Daniel Week One, Day Two Read Daniel 1:6-10 Just last year I had a habit of getting up six days a week, every week, and running at least a few miles every morning. Without fail, I would typically be up before the sun came up and set the course of my day off on the right track by exercising. As things got busy, I let things slide a bit, and I often found myself running later in the day and even sometimes at night. Then, I missed a few days here and there, and, before I knew it, I hadn’t ran in a month or two. We all have patterns and habits we operate by. When they are good patterns, it’s healthy for us. But, when they are bad patterns, it can be disastrous. Among the young Jewish people taken from Jerusalem to serve the king in Babylon, there was a pattern. The Babylonians would quickly try to make the Jews become more like them by immersing them in their culture with things like what they ate and more. The problem was that what the Babylonian’s ate was against the foods that God had told the Jewish people to eat. So, when it came time to eat, Daniel had a decision to make. Would he follow the pattern of everyone else, compromise his convictions toward God, and eat the food? Or, would he step up and follow God’s pattern and refuse to eat the food? Daniel chose to ask permission to abstain from the king’s food, so he could honor God with what he ate. We are faced with similar choices nearly every day. Our world operates differently than the way God intends for it to. At every turn, our convictions are challenged, and we are tempted to compromise our faith in order to fit in with the crowd. Life itself is a product of the patterns we follow. So if we want to initiate meaningful change in our lives, we should start by changing our patterns. Like Daniel, we have a choice to make. Are we going to follow the world’s pattern or God’s? REFLECT: Does the pattern of your life more closely match the pattern of how the world typically operates or how the kingdom of God operates? What are some positive and negative patterns you have in your life? PRAY: In your prayer time today, talk to God about the positive patterns you have in your life and thank Him for helping you continue in those. Also, share with Him the negative patterns in your life, and ask Him to help you change them into something that more closely resembles His kingdom instead of the world. // TWO-A-DAYS // GO A LITTLE FARTHER WITH YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS // Go through these questions with your spouse, kids, or friend, or you can even journal about the answers to these questions:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the toughest part of your day?
- Where did you mess up today?
- Where did you see God today?