September 14, 2017. Daniel 1-3
In Order. Courage & Convictions
Many times in our lives we will come across decisions that will challenge our beliefs and honestly how much we truly trust the Lord. It is not always easy, and in some cases you may be thrown into some uncomfortable situations, but if we stand firm in our decisions and trusting that the Lord is with us throughout it, we will pass through the fires and onto the other side peacefully and unharmed. Which brings in Daniel.
He made a name for himself in the way he stood up to authority and held fast to his faith and convictions. In chapter one, Daniel and his three friends are chosen to be trained and taught for three years so that they may be able to serve the king. However, there is one thing that Daniel is not comfortable with and that is eating and drinking the food the king has asked them to be served. So he asks the servant if he could only be given vegetables, well the servant is not comfortable with that because he doesn’t want Daniel looking sickly. So Daniel challenges him:
1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.
13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”
14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young me who ate the royal food.
Often times we are intimidated by authority, or afraid to offend someone, or we just don’t want to seem like the odd one out; and we give in to what is being asked of us. It is hard sometimes to stick to our convictions and our beliefs, and it is harder today than it has been in the past, as it is easier to live life like we are of this world and not pilgrims passing through. Sometimes it is easier to accept what is offered then to say no and have to explain why. It is easier to go with the flow than be labeled as an outsider or ostracized. But guess what, God never said it would be easy. It is easy to accept the gift, but to live the life God wants is not. But, it is worth it. Just look at Daniel
1:17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
1:19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hanaiah, Mishael and Azariah; so the entered the king’s service.
None were equal. He was set apart in a good way. Chapter 2 and 3 show more examples of this. So next time we are questioning whether or not you should listen to those convictions, think of Daniel and watch how the Lord rewards you and uses you in ways you probably would have thought possible.