But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (Daniel 1:8)
Daniel was in no position to bargain. He was a captive of Israel’s dreaded conquerors, the Babylonians. They were a cruel, severe people - - God’s hammer of judgment sent to bring the nation of Israel to repentance through a season of severe punishment. Yet, this teenage boy saw a much bigger picture. Though his circumstances might object, Daniel knew and believed firmly in the person and power of the God of Israel. He understood that though the Lord was angry with His children, He was still their God - - still faithful, still merciful, still present, and still worthy of obedience and worship.
Daniel’s world was filled with limits, because he was a slave. He had no rights, no clout, no earthly possessions, no money, no influence, and seemingly no hope. His was a world of “can’t.” So Daniel did the one thing he could do, and he exercised power over the one element in his world he could control. He made up his mind - - but Daniel purposed in his heart . . . The remarkable life he lived from that point forward was only possible because he simply set himself to honor God Almighty in spite of adverse circumstances. So it is with us today, and only those with a steadfast and unshakable devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ find the strength to stand and live for Him in evil times. I believe there is no more powerful force in the universe than a made up mind! Have you purposed in your heart to follow Jesus? Is your mind made up?
Let's Pray - Father, as the old songs says, "I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back." Thank You for the gift of a made up mind. Amen.