Sometimes we think the only place to flourish spiritually is to be in the midst of Christians. In our minds a good Christian must have his or her kids in a Christian school. We think we can only watch Christian television and only wear Christian clothes. Everything has to be Christian. We believe only then will we grow spiritually.
I don't want you to misunderstand me; I am not knocking these things. It is great to be surrounded by Christians, and I encourage you to seek out fellowship with other believers. But understand this—you can actually flourish spiritually in a difficult situation. Maybe you are in a school and you are not surrounded by people who love the Lord. Maybe you are in a job where you are surrounded by nonbelievers. Perhaps people take the name of God in vain or you are experiencing some other difficult situation, and you say, "I can't survive here spiritually!"
Now you very well may need to move out of that place—and you will have to ask God to give you wisdom. But it may be that God has you there for a reason. Did you know that you can grow spiritually and become a stronger Christian in an environment like that? Sometimes when we are only in a Christian environment, we can put our lives on spiritual cruise control. But sometimes when we are in a secular environment, it forces us to do one of two things. We either never live out our faith or we stand up for Jesus Christ.
Daniel took a stand in the midst of an ungodly world. He never compromised his godly principles. We too ought to purpose in our hearts not to defile ourselves in an ungodly world (see Daniel 1:8). Like Daniel, we must go into the world without being of the world.