Daniel Sermon: What Does It Mean to Live by God’s Authority?

When we live by God’s authority, it means He alone is our highest priority. As the Creator of all things, God has authority over us and everything in creation. He does not conform to us, but instead, we conform to Him!

The problem is society and culture teach our children there is no higher priority than self. Hear this: self-governance is self-idolatry. When God gets a demotion and man gets a promotion, the result is self-deification. 

God created us to bear His image, but in today’s culture, we have demanded God bear our image–this has put us in an authority crisis. When Biblical authority is removed from society, danger and destruction await. 

Where Is God’s Authority in the Younger Generation?

In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler said, “He alone who owns the youth gains the future.” Reading this, we might think this statement was made by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. as he besieged Jerusalem and led approximately 70 Hebrew children back to Babylon to indoctrinate them in the ways and worldview of the Babylonians. 

Hitler used the same principle as Nebuchadnezzar did in Babylon. 

  • “Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.”—Daniel 1:3-4 (emphasis added)

Hitler and Nebuchadnezzar shared this thought: If we want to change a civilization, we must indoctrinate the youngest generation. 

Back to the question, “Where is God’s authority in the younger generation?”—the answer is given to us in the book of Daniel. 

Like Daniel, we must prepare our children for an authority crisis!  

Click here to download a Free Book of Daniel Bible guide.

Daniel’s Indoctrination Progression 

We live in a “Babylonian” society where the spirit of Babylon is fully alive. While the city of Babylon died centuries ago, the spirit of Babylon lives on. It is a spirit that is anti-Christ and anti-God. 

The spirit of Babylon is battling for the hearts and minds of America’s youth. 

Nebuchadnezzar waged a religious and cultural war. He besieged Jerusalem and carried Daniel and other Hebrew youth back to Babylon to indoctrinate them in the worldview and values of the Babylonians.

Nebuchadnezzar knew that to wipe out the Hebrew culture—a godly culture with a worldview containing moral values—he would have to change the hearts and minds of the youth. 

The Babylonians intended to indoctrinate Hebrew children into their beliefs, worldview, and values. Daniel was immersed in a progression of indoctrination and re-education.

  • The progression of indoctrination Daniel and the other Hebrew children went through was this: Authority crisis?Identity crisis?Morality crisis

This is the reason there has always been a battle wherever and whenever kids are involved. This is the battleground in the 21st century, just as it was in 605 B.C. 

American’s Indoctrination Progression

I would suggest we are going through a similar indoctrination process. The church is evolving in Western civilization, and there seems to be more of Babel than the Bible among many Christians today. 

Remember, Babylon began in Genesis 10 with Nimrod, whose name meant “lord of rebellion.” He built the tower of Babel, which meant “gate to God.” The spirit of rebellion that possessed Nimrod then is the same spirit of rebellion we see in modern America today. 

The same indoctrination process used on Daniel is the same indoctrination process the spirit of Babylon uses on our children today.  

In Daniel's day, the Babylonian indoctrination process started with Nebuchadnezzar placing himself as their authority. Essentially, he said, “You belong to me. God is no longer your authority, I am.”

We must understand there is a direct connection between understanding who we belong to and who we are. If we are children of God, it means we belong to God the Father.  

However, the enemy uses a counterfeit authority and identity in American culture. He has introduced secularism. Secularism is the belief there is no God, or if there is, He is irrelevant. God is minimized and marginalized in a secular society. 

Secularism leads to secular humanism. The Humanist Manifesto penned in 1930 called secular humanism a religion. It moves from “there is no God” to “now I’m God.” Secular humanism is self-idolatry. It is the worship of self, which is placing self on the throne and removing God from it. 

But it doesn’t end there…

Secular Humanism Leads to Social Marxism and Personal Hedonism

  • Social Marxism

Secular humanism leads to social Marxism, which says there is no God, so the government becomes our god. Rather than God controlling our lives, the government will have ultimate control. 

This is the progression as it relates to our society. 

  • Personal Hedonism

Personal hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure as the chief end. It says, “My life has to serve me and make me happy. Nothing is off-limits if it brings me happiness.” If we live in self-deification, we will live for self-gratification. 

This is the progression as it relates to us personally. 

It can be summed up this way: Secular society becomes a society of self-idolatry. If we become a society of self-idolatry, we become a society of moral anarchy. This is when everyone does what is right in their own eyes, and the culture begins to collapse. 

There is no longer a shared set of values and morals, and everyone lives by their own truth. 

So then, what are we to do? How do we live by God’s authority and prepare the next generation to do the same?

Establishing God’s Authority in Our Children’s Lives

As Christians, we have a higher authority. 

Let us understand this principle: Without a higher authority, we have complete moral anarchy, which leads to personal and societal captivity. 

See, the enemy is telling the younger generation, “You will finally be free from oppressive biblical authority, morals, and values. You will be free from a God who won’t let you do anything. Do whatever you want!” 

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistically, young people are experiencing depression, addiction, STDs, suicides, broken homes, and the list goes on and on at higher rates than ever before in our nation.

Why? Because we have become a society with a Babylonian mindset.

Satan says, “Do what you want, and you will be free.” Does his promise seem freeing? Jesus came to set us free. He said, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  

Those who live lawlessly live in slavery. 

The truth is, God hates sin because He loves us. 

Parenting Plan | From Protection to Preparation

So then, what must we do to prepare our children so they won’t compromise in a Babylonian culture?

A diagram of “Plan of Protection to Preparation.”
  1. Pray for the hearts of the children to be preserved by the Holy Spirit. 

We don’t know much about Daniel’s parents, but they must have prepared him for the coming Babylonians. They must have taught him who held the authority in his life. “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.”–Daniel 1:8 (emphasis added)

  1. Have a plan to be intentional. 

Lots of parents give their kids attention. However, parents who want to establish God’s authority in their children’s lives know they need more than attention. They need intention.  

What our children believe the earliest in their lives will often last the longest and run the deepest. This is why we must…

  • Protect them in the early years
  • Prepare them in the later years
  • Teach them to take what we say seriously 
  • Teach them to live selflessly
  • Teach them who they are and who God is

The goal is to build walls to keep them safe, but there must be gates in those walls. Those gates open to bring opportunities for preparation. Walls protect, but we must also help them prepare in later years. 

  1. Practice the truth. 

Facts are taught, but faith is caught. We can teach what we know but we will reproduce what we are. If we don’t show our kids that Christianity works, they’ll decide it’s not true.

  1. Pray again. 

Remember, whoever owns the children, gains the future. Know this: we are raising human beings, not robots. Just because we do what is godly when raising our children doesn’t guarantee they won’t become prodigal children.

Prayer for the Future Generation

“Jesus, we petition you on behalf of our, children and grandchildren being raised in a Babylonian society against all that is godly. We pray to the God of heaven to hold their hearts early, and never let go. We pray for every mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather, that your grace would abound upon their lives. Give them wisdom in their homes for every decision they face. Let these children grow up to be godly, pursue what is holy, and follow you all of their days. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen!”