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Session 6

Are you following Jesus for the right reasons?

Read: Daniel 5

If you’re younger than 30, there’s a chance you’ve never heard of Adam West or Val Kilmer. But Adam West, Val Kilmer, Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, and Michael Keaton all have one thing in common. They all played Batman on the big screen. 

Ask people from three generations to describe what Batman looks like, and you’ll get three different answers. With each iteration, Batman changed to reflect the times — moving from the caped crusader in a cartoonish black and gray leotard to the brooding dark knight we know today. 

Batman’s evolution is a picture of the ever-changing standards we put on our heroes. What’s cool in one decade is lame to the next. What portrays strength in one generation is cheesy to the next. 

If we chase people’s standards, we’ll always chase a moving target. That’s a reality Daniel understood all too well. 

If we chase people’s standards, we’ll always chase a moving target.

When Nebuchadnezzar was king, Daniel was his trusted advisor. But many years later, a new king was running things with a new group of nobles and influencers. Daniel had fallen out favor and been forgotten until an emergency caused the queen mother to remember the wisdom and insight Daniel gave to Belshazzar’s father (Daniel 5:10-11). 

Belshazzar was prepared to give power, money, and authority to the person who could explain the message he’d seen on the wall, but Daniel wasn’t interested (Daniel 5:17). Daniel knew that even the influence that comes from following the Lord can quickly fade. 

Daniel’s focus wasn’t on what he could gain by following the Lord, but on being faithful to follow the Lord. He spoke the words God gave him — nothing more, nothing less. 

Like Daniel, we don’t follow the Lord for fame or fortune but to know and serve God faithfully. Our cool factor and influence might change over time, but the peace that comes from knowing and obeying God will last forever.  

Reflect: 

  • Have you experienced what it’s like to try to keep up with ever-changing standards? How did it make you feel?
  • Is there anything God is calling you to do that you’ve been putting off because how it might affect your position or influence?

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