Identity Crisis – Pastor Jordan

Identity Crisis

Daniel 1:1-7

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

The king had a plan at hand here for God’s chosen people.

The purpose of the food, names, and education was simple. This was an effort at total indoctrination, with the goal of making these young Jewish men leave behind their Hebrew God and culture.

Satan uses a similar strategy against believers today, wanting to indoctrinate us into the world system. Satan wants us to:

· Identify (name) us in reference to the world.

· Feed us what the world offers.

· Educate us in the ways of the world.

We have now seen this in our generation.

  • Our identity in America was once referred to as ‘one nation under God’
  • Our identity in America was once respected and honorable
  • Now our identity is a pronoun
  • We don’t know who we are.

The enemies plan is to take your identity in Christ!

Their names meant something.

Daniel-God is my Judge; 

Hananiah-The grace of the Lord; 

Mishael-He that is the strong God; 

Azariah-The Lord is a help

Who you are. Your identity means something!

We are children of God

We are Victory Outreach

We are the Third Wave

We are Victory Outreach S.A.

You have a legacy

You have an identity

The king changed their names to:

Belteshazzar signifies the keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel; 

Shadrach-The inspiration of the sun, which the Chaldeans worshipped; 

MeshachOf the goddess Shach, under which name Venus was worshipped; 

Abed-nego, The servant of the shining fire,

The enemy wanted to neutralize them! And he wants to neutralize you!

Daniel had to fight for his identity, for who God called him to be

A. Daniels identity was based off of conviction and not convenience 

Th next verse in that portion:

Daniel 1:8 

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

  • The ancient Hebrew word defile carries the thought of polluting or staining

Daniels identity was based on values and not circumstance!

  • Daniel did not object to the name given to him, because he knew who he was and others could call him what they wanted.
  • Daniel did not object to the Babylonian education, because he knew what he believed. 
  • Daniel did object to the food from the king’s table because eating it was direct disobedience to God’s word.

It was easy to think that God had let them down by allowing them to be carried away into Babylon. 

Daniel and his friends, kidnapped from Jerusalem, might have said: “Why should we risk our neck for a God who let me down?” Yet they were committed to their convictions even if God did not fulfill their expectations.

Someone said:

How much better is it with those that retain their integrity in the depths of affliction than with those that retain their wickedness in the heights of prosperity!

  • Its convenient to blame everything on God and use it as an excuse to do what we please
  • Its convenient to neglect our values when the circumstances are trying
  • Its convenient to eat the kings food when their family was in bondage


Some commentaries say they didn’t eat the food because it was kosher and forbidden by Jewish law.

  • Others say they didn’t eat because they feared the indulgence would lead them astray.
  • But I think they couldn’t find it fit to eat the kings food while their nation was bound by the enemy.

“By eastern standards to share a meal was to commit one’s self to friendship; it was of covenant significance.”

Some of us have been dining with the enemy for too long!

And we’re losing our identity

Or we’ve been dining at the table of procrastination for too long 

And we’re losing our identity

Your convictions should kick in when you’re associated with the wrong people.

When you’re at the table with people who don’t belong.

I like what Daniel did. He asked the chef not to serve to them instead of just ignoring it!

  • It will be easier to keep the temptation at a distance than to suffer it to come near.
  • Remove it from your life instead of leaving the door open! 

It’s time to close the door!



B. Daniels identity was based off of submission and not service.

1 Samuel 15:22

So Samuel said:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

  • Other versions say submission is better than the fat of rams.

Submission – the action or act of accepting or yielding to a superior force

C.S. Lewis said this:

Christ wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.

  • He didn’t say Lord I’m going to serve this king with all my heart for you!
  • His identity was found in his submission!
  • That’s why people get burnt out in ministry or in their walk.
  • Their identity is based off of service and not submission to God!

Spurgeon said: 

They knew this would cost them something, yet they were willing. “Be ready for a bad name; be prepared for the loss of friendships; be prepared for anything so long as you can stand fast by Him who bought you with His precious blood.”

Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can.

Where the enemy wants to neutralize God wants to utilize.


Be careful. When your willingness to submit comes with conditions.

When we say while 

ill host as long as….

Ill sing as long as….

Ill give as long as….

The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say, 

“Father, Your will for today is mine. 

Your pleasure for today is mine. 

Your work for today is mine. 

I trust You to be God. 

You lead me today and I will follow.”

C. Daniels identity was based off of his mission and not the moment

Daniel‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

  • Daniel was the first specialist
  • His confidence came from consistent faith in God and operating in his giftings

His boldness came from this:

Daniel had a command to obey and a promise to trust.

VO SA you have a command to obey and a promise to trust

I could’ve given you multiple examples on Daniels mission:

  • Where he told the king about the kings dream and what it meant before the king said the dream
  • God delivering them from the fiery furnace
  • The lions den where the lions mouths were shut

Daniels purpose and identity wasn’t formed in those moments.

It was made up before then.

When he chose to surrender to where God had him and let God use Him.

When he had the easy option to curse God but chose his values instead.

Its the moments before that shapes men and women of God!

Its the moments that you think you’re abandoned and yet still honor God!

Daniel objected 


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