We were talking about an idea of praying for the community you are in – even (especially) if you were in exile.  The idea is that if the place does well, you do well.  This idea works in any situation you find yourself in.  If you don’t particularly like your job – pray for it to do well, don’t like your neighborhood?  Pray for it to do well.  Don’t like the Nation you live in?  Pray for it.

About the best example of this I can think of is from the life of Daniel.  Daniel lived in the worst years in the history of Israel.  As a young man, he saw Jerusalem overrun, the Temple destroyed and he and those who survived were taken captive and moved far away.  As if that were not bad enough, they were required to learn about and live within the culture of their captors.  During all this, we learn that Daniel decided that no matter what – he would put God first.  This is a pretty astounding decision for a young man!  As a result of putting God first, God saw to it that Daniel served this pagan king better than anyone else did.  In fact, he wound up serving 5 pagan kings with distinction.

Was there compromise?  Yes, there was.  Daniel compromised his relationship with the kings and not God.  When there was a conflict between his faith and his job – the job suffered.  He stood up to a lunatic (have you read what Nebuchadnezzar was like?), The king had no compunction about throwing you (or your friends) into a fiery furnace, Daniel himself spent the night with savage lions.  It was not easy, he had a lot of enemies.

Face it folks, life here on earth (not just Elko) is not getting any better and I am afraid it is not likely to (no matter who gets elected President).  More and more we are going to be forced into a position where we are going to have to compromise on something.  Our call is clear, it is the Lord we serve and Him alone deserves our loyalty – no matter what.  However, if we can pray earnestly for this place, we may find things get (a little) more bearable.

Bring on that furnace!