Dare to be a Daniel

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Here we find out more about Daniel than in any other place in the Bible. We know from Ezekiel 14 that Daniel was a righteous man. We know from Matthew 24 that Jesus considered Daniel a prophet, but here we see the overwhelming characteristic of Daniel; He was a man of conviction. He knew right from wrong, he knew the consequences of actions, and he knew how important a Godly testimony is in from of others. He decided that regardless of the circumstances, he was going to do right. He “purposed in his heart”. A life devoted to God must begin with a purpose in the heart. That is why many Christians fail in the time of temptation, they have no convictions, no decisions have been made regarding right and wrong. Imagine the inner strength of Daniel. Here was a young man, probably a teenager, held captive in the empire of the most powerful kingdom on Earth. And he decided that he would defy the wishes of the king of that kingdom. He would not defile himself. They could change his name, his residence, his lifestyle, but he would not defile himself. How can we be a person of convictions like Daniel? We must establish convictions. Someone has said that convictions are symbols of our love for God. Things that we will do or won’t do show the world our love for the Lord. Determine that there are some things that you will never do. Determine that there are some things that you will never stop doing. We see both in the life of Daniel. There are ingredients to these convictions. First, there must be a relationship with God. That is the most important part of a conviction. Second, it must have a basis upon scripture. With no scriptural backing, it is a prejudice not a conviction. For example, you can say “I have a conviction against chairs with wheels. I don’t think a Christian is right with God if he uses a chair with wheels”. You may firmly believe that, but there is no scriptural basis for that statement. Therefore, it is not a conviction, it is a preference.

If you do establish some convictions in your life, be prepared. There will be people who will not like it. And, believe it or not, there will be some Christians who will not like it. You may be called a “legalist”. You may be made fun of. But remember, God blesses those who love His word, and who establish biblical convictions. So as the song goes:

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.