to who God called us to be and who he is calling us to be now…which may be different than before.

  • I have been part of an organization called Lay Witness Missions, we have exercises before we speak for the week end event. One of them is to tell another person, who we are., not using any title, honor, work, job, family except who we are in Christ and who He says" I am." This has greatly changed what I say about myself. IT IS A FULL 30 SECOND EXERCISE. Think about it and try it. " I am redeemed, I am a sinner, I am saved, ect"
    Blessings to each of you today and may God richly bless all those you care about. In Christ Jesus.

    • Amy

      Thank you, Debbie. I am feeling overwhelmed by the many hats I'll wear today – mommy, wife, teacher, volunteer, soccer mom… I pray that I remember who I am in Christ.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Katherine

      Oh this is challenging. Thank you.

    • Tanya Marchuk

      What an incredible exercise. I hope to be able to implement this in my daily walk!

  • chelly2you

    I love how the names were broken down in the chart. When I think about names in relation to Christ I wonder how many of us have two names. We claim the name Christian but when we are around certain groups, people, or areas we identify ourselves with "worldy" names. This devotion really opened my eyes in seeing that we have to be careful, we are only pilgrims passing through this world and we must be careful that we don't loose our identity along the way. I pray that God allows me to live up to the name Christian and others might see Christ through me.

  • While doing this study, I am reading "Daniel: Absolutes in a Gray World and Power, Business, and Politics" by Jay Edwards. It is an academic novelization of the book of Daniel, written by a long-time missionary to Central America.

  • Terri Thomas Franz

    Sheila, I will be praying for you and your mom. I want to encourage you and thank you for honoring your mom!

  • Wow! LOVED this! Had to read TOO quickly this morning! But IT. IS. FOR. ME… Please pray for me today. I've not asked this group for that before, but today's reading is right where I am in SO many ways. I WILL be reading this and focusing more on this again tonight. Thank you SRT. You are doing an awesome thing here. :) God be on my heart and mind today… Holy Spirit help me to keep you in the forefront of my being. Help me to be Spirit strong today. Thank you Jesus. <3

  • In Revelation 2:17 God gives us a new name inscribed in a white stone for us who overcome. We are the only ones who will know it. I think that's exciting. The Greeks used to cast a white stone at a court case signifying that a person was not guilty and a black stone if the person was. God not only rids us from our guilt and shame but gives us a new name to show our identity in Him.This is awesome!!

  • Like all of you, I have many hats I have to wear during any given day, and sometimes in the midst of all the running around trying to meet the expectations of what is demanded of me it is hard to remember just who I am and more importantly WHOSE I am. My mom suffered a massive stroke 12 days ago, and since that day, I have spent many days and nights in the hospital being a caretaker. It has given me plenty of time to sit and reflect about all the things I do and all the people I attempt to please in a given day. I came to realize that our culture had been defining who I was and I did not like how a lot of my thoughts, words, actions, and time were being spent. God gave me the opportunity to see what it is really important. When it is all said and done, like -B- said, "it does not matter what others call us," or for that matter if we meet the expectations of our culture, what matters is what God calls us, and if we meet what His expectations and His calling for us. I pray today that I honor what God expects from me, and push all the other clutter of this world aside.
    Have a blessed day ladies, and please pray for my mom. She is 80 years old, was completely independent before the stroke, and has lost the use of her left side. She is a fighter and is determined to regain the use of body. Please pray for her.

    • JulieG

      Praying for her and for you as well, Shelia!

    • Lindsay

      Praying for you mother. May God heal her and restore her body!

    • Doris

      Praying for you and your mom, 80does not seem so old to me now that my mom is 77′ lots of life left to live!

    • Anne

      I am praying for you and your mother. Having gone through a similar experience with my mother, I'm familiar with the challenges. May God grant you special strength and wisdom…

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Prayers lifted for you both!

    • Andrea J

      Praying, Sheila <3

    • Barbara

      Praying for your mom, Sheila, and also for you! I am caring for my elderly Mother as she deteriorates and I am very familiar with some of the struggles you will face. My mom had a series of TIA's (mini-strokes) some years ago, and little by little, who I KNEW her to be is disappearing. I pray fervently that your Mom will retain all of her mental capacity. It's HARD to watch my mom disappear into a fog.
      Blessings to you, praying for supernatural strength for you, and God's Peace and Grace.

