Strategy and Identity

How does the culture we live in effect how we perceive ourselves? How does it effect our perception of Jesus? Do you label yourself based on your past? Join us as we look to God’s Word for answers to these questions and more. Open your Bible to Daniel 1:3-7 and walk with us in our journey through the book of Daniel as we learn how to move from surviving in today’s culture to thriving for Jesus in that culture.

Date: February 25, 2018
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: Daniel

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

Daniel 1:3-7 “Strategy & Identity”

INTRO> We are learning a specific applicable truth each week as we walk through Daniel, we are learning these truths so we can stand for Christ in a culture that hates Christ. Last week we learned that GOD IS SOVEREIGN. This week is just as important.

*ILL> Take a look at this book (PIC) it is an old, old book, this book is known as “The art of War” written by this man (Pic) Sun Tzu. It is THE standard for Eastern war strategy, some of the greatest military leaders to this day still turn to this book. In it Sun says this about the strategy of war, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu

APP> You’ve gotta know this: You have an enemy. The bible supports this truth as well, this is a battle.

    • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12


Big Idea> The enemies strategy is to distort my identity.


CONTEXT> The people of God have been taken captive and in these verse’s we see what the game plan is of King Neb to reprogram and distort and pressure the people of God to adopt the ways of Babylon. We see 4 key strategic moves that they do to pressure Daniel and his friends.

  1. It starts with isolation. v3 & v5
      • “Then the king commanded Ashpenaz his chief eunuch to bring some of the people of Israel…” Do you see what the King is doing here? He is taking the best from the captive people and putting them to work! But he has to separate them

*ILL> Obviously all of our graphics for this series have lions on them, because of the upcoming story of Daniel int he lions den. Do you know how lions attack? Their attacks and roars cause prey to panic and disperse, allowing the lions to isolate and attack a weaker or slower individual. By hunting together, lions are able to exhaust and kill their prey.” – National Geographic

APP> Isolation leads to destruction. But do you know how the herd wins… when it bands together and turns on the lions!

APP> Community leads to victory.

2) It continues by indoctrination. v4

    • “and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans…” Daniel and his friends are being immersed into the culture of Babylon. They would have been taught their own creation story, their own salvation story, their own way of war everything. We still have to this day what the language would have looked liked (Pic)

APP> Here is why this is important to understand, What we believe determines how we behave.

Top 3 lies we battle:

      • “You can’t trust God.”
      • “Jesus isn’t enough.”
      • “I’m the exception.”

3) It is driven by indulgence. v5

      • “The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king are and of the wine that he drank…” There is actually a little bit of a translation problem here, It should literally read “Some of the kings choicest food..This is a big deal, remember we are in the 6th century, there aren’t any refrigerators. So what the King ate was the BEST of the best.

APP> Do you know where we get the word indulged from? from Latin indulgere ‘give free rein to’. *ILL> In the summer time, if you walk into my house, you will see something like this set up. (PIC) This is a glass with sweet apple cider vinegar in it, why? To catch flys.

      • “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” – Hebrews 12:24-26

APP> Freedom is not the absence of restriction. True freedom is found in submission.

4) It ends in identification. v7

    • “ the chief eunuch gave them name…” This in any culture is a big deal. A name means everything, it is your identifier. 

Definition of Names

Daniel = “God is my judge”

Belteshazzar = “Lady protect the King”

Hannah= “Yahweh has been gracious.”

Shadrach = “I am fearful of God”

Michael = “Who can compare to my God?”

Meshach = “I am despised”

Azaraih = “Yahweh has helped”

Abednego = “the servant of Nebo”

APP> Notice how their original names are rooted in God and how God defines them but the new names are either centered on themselves or self degrading. APP> Self absorption leads to self destruction


Big Idea> The enemies strategy is to distort my identity.



Our name tells us a lot, it is how we introduce ourselves…

“Hello my name is:”

  • Divorced
  • Addicted
  • Self-Righteous
  • A failure
  • Abused
  • I don’t know…

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’” Revelation 2:17

“Hello my name is:”

      • Forgiven
      • Adopted
      • Loved
      • Rewarded
      • Known
      • Free

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