When one of our church family moved in to a senior’s residence, we started visiting. The staff of the residence were less than pleased. The response we received from them was chilly at best. We eventually learned that they were actually looking for reasons to kick us out.
Instead of seeing them as problems, we prayed for them. We respected their demands. We encouraged folks. But we wouldn’t leave. We had a good reason to be there, so we visited every week faithfully.
Over the years, the attitude at the residence changed. The staff got used to us. Then they warmed to us. Eventually, they welcomed us. They even offered us new opportunities to minister.
In the course of these things, I reread the book of Daniel. What I read was earth shattering. Like us, Daniel lived in a society that didn’t know or love his God. But in the face of hostility and opposition, Daniel excelled. His courageous testimony was an example that continues to inform my life and ministry.
Two truths stuck out specifically:
1. Over his life in exile, Daniel continued to prove himself. As each regime changed, his faithfulness was challenged. That holds true for all disciples in the Undiscovered Country. Our testimony is as powerful as our last ministry opportunities. We do have something to prove to the world: that our God is the One True and Living God.
2. Daniel persevered in living out his testimony. Integrity never takes a holiday. Neither does faithfulness. In fact, Daniel never compromised his obedience to God to make his life easier. This often caused problems for Daniel, but it also created opportunities for God to reveal His glory.
The power of our testimony is not what we do, it’s in what God does through us.
That’s ministry in the Undiscovered Country.