But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Lately I’ve felt God nudging me, dealing with some key areas in my life; challenging me to “level up” in obedience, character, and integrity, to name just a few. Listen, I’m a rule follower. If the light is yellow, I at least try to stop. If I decide I don’t need the green beans in my grocery cart, I don’t set them down in the bread aisle. I take them back to the green bean aisle. Rule follower.
I can still see my Little Mama’s face. In those rare (okay, not so rare) times I was disobedient, she would roll her eyes toward the heavens and declare, “Rebecca, I wish you no physical harm. Just a child like yourself, someday.”
It should be no wonder, then, that I got two… very much like me. She’s smiling right now, elbowing Jesus and having a giggle. How about you? Do you like to obey? Do you like the idea that there are things and people you must obey? See, it’s one thing to simply do what’s right. It’s totally another to love doing what’s right. One is about obligation. The other, surrender. One leads to captivity. The other, freedom.
Daniel decided to simply obey God. Even though he’d been taken to a place of differing beliefs, habits, and values, he’d remain faithful to God’s precepts in Babylon. You might be asking, “What’s the big deal about food and wine?” You see, Daniel knew the food’s first portion was offered to idols, and some of the wine was poured out on pagan altars.
To partake of the delights that offend a righteous and holy God has consequences. To partake may cost your influence, your reputation. To partake may cost your life. How about you? Will you choose to obey God’s precepts in Babylon? Will you be taken captive by a corrupt and dying culture, or will you choose to love obedience and level up?
In what ways do you show obedience to the Lord? In what ways have you withheld obedience?