Daniel Week One, Day Three Read Daniel 1:11-14 A few months ago, a friend of mine started working out at the same gym I go to. We typically go early in the morning. I’ve discovered that I’m much more likely to actually get up when the alarm goes off, stumble out the door, and drive to the gym when I’ve already told my friend that I’m going to be there. If I tell him I might show up, and I wait to see how I feel in the morning, I hardly ever go. Mostly because nobody feels like working out at 5 in the morning. My desire to go doesn’t change in either circumstance. The only thing that changes is the fact that I decide before the moment comes what I’m going to do. When faced with the decision of whether or not he would eat the foods that were forbidden, Daniel didn’t have much deciding to do. He had already made up his mind before hand that he wouldn’t defile himself by eating food that God wouldn’t approve of. He had made a predecision that he was going to follow God’s pattern and not the pattern of everyone else around him. Because he had already decided what he was going to do, it was easy for him to live out his decision. It still took guts and courage, but it was an easy call because he had already made it. Daniel trusted that God would provide for him without eating the king’s food, so he asked the Babylonian official if they could give God’s way a shot. One of the greatest ways to change any pattern in your life is to pre-decide what you are going to do.  That’s the reason diets like the Atkins diet work.  It’s not really as much about the low cards as it’s about people predeciding that there are certain things they will not eat.  Because they’ve already made the decision, they are far more likely not to take part. It’s the same with your spiritual life, health and even relationships.  If you predecide what you are going to do, then you have the greatest chance to change your patterns. What decisions do you need to make now about the choices you make in the future? If you wait to try to make the decision in the moment, there’s a greater chance you won’t be where God wants you to be. REFLECT: What are some decisions you typically make in the moment and look back on with disappointment with how you handled the situation? What are some predecisions you can make with God to avoid those types of things in the future? PRAY: In your prayer time today, ask God what decisions He would want you to make in your life. Ask Him to help you “resolve not to defile yourself” in those situations the way that Daniel did. // 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:

  1. What was the best part of your day?
  2. What was the toughest part of your day?
  3. Where did you mess up today?
  4. Where did you see God today?
READ THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT: Today’s Reading: Luke 6]]>