Have you made up your mind?
But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8 NASB).
If we began with the end in mind, would we live our lives differently?
In my job at a college preparatory school, I work with K-12 curriculum across the subjects areas. Teachers begin with the end in mind. We identify standards on the national and state levels based on skills and knowledge students need to know by the time they finish the current grade. We analyze the scope and sequence of the curriculum across the three school divisions, and then we create “road maps” through creative and innovative teaching for the students to follow from start to finish – always keeping the end goal in mind.
Beginning with the end in mind is not a new concept.
From the beginning, God had a plan. In the book of Genesis, God gave man the first great promise or prophecy for the end of time. He tells us in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (NIV). Enmity, or strife, will exist between the serpent (the adversary) and woman (representing man) and between his offspring and ours. Jesus will ultimately CRUSH Satan’s head, but in the meantime, Satan will bruise Christ. Thank goodness a bruise is not permanent!
Christ did not stay in the grave. Instead, He rose again, and someday so will we! He is our Living Hope.
Christ died and rose again for this very purpose–to be Lord both of the living and of the dead (Romans 14:9 NLT).
This is important for us to know because, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NASB).
Prophecy, written throughout the Old Testament, is spoken through specific people whom God chooses to be His messengers. The Hebrew word for prophet is nabiy’ and it means a spokesperson or speaker. Prophets are used to rebuke kings or nations or predict certain upcoming events (blueletterbible.org).
The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. ~ JI Packer
Have you made up your mind? What principles do you stand on and for what do you stand? Are your convictions based on the word of God, or are your principles based on your feelings and emotions?
Daniel grew up in a Hebrew home, which means he would have read the book of Genesis and understood the promise God gave the world in Genesis 3:15.
In the third year of King Jehoiakim’s rule of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and took it over. This was the first of three seiges which lasted a span of 70 years. By sight, one would suggest that the Babylonian’s gods were stronger than Israel’s God. But Daniel lived by faith, not sight.
You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him (Deuteronomy 13:4 NASB).
Daniel made up his mind ahead of time. He decided that he would not defile himself by eating food or drinking wine that could have been sacrificed to idols (Daniel 1:8). He would not sacrifice his faith for the faith of his captors for temporary satisfaction.
Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials (Daniel 1:9 NASB).
Daniel created a plan, and through perseverance, Daniel stood fast to his convictions. He knew there was something more. Although he could not see the end with his finite eyes, he knew he was created for a purpose, and God has an infinite plan.
This one decision set the course for Daniel for the rest of his life, and his friends followed.
Out of obedience comes great blessings.
If your heart begins with the end in mind, you can make up your mind ahead of time and create a “road map” for your life in this crazy world we live in today. Christ overcame and one day, so will we. Hold on tightly dear friend, one day He will wipe away every tear and make all things new.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever (Revelation 21:4 NLT).
Many Blessings today and always,