Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of sharing my testimony at a quaint little church called Mercy Hill. The church service was led by a dear friend and Pastor who I have learned so much from in the last four years of being a new creature in Christ Jesus. When Pastor Illman forwarded an e-mail to me about potentially sharing my testimony and recently published book, I was gleaming with excitement and joy because I had been praying for more opportunity to share my testimony with others.
I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
The service as a whole was beyond incredible. As I listened to the Word being proclaimed by Pastor Illman, there were moments where I knew the Lord was speaking to me about taking a stand for righteousness, like what Daniel did. If you aren’t familiar with Daniel in the Bible, let me give you a very brief understanding of who he was, and Who he stood for. I should add that the name Daniel means, “God is My Judge.”
A bit of an overview of Daniel:
- Daniel was a prophet living most of his life in a pagan society (a society that worshipped false gods)
- He was one of the most influential people that modeled how to live and work amongst those who do not follow God
- He was strong in living out his convictions, no matter what the cost
Reading through the first few chapters of Daniel, I am reminded of some very important principles in Daniel’s life that every Christian should take lessons from. The first lesson we can take from Daniel’s life is to stand for what is right.
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.
According to Daniel 1:8, I gather that Daniel was a man who stood for God’s values rather than giving into peer pressure. Daniel and his three friends were submissive to the king of Babylon, but only to a certain point.
There is a time where each of us needs to draw a line in the sand and say “no” to things that would go against God’s Word. Daniel knew that compromise would only lead to disappointment, and so with the help of the Holy Spirit, he decided to refuse the king’s delicacies.
Another point I would like to mention here is that Daniel and his three companions knew the difference between right and wrong, but they had the courage to do what is right. That’s what makes Daniel’s character so appealing.
Sometimes as Christians or even non-Christians, we know the difference between right and wrong, but choose to do things our own way. This must be extremely disheartening for God to watch as His own people choose to serve other things instead of the One true God Himself.
Once Daniel and his friends told the chief of the eunuchs that he, nor his friends, would not defile themselves with the king’s delicacies, the chief said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.” The chief of the eunuchs was trying to warn Daniel and his friends that they would look worse than the young men of their age if they didn’t eat what the king was offering to them (1:10).
On a side note, isn’t this a similar issue we face in our current generation? We see it all the time in our schools, where young people are being pressured to do things that they ought not to be doing. On social media, we are bombarded with messages that tell people they need to think, act and look a certain way in order to “fit in” to the mold of the current generation.
I am convinced that Daniel was not one of those people who compromised his faith in order to please others. I am also convinced that compromising our faith in order to please others is very harmful to ourselves and to those who are wanting to know more about God.
Daniel said to the steward, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then, let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of young men who eat the king’s portion of delicacies, and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” (1:13). At the end of ten days, Daniel and his friends appeared “better and fatter in flesh” than all the young men who ate the king’s portion of delicacies.
Isn’t it incredible? When we choose to serve and obey the Lord over what anyone else might think, we are blessed and rewarded for our faithfulness to Him. We may suffer the pain of being mocked, judged, stoned or even killed for our faith-but when we stand for God and His Word, He will bless us abundantly.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
My prayer for each of us is that as we continue to face ethical choices, we choose to stand for what is right. I pray that we would continue to be bold and courageous for God, as He will give us the strength to deal with whatever consequences come our way.