Be Determined

DETERMINED: Having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it.

In the book of Daniel, we see four young men who made a decision to remain set apart for the Lord. Despite what everyone else was doing around them, despite what the knowledge of the day deemed "good" and despite the pressure received from those in authority, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were determined to do what they knew God had commanded them to do.

As Jews, Daniel and his friends had specific commandments from God about what they were and were not allowed to eat. Under normal circumstances this was a no brainier; however, these four were not under normal circumstances. Daniel and his friends were captives in Babylon. Not only that, but they were being trained for royal service to the king. The king had commanded all these trainees to eat daily portions of his meat and wine, all top notch of course; nevertheless Daniel and his friend refused to accept it.

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. (Daniel 1:8, NLT)

The food the king provided would have gone against that which God had set out for them to eat, so Daniel and his friends had to make a decision - they chose not to compromise. Even though their decision would have "appeared" foolish, irrational or perhaps even a hindrance, God proved their obedience to be the better choice in the end.

At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. (Daniel 1:15-16, NLT)

As as a believer on track, you are in the world but not of it. At times the temptation to compromise your faith will come, but I want to encourage you to be determined like Daniel and friends. Sometimes the decisions we make don't automatically look like a good decision to those around us. Maybe God has asked you not to take part in a specific type of exercise or not to take part in a particular kind of treatment? Maybe those around you who are training you, or desire to see you succeed don't understand why you won't do these things even though they could help?

Let me tell you, nothing beats obedience. Be determined to be obedient. Be determined to trust God. If He has put a conviction in your heart, trust Him. Our success does not come from man or their methodologies, but from God. He is able to give us ability above all our peers, but will we stand for Him?

God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.(Daniel 1:17-20, NLT)


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