I began reading in Daniel earlier this month. There’s so many stories we know from this book: the golden image (aka the “chocolate bunny” if you prefer the Veggie Tales version), the fiery furnace, the lions den. All of these wouldn’t be recorded if it wasn’t for Daniel’s resolve in chapter 1.
When King Nebuchadnezzar brought Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah (or you may know them as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,) to go through a year three process of learning the literature and language of the Chaldeans along with other educated youth, Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine that he drank (vs 8)
Resolve: (n) firm determination to do something.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego purposed in their hearts to be set apart to be used by their King. They went against the grain. They questioned what was so easily accepted by all others. They resolved to not fit in or go with the flow. They held themselves to God’s standards over the kings.
This is what I want. Resolve. Determination. Complete abandonment. To be wholly at Jesus’ disposal. To fulfill Scripture and not this culture’s standards. To go against the grain, at whatever cost, to please Jesus.
I began taking inventory of my own heart and life. What are some of the things in my life that is equivalent to “eating the king’s meat”? Where do I lack resolve? What worldly philosophies have crept in that I simply accept as “it is what it is”? What areas of my life have I not given up to Christ, or keep as “mine”?
For me, when I really stop and ponder, I think there are many areas of my life that don’t reflect a total devotion to God Almighty. Comparison. Self inflating. Self justification. Selfish ambition. Pride. Feminist ideology. Laziness. The way I talk to my husband. The attitude towards others. Dabbling in gossip. Impatience. Judgmental mindset. This list could be forever long. Thank Jesus that all of me, along with every flaw and sin, is covered by His blood.
After not eating the king’s meat, and living off of vegetables, the four men’s statures were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than those who ate the king’s food. At the end of the three years, the king found none like these four. In every area of appearance, wisdom and understanding, the king found Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be ten times better than all others. Suddenly, their step of faith wasn’t so crazy after all.
This world is not passive; it is actively pressuring us to surrender to a lesser life. Where would Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be if their mindset was to “just get by”? What if they didn’t resolve to be set apart from the world? How would their story be different?
O children of God, let’s resolve, like these four, to be absolutely determined to not let the things of this world move us. Let us listen to the King as he calls us to sanctification. Take inventory; what does the world pressure us with, and where are we lacking resolve? If we believe the Bible, why would we not fully follow it? When we follow His Word, we will be filled to overflowing. We will live a miraculously fuller life.