    • lynne

      I will be praying for you and your mom, Sheila.

  • I love this chart, Raechel! I've never seen the name changes compared side-by-side. Names are fascinating to me. When I met my husband, he wanted to be a police officer. As I got to know him more (and even today, after nine years of marriage), his sense of justice for others blew me away. Once he became a patrol officer, he'd recount traffic stops or citizen contacts and I never tired of hearing his response to the people he was dealing with each night. I share that to share his name: Justin. Which means "full of justice." I love that God impressed this name on my mother-in-law's heart as she was thinking through the naming process for my husband.

    • rightpurelovely

      I love when I see fellow LEO wives on SRT! My husband is a patrol officer too :) What a perfect name for your husband and his profession. I love when the Lord connects those little dots of his handiwork for us to see!

  • Lord, help me to keep You in the face of so many other choices.

  • Caroline @ In due time

    Highly recommend the ‘name book’. It is so good!!
    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • We should be so wrapped up in God that it doesn't matter what others call us. Our identity belongs to the Lord. When I got engaged I struggled with the idea of losing my maiden name. I loved my family so greatly that changing my name felt like I was leaving them for good, as if I was walking away from the most important people in my life, losing my identity. I spoke at length with my Dad about it and he reaffirmed how important it is to accept my would be husband's name. He provided a long list of reasons, and I knew it was the right thing to do for me, but I also knew it hurt. After much contemplation and prayer I actually changed my name entirely (I know many women do), I dropped my middle name and took my maiden as my legal middle. Few people know that because like most middle's, it isn't really used, but I know it's there and it made easing into what would be a tough family a little lighter load for me. Ultimately, if taking a new middle wasn't an option, I would've been fine, but even just now hearing that name in my head it doesn't feel like "me". I can imagine that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah felt much the same. I am sure they began to recognize when those names were called and respond to them, but obviously they knew this was not who they were. Because of their relationship with the living God it didn't matter what an earthly king would call them. They belonged to God and no new name would change that. No new home, new life, new education or job would change that truth. Even in the midst of likely beautiful things, held in high regard, they remembered who they were.

    Prayerful that today I remember who I am … A foreigner on this earth, a child of God, a daughter of the one true King. That as I move into the day, no matter what or who I encounter that I stand on the truth of God's calling over me, His name over me. Prayerful that as I may lean to even adapt new names or terms to describe me, even just quietly, that I default back to my character through Christ. That as I grow I don't let shiny, pretty things sway my focus, that I don't let the struggles or sin of this world come close to taking my hesitance from me. ~ B

    • Lisa

      I did the same thing with my maiden name :)

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Amen!

    • QueenBee

      ❤️

    • Barbara

      ~B~,
      I have continued to keep my eyes open for your comments. You have a gift for writing, for turning your insightful thoughts into words that flow and touch me.

      Keep it up! I love to read your input. <3

      • ~ B ~

        Morning Barbara, I'm so thankful for you wonderful women here and I am so grateful that God gives me words that are impactful to even one. I know I've said numerous times, I love having coffee with you amazing ladies, the only thing better would be having it live. Hope all is well your way. ~ B

    • ARG

      I added my maiden name as my second middle name. :)

  • hesaved83

    Raechel,

    Awesome devotional! Thankful Holy Spirit imparted His wisdom through you. Also, the chart reminds me of Hendricks’.

  • carlybenson

    It must have been hard for Daniel and the others not to be sucked into Babylonian culture. Although they were captives, far from home, they were being treated so well- they had been selected for honourable positions, recognised for their strength, good looks and intelligence and given the best food and wine. Then with their names being changed, it must have felt like their whole identity was being stripped away. It could have been easy just to enjoy all the benefits of being in Babylon and forget God.
    I think, for us too, it's not so much when the culture is hostile, but when it's welcoming and inviting that it's easy to be drawn in too far- and it can be subtle. Peter highlights that it's serious though- worldly desires wage war against our very souls. That's why it's so important to be grounded in God' s truth each day.
    It is encouraging though to think that just as Daniel and his friends influenced others for God in Babylon, we can do the same. 1 Peter 2:12 says that if we live for God in an unbelieving culture it will cause others to honour God and it excites me to think of the impact it could have on so many people if we could do that.

