Good morning Friends,
I trust you had a great weekend.
Today, we go further in gleaning from the Book of Daniel. This teaching seeks to re establish some of the lessons we learned in the first installment of this series “Made for More”. I trust it would bless your heart indeed.
The following verse was the turning point for Daniel and his friends in the land of Babylon.
Daniel 1:8 (NKJV) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
You perhaps need to understand the context of their reality to be able to appreciate the weight of the decision they made to Stand Out. They were new in a very organized and powerful system as Babylon, where no one dared defy the King’s order. No one could defy any instruction given by the King, then here came 4 rookies who were new to the system and just by themselves decided not to give in to the dominant culture of their new territory… how dare they!
There are a few things that stand out for me in this verse of scripture which I’d like to share with you today. I pray you receive God’s Word with Grace as you read on;
1. Every Culture has a Meat & Drink: Every culture has a meat and drink that sustains that culture. Without the meat and drink, that culture could not exist. For we believers, our meat is the Word, and our drink is the Spirit. If you will consistently consume the meat and drink of any culture around you, you will become exactly the image of that culture. Daniel knew this and he insisted on not consuming the meat and drink of a culture that was alien to the culture of God’s Kingdom.
If the meat and drink of a kingdom is perishable, then that kingdom is perishable. But if you dine and wine the incorruptible Word and Spirit of God, how could you remain corruptible?
What have you been eating and drinking friend? Have you been eating the delicacies of a Kingdom that will not last forever? And drinking from cisterns that have been meddled with? We eventually saw that the Kingdom of Babylon, mighty as it may have seemed was only transient and ultimately inferior to the Kingdom men like Daniel represented. No wonder Daniel survived and thrived under 4 different administrations (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus), because his allegiance was to a Kingdom that will never pass away. His relevance was indeed preserved.
2. You do have a Choice: Many times, people make it look like they do not have a choice in determining whether they conform to the dominant culture of a certain anti-God system or not, but Daniel shows us the exact opposite. You couldn’t have had it harder than Daniel did. In a system ruled by the iron fist of Nebuchadnezzar, where they were coming in as prisoners of war and victims of captivity. They ought to have felt naturally helpless in determining whether or not they ate the delicacies of the king.
They sure looked impoverished themselves and appeared like they could use some king class meals, but hey, as Kingdom Ambassadors, we must be careful not to meddle with dainties that are not consistent with our identities in Christ. You do have a choice, stop acting like you don’t! You can choose to say NO. Titus 2:11. The worst thing that could happen is for you to risk your life, tough as that may sound, becoming ready to defend your stand no matter what it takes is the only way the Gospel has ever moved from place to place. Thank God we’re not afraid of those that have power over the body alone.
This Gospel we conveniently access today was blood bought by Jesus and blood spread by the apostles and martyrs. You’ve got to get to a point in your life where you decide and say “NO!” even if your life, safety and comfort were at stake. Decide in advance to stand out, count the cost and stand anyways!
3. Be Wise: Daniel did not go straight to the King, defying him to his face and putting his life in jeopardy by foolishness and over-zealousness. He could have gotten killed for nothing! Be Wise! Daniel by wisdom sought for a way of defying the king without making much of a noise about it. Your context determines your strategy. We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us into the best approach in the most complicated situations per time.
Daniel was wise enough to approach the head Eunuch privately for a concession and consideration and God gave him favour with the Eunuch. The King didn’t have to know about this. This was the strategy for Daniel in this context. However, there came a time that 3 of his friends had to defy the king to his face and risked being burnt alive.
Many times, people ask situational questions that really have no direct answers but are completely dependent on the leading of the Spirit at the given time. For example, someone could say Rahab “lied” her way into the lineage of Grace… Hmmn. I will leave that proceeding to the court chambers of your heart. *smiles* But the point here is that there is no blanket approach when it comes to being led by The Holy Spirit.
It is imperative to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit per time as we seek to execute his agenda upon the face of the earth.
I hope these nuggets blessed your heart as they did mine. Do well to share with friends and have a productive week ahead.