Called to Temerity in a Secular Culture – Daniel 10:12

Vol. 2, No. 30 – 7-23-2017

Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. Daniel 10:12

Temerity = nerve, boldness, hutzpah, and the like.

Louie L’Amour (Guns of the Timberlands), writes about the quality and character of men who conquered the West. “They were tall men, short men; but all of them were strong men with skin like saddle-leather and clear eyes that saw beyond today. These men who stayed were not necessarily wealthy men, but they were steadfast men, confident men, strong with an inner-strength that knew no defeat.”

Daniel was like that. We live in a society, a culture that increasingly is secular. The foundations of a secular culture skew the mind to think not of character or strength, but in playing the victim and being so weakened that their dependence is upon other earth dwellers and its governments. Our culture has lost the daring that composed our nation in our early days. We also live in an instant society. We want instant communication, instant results, instant money and things, instant pudding, and even instant mashed potatoes. This is the dominant mindset of the secular.

Daniel was over 80-years-of-age. How are 80-year-olds today? Are they strong, full of character, undivided with Almighty God at the center of their hearts, purpose-driven? Or, do they stop their “output” in their latter days of life on the earth?

Temerity speaks of our set in heart.

It includes the plan and purpose that God has for us. When God expects you to follow His purpose, He expects fearlessness, courage, character, and steadfastness. God does not expect us to lose our temerity, for it is He who strengthens us and walks by our side; even when we live in an ever-increasing secular society. Why would God leave us here without expectations?

Who might we look at for a life of temerity?

  • David set his heart when he went after Goliath with a slingshot
  • Joseph stood fast in his faith when an Egyptian woman attempted to violate his character
  • Elijah stood strong in his faith on a mountain top with 450 priests of Baal
  • Job stood firm even in the midst of his wife calling for him to die
  • Moses stood before Pharaoh with plague after plague
  • Daniel did not resist the lion’s den for his faith had temerity
  • Stephen stood in the face of earthly death to suffer for the Lord
  • My dad, also named Daniel, worked three jobs to take care of two families

In reality, these are men of character and temerity desiring to end their life well. Regardless of the issues brought to them in life, they stood strong toward the One they believed. They faced the secular society with fixed purposes, sometimes with such an approach when feeling weak. Always in the end they staunchly gave evidence of their temerity.

Three practical suggestions:

  • Get to know the God who is our mighty fortress rather than relying upon people of the earth
  • Contemplate how you are becoming a person of God, realizing that this is more important than what you accumulate
  • Live the life of God on the earth, rather than living your life by the moment

‘Tis the set of the sail and not the gale that determines the way we go!” —Laurel Holman

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

July 23, 2017

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