We have been reading through the book of Daniel in the Mini Bible College the past few Sundays. What a remarkable character he was! Taken captive as a teenager, he spent his entire adult life in a foreign land, directly serving the kings of Babylon and Mede-Persia and yet remaining absolutely true to his God, the god of Israel. He was taken captive because Jerusalem had been conquered by Babylon and eventually most of the people of Judah were dragged off to captivity, far from their home. For the next 70 years, just as the Lord had prophesied through Jeremiah, the people of Jerusalem were captive in Babylon. Daniel uncompromisingly continued to trust in the Lord and refused to cease praying to God, enduring the lion's den which was intended as punishment for those prayers. The Lord gave Daniel the ability to interpret the king's dreams and the king elevated Daniel to a place of great authority in Babylon. Daniel interceded for his people, offering prayers of confession on their behalf for past sins. When the lives of he and his friends were on the line he showed total trust in the Lord and was confident that all would be well as long as he was right with his God. As a result of his faith, Daniel was used by God to impact the foreign kings he served. At least one actually became a believer in God and left his false gods behind. The Lord loved Daniel and chose him to be the one through whom He would reveal awesome prophecies about the future, including the future empires of Greece and Rome and the specific number of years until the Messiah (Jesus) would come and then would die for our sin. He also revealed much about the last days of earth that rings true to the prophecies of John in Revelation.
This is the impact of one person, who absolutely trusted in God while living in a foreign place, surrounded by foreign culture and false gods. Consider the impact your life might have in the place you live, surrounded by the contemporary false gods of our time. We are not captive to our culture if we trust in God and we can be used of him to impact that culture, just as Daniel did!
Daniel 9:23 "[Daniel,] the moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God." (the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel to reveal prophecy)