Living Above the Crowd

One of the big struggles we as Christians have is figuring out how we can make an impact in our world. Truth be told, many of us are influenced more by the world than we influence it. So how do we live differently in order to impact the world for Christ?

In the book of Daniel, we find the story of some young men called to living above the crowd. In the first chapter of Daniel, we find these words: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.”

Living above the world starts within us. We cannot make the impact God desires without having godly character. The men mentioned here had character that was seen by others. It was seen by their peers but also by their enemies.

Character has become less and less important in our world today. We see that in the fraud cases of business people and politicians. But to God, character matters. It is at the foundation of who we are and what people see. It is something we all need to look at in our own lives. So we need to ask ourselves, “Is our character different from that of the world?” or are we just polished versions of our old selves?

Living above the crowd also means we need to be aware of where we are going and staying on the right path. Daniel and the other men knew what it meant to follow God. There was no option of swaying to the right or left. Following the path God led them on was of utmost importance.

I love to go grocery shopping. When I go I have a certain pattern that I have to follow or I wander aimlessly picking up different things. This ends up leading to buying way too much than I need or planned. God’s way is straight and narrow. To go off can lead to our destruction.

That being said, staying on the straight and narrow will also lead to other consequences. We also need to remember that by standing firm, our faith and resolve will be tested. Daniel was tested in the lion’s den. Others were tested in the fiery furnace. Faith isn’t faith unless it is put to the test. Having the fortitude to stand firm in spite of questions and persecution is important in building character which leads to living above the crowd.

Staying on the straight and narrow also requires us to be focused. To be focused is important in withstanding the challenges the world brings on us. And by keeping our hearts and eyes on Christ, we are able to be positive and live above whatever conditions we may be experiencing. We focus on God through His Word and prayer. In focusing on Him, we can harness His power and strength in our lives.

Living about the crowd and making an impact in our world is a challenge and is the calling on every follower of Christ. As the Westminister Confession of faith states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God…” To glorify God is to live and love as He would. It requires us to live and love as Jesus did. In doing so, only then can we live above the crowd for the glory of God.


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