SERIES: Hunting Giants
MESSAGE: The Giant of Conformity
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 1:5-16

MESSAGE SUMMARY
There are giants in the land, both moral and spiritual, and we need courage to confront them! Truth is, the world around us is not at all sympathetic to the Christian cause. In fact, they would like nothing more than to silence us and make us conform to their standards. As our Lord said, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:19, NLT). Daniel and his three friends were pressured to conform, but they refused. Let’s find out the source of their strength to make such a courageous stand.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: August 15, 2021
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “The Giant of Conformity”
Text: Daniel 1:5-16

Main Point
There are giants in the land, both moral and spiritual, and we need courage to confront them! Truth is, the world around us is not at all sympathetic to the Christian cause. In fact, they would like nothing more than to silence us and make us conform to their standards. As our Lord said, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:19, NLT). Daniel and his three friends were pressured to conform, but they refused. Let’s find out the source of their strength to make such a courageous stand.

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” —Romans 12:2 (PHILLIPS)

Talk about It

  1. What unexpected pressures to conform have you experienced? Looking back, can you see how God worked behind-the-scenes? Read Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28-32, and Philippians 1:12.
  2. What have you let in your life that may be defiling you (e.g., what you look at or listen to, or who you spend time with)? Where is your line in the sand when it comes to conforming to worldly things?
  3. Read Romans 12:1-3 and 16-21. What would your life and influence look like if you chose, like Daniel, to purpose in your heart to do what is right before God regardless of the pull of the world?
“Saying no to conformity will open the door of opportunity.” —Pastor Skip

Make It PracticalPray
Father, sometimes we are faced with unexpected challenges to conform. You warned us that the world would want to squeeze us into it’s mold. But You are sovereign and working behind-the-scenes. Help us to purpose in our hearts, like Daniel, with inward conviction to honor You. You’ve charged us to occupy until you come. Pressure us inwardly by Your Holy Spirit to be self-controlled, winsome, and kind—not afraid to petition for change. We know You are a God who honors commitment. Use us for your purposes so that many might know You, the one true God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Cross references: Exodus 2:11-12; Leviticus 11:4-8; Proverbs 5:21; Romans 12:2; 16:7; 2 Timothy 2:24

OUTLINE


  1. The Predicament (vv. 5-7)

  2. The Protest (v. 8a)

  3. The Petition (vv. 8b-14)

  4. The Payoff (vv. 15-16)



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