Survival Principles #8

How to Frustrate Your Enemies


Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!

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How to Frustrate Your Enemies

“At this, the administrators and satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally, these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the Law of his God.’”
— Daniel 6:4-5 (NIV)

When I was a kid, I was a bellhop in a Christian resort hotel. One of the fascinating characters who came to the hotel each summer was a chess Grandmaster. Because of his reputation, chess players from miles around would come to challenge him. I remember his playing twelve players at a time on boards lined up in a row on tables in the large lobby of the hotel. He had such a photographic memory he would know on all twelve boards if an opponent made an improper move!

This man befriended me and would explain chess strategy to me, a very amateur player. One thing stuck with me. He said, “Larry, people who don’t know chess don’t place much value on the pawn. They will sacrifice one with little concern. That’s foolhardy. You give me a one pawn advantage and I will whip any chess player in the world.” Great chess players, like great military strategists, know the value of not giving the opponent any advantage, of not “giving ground.”

Daniel knew this same principle. He lived his life in such a way that he did not “give ground” to his adversaries in any area of his life. The verses quoted at the head of this section are stunners to me. By the admission of Daniel’s own enemies, preoccupation with matters of his faith was Daniel’s only aberration. His life, work and character were impeccable.

Survival Principle: Tend well every area of your life and work. Not to do so gives your enemies an advantage. 

Play loose with your work responsibilities, and someone else will exploit this negligence to get your job. Abandon the needs of your spouse and family, and the erosion in your home will wash away the foundation of your life and work. Buy into the “little white lie” approach to total truthfulness and transparency, and watch the Enemy undermine your personal and professional credibility.

Survival Principle: Be willing to be viewed as a fanatic to pursue your relationship with God and practice your faith. 

Someone once said, “If someone won’t miss a ball game, they’re a ‘fan.’ If they won’t miss Bible study, they’re a ‘fanatic.” Extremism in the pursuit of God is no sin; mediocrity is no virtue. An agent’s assistant told me of being asked by coworkers where she was going as she left the office. To her associates’ surprise, she declared without embarrassment, “I’m going to my Bible study.” On a visit to Warner Brothers studios, I noticed a small picture of Jesus tacked to the wall of a secretarial bay along side pictures of the secretary’s children. I said to her, “Are you a follower of that man?” Without a moment’s hesitation she said, “He’s my best friend.”

The truly faithful are commonly accused of “fanaticism” by the unfaithful. Deal with it.

Could our enemies say of us that they could find no fault, no “corruption,” and no “negligence”? If so, this is proof that we have not “given ground” to them. Ephesians 4:27 declares, “Do not give the Devil a foothold.” Daniel didn’t, and it worked for him.


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This post has 3 Comments

  1. Suzy Taylor Oakley on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 6:16 am

    So much truth and good advice here, Larry. This is convicting. Where have I been lacking in the consistency of my character? The world is watching, and the enemy roams the earth seeking to devour. Better: The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth seeking those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. My prayer is that He would find me faithful.

    Thank you for the admonition.

  2. Frederick E. Esters on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 2:09 am

    There is so much freedom and power in TRUTH.
    Thank You for this faith-filled reminder.

  3. Elaine Helms on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Great reminder. I so agree with the principle of doing our work with excellence as followers of Jesus. Being squeaky clean in all areas of our lives will not only confound the enemy, it is a powerful witness to those learning to walk with Jesus as well as to those who need to know the Savior. Appreciate your ministry to Hollywood so much.

    God bless you.

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