Daniel was enslaved in a foreign land; he was far from his home, his dreams, his hopes, and his religious freedom. Finding himself stripped of everything, even his name, he was in the worst of situations. Yet, he did not succumb to self-pity and become a victim of his circumstances. He proved himself to be a resilient agent of God in a pagan culture that had no respect for the one true God or for the values that Daniel held dear.
Titus 1:1-2; Eph 6:16; Ps 7:10; Dan 1:1-2; Gen 12:2-3; Dan 1:8; Dan 1:10
In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Eph 6:16) God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right. (Ps 7:10) But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. (Dan 1:8)
Our society is becoming more and more pagan and antagonistic toward Christians and Biblical values. In addition to the conflict between our culture and our faith, we face times of personal discouragement, loss, temptation, challenge and hopelessness. We must decide, as Daniel did, not to be victims of our circumstances, not to defile ourselves with the culture we live in. God calls us to be resilient agents for him in the midst of difficulties and disappointment. God calls us to be His agents in a world that is sadly broken and in need of his love, grace and forgiveness. We are not victims! We are part of God’s plan!
Is living your faith hard to do in your workplace, school, or home? Do you have a small circle of believers who pray for, support and encourage you? How do you respond when people scoff at Christian values as being old-fashioned and intolerant?
Determine that you will not defile yourself with the world’s values. Ask God for grace and strength to hold tight to your beliefs, even in the face of adversity. If you are not part of a small group of believers, find one, create one; make it happen!
Oh God, you are my strength and my shield. Make me a strong and resilient agent for you. I know you have a plan for me no matter what my circumstances may be. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.