"Away From Home,"

Excerpt from Journal Week 5, Weekly Devotional, "My Journal," by Dr. Michael Youssef

When Daniel was being trained in the Babylonian palace, he was fed lies about spirituality and the meaning of life. Just as we face lies every day from our society, Daniel was being indoctrinated into the pagan culture in which he was held captive. Yet Daniel held on tightly to God's truth. God's Word permeated every ounce of Daniel's being, and he refused to let that go. And because God was the center of Daniel's identity, he did not lose focus.

Like Daniel, we must take every message we hear and filter it through God's Word. No matter how appealing a message may sound, or how often we hear it, if it does not bring glory to God we cannot let it in. We must discern the difference betrween man's truth and God's truth. We must recognize what will provide only temporary happiness and what will bring eternal joy.

If we fail to hold on to God's teachings, we will become vulnerable to worldly messages and lose our effectiveness for Christ. Make a commitment to understand thoroughly what you believe--and why. Spend time in God's Word and learn who you are as a child of God. Standing up for your beliefs will helop you become a powerful tool for God.

It's easy to let the messages of this world seep into our lives. Sometimes we don't even realize they are there. Take a few minutes to think about the television shows, movies, books, and music that you spend time enjoying. How many of those glorify God, and how many are selling messages of self-promotion, self-importance, and self-centeredness?

Confess to God the areas in your life in which you have allowed ungodly beliefs and priorities to overshadow God's truths. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict you of any changes you need to make to maintain your identity in Christ.

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