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Purposed in My Heart

Daniel 1:8, 11-14 (ESV)

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.


Recently, two dear friends of mine gave me the book, “The Daniel Plan – 40 Days to a Healthier Life”. I am looking forward to reading this book and finding ways to better care for my body like Daniel did. The diet Daniel wished to consume was considerably different than what he was being subjected to, living and serving in the Babylonian court under King Nebuchadnezzar. It wasn’t just Daniel’s preference, but a steadfast conviction not to defile his body by eating the king’s choice of food, which consisted of items considered unclean to a Jewish man.

Daniel was further conflicted because through the prophet Jeremiah, God had commanded the exiled people to serve their pagan masters for the betterment of the kingdom (Jeremiah 29:4-7). He knew he had to be healthy to obey God’s will.

Daniel had a choice to make. He and his friends could compromise their beliefs and take the easy route by submitting to the diet dictated by the king. Or, knowing they would potentially face harsh consequences, they could defy the king, and refuse to eat the foods provided to them. After all, when God is clear as to what we should do, we must obey Him and do what we know is right, regardless of the possible consequences.  

But perhaps there was another way that would allow Daniel and his friends to live out their convictions, while also showing others the value behind their choice? A way that would allow them to serve their pagan masters, but not compromise their steadfast loyalty to their God?  

Through the test Daniel asked the steward to allow, Daniel was able to accomplish both goals:
he put his unrelenting faith in God on full display because he knew God would keep him fit and healthy. By staying fit and healthy, he would fulfill God’s desire for him and his people to serve their pagan masters for the betterment of the kingdom.

Daniel was a resourceful man, and a resourceful man can always find a way if he lives out his convictions and seeks God’s will.

Action Steps

Have you ever found yourself conflicted with a decision? Can you relate to Daniel and his predicament? Finding ways to live out your Christian convictions to serve God, despite what others may think, can sometimes be difficult. It takes purposed planning to accomplish your goals. And it always helps if you pray, read His word, and listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you!

Heavenly Father, thank You for always being here for me when I am struggling to do Your will. Help me to be strong in my convictions to serve You, and to be smart and resourceful in how I accomplish my goals to serve You. Lord, help me to always be purposed in my heart to look up and seek Your will for my life, not my own. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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