“Daniel purposed in his heart...”
Daniel 1:8 [NKJV]
Daniel was a victim of circumstances far beyond his control.
King Nebuchadnezzar had conquered his homeland and carried him off into exile in Babylon. He lost his freedom, his home, his culture, his friendships and his status as one of Israel’s nobility.
He had to learn to speak a foreign language and live in a place he never wanted to be. If you’d been Daniel, wouldn’t you have been tempted to focus on the things you couldn’t control, like complaining what a bad leader Nebuchadnezzar was, blaming exile for your unhappiness and feeling sorry for yourself? Not Daniel! He “determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food...” (Daniel 1:8).
He spent time thinking about what he most deeply valued and decided to honor God and live by his convictions; even in small things.
Small battles train us to win big ones. If Daniel hadn’t taken action early on, he wouldn’t have had the strength to say no to idol worship and face the lion’s den without fear or compromise.
Maybe you can’t do anything right now about the house you live in or the job you work at, but you can change your life by taking action in small things. Maybe like Daniel it will involve what you eat, what you feed your mind, or what comes out of your mouth. You can refuse to allow your boss or your spouse the power to dictate what kind of mood you’ll be in based on how they treat you.
Like Daniel, you can choose. When you “purpose in your heart” to honor God, He blesses you and becomes involved in your life in ways you never thought possible.
Pastor Ng Francis