Intentionally resolving to be set apart for God
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” – Daniel 1:8 ESV
The story of prophet Daniel, whose name means ¨God is my judge,¨ is an interesting reminder for God´s people, living in the present world, to strong willingly uphold their faithfulness to the Lord. It teaches modern-day Christians to remain steadfastly in the Lord, despite being presented with things that may sway them mentally, morally and spiritually.
In today´s generation, the worldviews and culture formed by people are changing for the worse day by day. People´s reasoning tends to be based on their own definition of right and wrong. The concept of ¨majority¨ is so powerful. What used not to have a sense or immorally unacceptable became the ¨normal¨ just because many people believe it is. People continuously fight to distort the standards set by God when he designed the entire creation.
For this very reason, defending their faith and the belief system set by the one true God, the Most High above all creations, became difficult, if not possible, for God´s children. However, that should not be the case. As in the life of Daniel, we should be prepared for whatever attempt of desecration that could fall upon us.
Even before Daniel, along with his friends, got summoned by then Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar, he already made the decision, not to ¨defile¨ himself. He desired to do only the things that are pleasing to God, to the extent that he would not even let the king´s food enter his mouth. Because of his faithfulness, Daniel found favor with man and with God.
The Lord even used Daniel to reveal Himself to the historic king Nebuchadnezzar, as it is written in Daniel 4.
In verse three, the king exclaimed, ¨How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generations to generation.¨
Holiness among modern-day Christians
What´s unfortunate about the present believers is that we claim to be Christians, but sometimes, even the most basic facet of the Gospel, we cannot fully explain to others. Worse, we do not, sometimes, absolutely understand why we believe what we believe.
The lesson, therefore, is to resolve – make a definite and serious decision – to know where we stand, what we believe in, and what we can and cannot tolerate as followers of Christ. We should challenge ourselves to be ready to defend the hope that we have in Jesus, even before the world attempts to refute it.
As apostle Peter puts it,
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” – 1 Peter 3:14-17 ESV
As we fervently wait for the Lord, persecutions and temptations will surely come our way as Christians. Ask God, therefore, that He would strengthen you and give you the courage to keep your holiness. So that the Lord may be glorified when the world sees how your practice great integrity, obeying God and being concerned about His acceptance more than what the world tries to offer.
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