Father, I thank you for your word because through it, we learn how we may experience ZOE, the abundant life. I love reading about Joseph and Daniel, reason being that they 'ministered' without necessarily having a 'ministry'. So many times, some of us think that we can only minister from a church building or even so that ministry ends when we're through with our 'reasonable service' with fellow believers. These two great men encourage me in knowing that my lifestyle is the biggest sermon I can preach and that I can minister from anywhere. Joseph didn't go to church for over a decade yet he ministered as a slave and in jail. Daniel wasn't a priest and he ministered in palaces and even from a lions den! Halleluyah! God can use you where you are today, you don't have to be international or incorporated, just willing.
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 in this way
I love Daniel because he's another shining example of being useful in the place of affliction. Daniel and friends had been taken into exile in Babylon, separated from family, tasked with learning a new language, tasked with learning new literature, this they acquiesced to but what they absolutely refused was to learn new customs and traditions that were CONTRARY to the will of God! Reminds me of Jesus words about "being in and not of this world." Yes, we are in the world, but we have all been given an assignment to go out and preach the gospel. You can't preach to the unsaved in tongues, we must speak a language they understand but we must not adopt their customs. I really needed this because I know I really have to resist the urge to 'blend' into my surroundings. Adapting to your environment does not entail adopting their way of life. Selah!
As I began to seek the face of God for answers and direction, concerning some challenges I'd been facing I was always led back to Daniel Chapter 1. I would read it and mentally assent however my main prayer focus was on v. 17,
'To these four young men, God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds'
But before 17, comes 11, 12, 13...I'm sure you get my drift and it is in those passages that Daniel and co. issue a 10 day challenge (Thanks Pastor Jamal Bryant!) . See v.12
Please test your servants for TEN DAYS: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink..Then compare....So he agreed and tested them for 10 days
I'd conveniently gloss over this Scripture but I believed the Spirit was leading me to do this. To give up my natural 'kings delicacies' for 10 days and replace it with His 'Kingdom delicacies' for 10 days. Hmm, would I say it was and still is hard because I'm still going through it. No, I'm not only eating vegetables and water but I have chosen to give up some things to focus on deepening my relationship with the Master. Is it easy? No! Do I have all the answers? Not yet! Have I fallen? Yes! Has it been rewarding? Triple yes. I thank God for my accountability partner (God bless you darling) because she has done a great job, keeping me on track spiritually and physically.
I want to issue this same challenge to you. Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What are you willing to give up to get there? In your relationship with God, what can you offer up as a sacrifice saying 'God, you know I would like to have this but I give it up to instead focus on my relationship with you?' Because truth is, it's not so much the giving up but the replacement (Holy Spirit I really need help with this). Its not so much not eating the kings meat but having vegetables and water instead. Its not so much turning off your favourite show but spending that extra hour in the Word, meditation and prayer.
The devil will come, he'll tell you that you don't need to do this, that you can't do this, if you fall he'll sing rubbish in your ears. If you expect him, you can prepare for him. Tell him this..
And at the end of the TEN DAYS, they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food....the king talked with them and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah: so they entered the kings service....... he found them TEN TIMES BETTER
Talk to God more, depend on Him always, get someone to keep you accountable. I know this post is for someone else apart from me and that's why I wrote it. God has so many plans He wants to fulfill on earth but He needs willing vessels to do it. You don't need a title to be used by God. Are you ready for ten times better? The challenge has been issued, are you up for it?
Remain blessed and highly favoured
Remain blessed and highly favoured