"But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself." Daniel 1:8 NASB
I am studying the book of Daniel in my quiet time and thought I would share something that jumped out at me.
Daniel was taken captive, along with his countrymen, when he was just a youth. He was strong, good-looking and intelligent. So he gained the attention of the king's officials who were told to gather up youth of that caliber in order for them to be trained to serve on the king's court.
Daniel was young. He was faithfully serving Jehovah. He was taken captive with everyone else in his nation. But Daniel made up his mind. Daniel determined in his mind that he would be faithful to his God, Jehovah, Jesus Christ.
I once heard a preacher preach on the battlefield of the Christian life. I was astounded. He said the battlefield is between our ears. It's fought in our mind. Did you get that? It's in our mind. Just like Daniel, we must make up our mind.
Daniel decided BEFORE he was taken by the king's officials that he would not defile himself. He wasn't mean or offensive. He sought permission not to eat and drink the king's food and wine. He offered the official a solution that the official could agree to without harming himself. And God granted Daniel favor.
You know the story, Daniel and his friends fared better that the other youth who did eat the king's choice food. God blessed Daniel. Being taken captive must have been terrifying. But Daniel made up his mind to serve our Lord. Even in the midst of God's blessing, Daniel was thrown to the lions and his friends were cast into a fiery furnace.
This is the heart of the matter. Daniel and his friends made up their minds to stay faithful to God before hand. So when they were faced with terrifying trials or terrifying consequences because of their faithfulness, they stayed true. This was their heart;
"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18
Here is my take-away:
- Make up your mind to serve Jesus faithfully, not matter what.
- Then do it.
- When, not if, trials and/or consequences of being faithful to Jesus come;
- KNOW that the God we serve is ABLE to deliver you.
- But if He chooses not to deliver you in the way you desire,
- Let it be known that you will NOT renounce your faith.
Even writing this is difficult, because we know that our brothers and sisters throughout the world are making this choice every day. Yet, here, where we still have freedom to worship our God, we wimp out in sharing the gospel because we're afraid ...
Dare to be a Daniel!