When the World Tries to Hold Us Down

Ecclesiastes 8:6, GWT
“There is a right time and a right way [to act] in every situation.Yet, a terrible human tragedy hangs over people.”

Wherever we live, we are surrounded by a worldly culture that can influence us. Of course we think we can, or we try to, resist this cultural pressure. We may succeed some of the time but sadly, often without realising it, we all too easily submit to it in some way or another.

At a recent Sunday service we began our worship and praise time singing a song by Jesus Culture, ‘Alive in You’. The third and fourth line of the song immediately struck me:

This whole world may hold me down

But it can never drown You out.

At first I thought “that’s not right; this world is not holding me down”, but the Lord swiftly corrected me and brought back thoughts on many discussions I’ve had over recent weeks about the hugely negative effect the prevailing world culture is having on the Body of Christ, and how it is invading and defiling parts of His Church, sadly, leading many into deception. But however persuasive and pervasive the voice of ungodly culture is, it can never drown Him out. His truth is still the truth, His hope is still our only real hope, His unconditional love is still unconditional love, no matter what we’ve done, and His salvation is still free to any who come to Him, believe in Him and follow Him.

The song continued as I contemplated what the Lord was saying.

You are God, You’re the Great ‘I Am’.

Breath of life, I breathe You in

Even in the fire, I’m alive in You!

You are strong in my brokenness,

Sovereign over every step.

Even in the fire, I’m alive.

I’m alive in You!

As I heard the words ‘Even in the fire, I’m alive in You’, I thought of the story of Daniel. Here was a young man who, having been carted off to Babylon, immersed in a totally alien, ungodly culture, would not turn away from God. He was chosen, re-educated, groomed, favoured, promoted, and then commanded to bow down and submit to the new culture, and pray to new gods. But he would not.

Instead, he went up to his room flung open his windows and prayed to God. He didn’t do this in secret either, he was brazen about it. Threats didn’t trouble him; He just kept pressing in to God, even facing the lion’s den.

As our singing praise and worship time ended, a lady came forward to share how, watching a young child crawling around at the front of the church, she had been blessed by seeing him stand, clinging to the cross that stood in front of the stage, before toddling away.

As the world tries to hold us down, resist! We may clearly see the human tragedy that hangs over those who turn their backs on God, but, like Daniel, we can stand firm in the truth of God’s word. As the little toddler did, we need to cling to the cross, and defy the forces around us that would see us fall.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your truth which will never be drowned out by a world that seeks to hold us down. Help us to cling to the cross and stand firm in truth upon the Rock of our Saviour Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.

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