    • Sandy

      So true, about the culture being welcoming and inviting. They make it easy to give in and just do it their way. But that is not our calling, Gods way is the best, true way, Jesus IS the Way!

    • debragohn

      "it's not so much when the culture is hostile, but when it's welcoming and inviting that it's easy to be drawn in too far- and it can be subtle. "
      So true – thanks for this thought!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      "it's not so much when the culture is hostile, but when it's welcoming and inviting that it's easy to be drawn in too far- and it can be subtle"…..

      This is sooooo true! I recently had an experience with this…..it is so easy to get swept up and carried away……"everyone else is"….to not do ______ would be "uncool"… "party pooper"… "outsider"….. Lord, I pray for strength in these moments, strength and wisdom to know when the world is pulling me away from You. Strength to cling to You and Your ways…help me Lord because I am weak in the flesh and need You and Your guidance. Help me Lord to remain yoked to you and honoring You in all ways and at all times. Amen

    • Mona Reyes

      So true Carly Bendon. Today’s world begs us to choose the easy popular no waves route but God’s world demands us to “Stand In The Gap” as warriors for our beliefs and identity as Followers of Christ. Easier said than done when it seems to me that the world embraces what I was raised to believe as wrong as the “new” desirable : homosexuality, adultery, new ageism, un modest behavior, partyers, drinkers, aggressiveness, liars, brashness, the Kardashian effect, etc. What a great study of Daniel’s faith to study during these very trying times, we find ourselves in.

  • Sarah York

    As a female nearing 22 years of age in our crazy society that compares and contrasts women left and right and up and down, my identity crisis waivers between what I know I am and what society tries to make me feel I may want to be. Questions and readings like these in SRT as well as studying God’s word remind me and help to plant me firmly in who I am IN CHRIST. He is where my identity lies. He is “my one defence, my righteousness”, the One I need who defines me. :)

  • I love how the Old Testament story of Daniel overlaps with instructions Peter gives the New Testament church. Daniel was a citizen of Jerusalem, exiled to a foreign land. But He held on to his Jewish faith and conducted himself as a citizen of Jerusalem would. Peter reminds us we are citizens of heaven sojourning on this earth. Do our thoughts, words and behavior reflect our citizenship, our faith in a living God?

    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

    • katsulli

      Amen! I could not have said it better.

    • anne

      Thanks Sheena and Raechel for reminding me I am in a foreign land…..I am challenged to live differently and not accept the status quo of this world. The insidious ways of this world can sneak up on us and catch us off guard. It is good for us to feel not at home in this world and remember we are called to conduct ourselves differently by God's standards not this worlds. Have a great day ladies.

      • MNmomma (heather)

        It can definitely be a struggle…….this is such a powerful reminder…..

      • Whitney S

        Yes you hit it right on the nose! It is so easy to fall victim to the things of this world. As doers and followers of Christ it is important that we keep our standards high and not succum to the things of this world. And to also show good examples of Christ living within us…

    • MNmomma (heather)

      yes!!!!! This is such an important reminder!

  • These are such great questions! It's so important to ask ourselves "What does my Father call me?" and "What other identities have people tried to impose on me?" and agree with Him about who He says we are.
    I struggled with this for years because my name was changed as part of an adoption process. I spent a lot of years feeling I had a split identity. It was really healing for me to ask God which name was true about me…ultimately I changed my name back to the name I was given at birth. That's my identity in Him.
    Then came the tricky part: getting people to call me my "real" name. It was awkward and hard. But part of agreeing with God about who He made me meant recognizing that His view of me mattered more than pleasing other people.

    • Jenny R

      Wow, what a great perspective to have on the culture of renaming in adoptions. Thank you for sharing that!

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