A life of integrity
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.” Daniel 1:6-10
There are times that we tend to not believe that God already equipped us with the resources we need within so we could live lives that will please Him. God wants to see those that made decision to place their trust in Him living victoriously when tough times come. This is only possible through the working of the Holy Spirit residing within every believer. There is a purpose and a connection between the time and circumstance in which we made the decision to put our trust to God and His call upon us. Events taking place will never catch God by surprise. He placed us precisely where we are for a reason. From the text, Daniel did not let the temptations of his day interfere with his relationship to the Lord. He knew that to make his life useful to God and that His testimony will speak of God’s faithfulness, he must be obedient in all things. Regardless of what the most powerful king in the world commanded, Daniel refused to compromise what he knew God required of him. History is replete with examples of Christian men and women who believed that God would work through them so they could make a significant difference for His kingdom. God placed Esther strategically in the king’s court at a crucial time so she could be used by God to save the lives of God’s people (see Esther 4). God placed Joseph strategically so he could make an impact to Pharaoh by becoming his most powerful adviser in Egypt. He also was used by God to save Jacob and his family from a devastating drought (see Genesis 41). Even when Daniel and his friends were far away from their home in Israel and their names were changed, this act of Pharaoh did not change their nature for they knew that their lives belong to God. By remaining faithful to God and steadfast in their faith in Him, they did not give in to what Pharaoh was asking them to do. They were strong in their conviction that giving in to what was asked of them to do would compromise their witness for the one true God of Israel. Are you allowing the influence of others determine how you will live your life? Are you following God even if people around you expressed their opposition to the ways of God? Are you allowing God to use you to make a difference in other people’s lives? Be strong in your conviction for your faithfulness will be rewarded.
Noel De Guzman