One of my favorite Biblical characters is Daniel. As a young man, he was carted off from his homeland of Israel by the Babylonians and wound up in the service of their king, ultimately advancing to positions of great responsibility, a lot like Joseph did in Egypt. As he was promoted, Daniel grew in wisdom while doing God’s work and was put in a place where, as an Orthodox Jew, he was advising and leading a group of wizards. Interestingly, God gave him tons of dreams, visions, and miracles to demonstrate to these pagan magicians where true power came from. The Babylonians, though they were scientists and made legitimate discoveries (it’s thought that they invented the sailboat, chariot, wheel, and plow) were also very superstitious and placed high value on magic, sorcery, and other strange practices like bone readings. No doubt, the Lord put Daniel in their midst to display His power and truth in a foreign land. By planting His servant in a high position and giving him authority, Jehovah offered kings, princes and royals a chance to know Him as the Creator of all.
My friend, God may plant you in the middle of a foreign land that is full of pagans, and that’s okay! In fact, it’s a blessing because it presents a great opportunity for Him to reveal His power and divine nature through you. Though it’s easy to covet the work of full-time ministry or to dream about being surrounded by people of like mind and faith, remember that your light shines most brightly in the deepest darkness. Never underestimate the influence that comes through your willingness to stay in a place full of people who don’t share your values, because all it takes is one to make a difference! Follow Christ’s lead into a foreign land, be faithful to His call, and watch as He uses your obedience to transform hearts and culture.