I'm called by the Lord to preach and teach His Word. This blog is a start to be faithful to His call on my life. It's amazing to preach the Word of the Lord and more fulfilling than I'd ever imagined!
Jeremiah 20:9 (KJV) states, "...But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."
Friday, July 22, 2016
Dare to be a Daniel: Purposeful Determination
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion
of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of
the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
(Daniel 1:8 KJV)
when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his
windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees
three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did
aforetime. (Daniel 6:10 KJV)
**This post is the third post in the Dare to be a Daniel series.
Returning to our study of Daniel,
today we are going to look at the decision Daniel made and how he determined to
live his life, even if that meant going a different direction than those around
him. Keep in mind, when the book of
Daniel opens, Daniel is a youth who grew up in Judah (south) during the days
when Israel (north) was divided. In Judah,
many had strayed from the Lord and living as He desired they live, instead they
lived like their pagan neighbors.
In Daniel 1:8
we read that: “…Daniel purposed in his heart
that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with
the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs
that he might not defile himself” (emphasis mine) (KJV).
Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 defines
purposed like this: “Intended; designed;
applied to things. …Resolved; having formed a design or resolution; applied
to persons. I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” As we will see, Daniel followed through on his
convictions and did not defile himself with the king’s food and wine.
Photo Credit: C. Meissner
By respectfully approaching those in charge of training the young men, Daniel
was able to propose a test for his friends and himself (eating only vegetables and
drinking only water). The foods of
Babylon were likely defiled (offered to idols), still had blood in them—in other
words, not kosher. Moreover, the meat
may have been from one of the unclean animals that God told Israel they were
not to eat (see Leviticus 11). In this
way, Daniel (and his friends) passed the test regarding food with flying
colors. On the other hand, Adam and Eve,
while still in the garden failed the test in the area of food.
In reading the first chapter of
Daniel, we know these young men pass the “food test” with “flying colors”—clearly
God was at work here—God blessed them physically, intellectually, spiritually,
and in many other ways. They were used
mightily by God and those around them took notice.
The faithfulness of Daniel’s friends—Shadrack, Meschach, and Abendego
earned them a trip to the fiery furnace, due to their determination to bow to
God alone and not an idol. As we know,
God brought them through it, showing His power and might to King Nebuchadnezzar
and all of Babylon. To read this
experience in its entirety, please see Daniel 3.
Photo Credit: C. Meissner
Daniel’s faith was a life-long faith, of dedication to the Lord and His
commands. Even on his own, separated
from his family and religious nurture he stayed true to what he was taught as a
youth (see Proverbs 22:6). What about
our faith—could it withstand separation from family and church?
What about the young people in our lives—how
deeply rooted in the faith are they? How
can we best prepare them for the inevitable attacks they will experience throughout
the rest of their lives? How can we
prepare to be attacked due to our beliefs?
We see in Daniel a portrait of how to live a life that is God-centered
and God directed while in a less than godly culture. Babylon of Daniel’s time is not so unlike our
own time. living for the day, acquiring one
more “thing”, a thirst for “power”, the desire to be their own “god” drove the
Babylonian culture, as well as our Western, First World culture. Sadly, even the church has compromised and bought
into the worldly mentality, at least at times.
However, there is a different way.
Compromise—compromise is something Daniel and his friends did not
do. Compromise is easy, go with the flow
type thinking, yet it is deadly in a spiritual sense. The moment a person decides to compromise
makes it that much easier to do it in the future. When others see us compromise our witness is
When have you been tempted to compromise
your beliefs just to not face harsh treatment?
I encourage you to take time to examine your heart, to discover where
you may have compromised your beliefs.
God is gracious to forgive us when we come to Him repenting of our
sins. It is not too late (or early!), no
matter what your age to turn (or return) to God. He is ready and waiting with arms open wide
to receive you.
Dare to be a Daniel this week!
To be continued…
Please join with me in prayer:
Everlasting God, thank You for the truths in Your Word—through Your
Holy Spirit illuminate Your Word in such a way that it does exactly what You desire. Direct our examination of our hearts, increase
our sensitivity to sin in our lives, and lead us to repentance. Increase our faith, so we have the strength
to not compromise our beliefs. In Jesus’
Name, we pray. Amen.
From My Heart to Yours,
Beth Moore’s Daniel:
Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy (2006, LifeWay Press) was the
inspiration for many ideas in this sermon/blog post.