Daniel Week One, Day Five Read Daniel 1:18-21 A common occurrence in High School was for other kids to ask other people for a dollar, so they could grab a bottle of pop (back when a bottle of pop was a dollar from a machine) or grab something out of the vending machine. There were two kids in my class who both asked me to borrow a dollar around the same time. I didn’t typically have money to spare, but, it just so happened I was able to help them out these times. They both promised to pay me back, but I only ever saw my dollar back from one of the two. Over the course of the next several weeks, I was asked again by both of them if they could borrow a dollar. Guess which one I loaned a dollar to. When we show we are faithful, other find that they can trust us again. The same is true with God. When we are faithful to His ways, He will trust us with more. Because Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (also known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) had refused to compromise their convictions in following what God had told them to do with how they ate, God richly blessed them. He didn’t send them home or give them a lot of money, but God did give them wisdom and understanding. They were so far ahead of even the king’s servant that even the Babylonian king was blown away by their wisdom. God used the young Jews’ obedience in a dark situation to prepare them in ways they would have never experienced otherwise. In the moment, it can seem like living life God’s way isn’t quite worth it. We rationalize sin and compromise in the moment by saying things like “it’s not really hurting anyone,” “God will just forgive me for this,” and several other cop outs. But, it’s those moments that God wants to prepare us for the future. He wants us to learn to lean on Him, so we can stand firm in the moments we face opposition. Like Daniel and his friends, the best way for us to live is by betting our life on the fact that God’s way is the best way. When we trust God with our life, He’ll trust us with His power working through us. Many of us want to see change in our lives, and we want to have a greater sense of purpose, direction, and even determination to do what we need to do, but most of us don’t realize that the patterns in our lives are what’s setting us back. When we decide that, no matter what we come up against, we will lean on God and His ways, we can truly live the lives He created us to live. REFLECT: Are there some areas of your life in which you aren’t committed to living it “God’s way?” What areas are those? Why have you resisted trusting God with those areas? PRAY: Talk to God today about the areas of your life you haven’t given over to Him, and tell God why you haven’t committed to doing your best to live God’s way in your life. Ask Him to give you strength to follow Him no matter what. // 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?