Stand Firm/Love Well | What Happens in the Fire | Do Not Defile
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself… Daniel 1:8
Before the king’s edict, before the fiery furnace, Daniel had made a vow that he would not become like the idol-worshiping people who had captured him. Because the king had chosen him and his three friends as four of Babylon’s Promising Stars, he was offered the best the pagan world could produce. Delicacies from the king’s kitchen, wine aged to perfection, and the promise of a bright future were theirs if they learned to play the game. But that game had extremely high stakes. Daniel could forget his parents’ God and throw himself wholeheartedly into the culture around him. Or, he could defy the king’s edict, reject forbidden food, and face severe consequences. Before Daniel said no to temptation, he had already purposed in his heart.
The heart is where action begins. We like to blame or make excuses for our sin, but our hearts decide who they will obey long before we act. We made the decision when we bowed at the cross and invited Jesus to be Lord of our lives. Choosing sin is no longer an option. When we purpose in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves, we also know there will be earthly consequences for that decision. We probably won’t face a fiery furnace, but we may face mockery, rejection, or loss of relationships and jobs. Most of the world and even some in the church will misunderstand us. When temptation came, Daniel had the power to resist because he had already purposed in his heart. Have you?
Final Thought: Have you purposed in your heart that you will not defile yourself with anything displeasing to God?
Prayer: Father, I want that kind of courage. I let the opinions of people around me influence my decisions. But now, I purpose in my heart that I will obey you, love you, and serve you alone. Sin is no longer an option. In Jesus’ name, Amen.