Daniel Chapter 1
Ashpenaz: Daniel, again! Why haven’t you eaten your food and wine?
Daniel: Thanks Ashpenaz, but I can’t take it. Am good with just some vegetables and water.
Ashpenaz: Really Daniel? The food is good and a little wine won’t hurt you know, plus it’s the King’s wine! The purest of them all! Have some, just taste!
Daniel: Naaaahhh! Thank you Ashpenaz, but let me stick to my diet! You should try mine too, it will help you lose your tummy you know(Laughs).
Ashpenaz: (Laughs)…What about Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego? Have they eaten yet?
Daniel: Actually we are all on Vegetables and water, they just left to pick up our scrolls, we are having bible study in a few!
Ashpenaz: Couldn’t you guys bend a little? You are so up-tight with everything! What if you get emaciated and the King has placed you under me? Don’t you think you are putting my work in jeopardy?
Daniel: Ashpenaz, relax, our God is in control. Give us 10 days and then review our appearance.
(AFTER 10 DAYS)
Ashpenaz: Wait! Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, Abednego! Have you been to the gym? You are all looking so fit! Vegetables and water? Who is this God you serve? What is His name? Where does He live? I want to know Him! When can I meet Him? Does He live very far? What do I need to carry to see Him? Wine? Food? Does he take new recruits, visitors?
Shadrack: (laughs) Ashpenaz! We have a lot to tell you about our Lord. But He is Yahweh, mighty and great in all He does and nothing is impossible with Him!
Abednego:(laughs more) …
Meshack:(laughs harder) …
Daniel: Ashpenaz we got to go! King Nebuchadnezzar needs to witness our God for himself! (Flexes a muscle).
I couldn’t help think about the conversation between Ashpenaz, the chief of King Nebuchadnezzar officials and the four mighty men, Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego.
Well, that imagery is all up in my head, not that the conversation went exactly as I have written.
The more I read it, the more I am glossed with a little bit of frothy guilt – just a little bit to remind me the flood of His graciousness over me. I know and believe that I do not walk in condemnation, but I still feel as though I should have done more for Christ when I was 20!
Yes, time has gone but I bless the Lord who gives back what no man can – TIME. With God everything is possible. My heart goes out to every young soul this day, do not conform to the standards and the patterns of this world – Romans 12:2.
You live in the world but not of the world – John 17:16. Remember that as you sleep, as you eat, as you walk, as you date, as you wait for a spouse, as you look for a spouse, in everything you do, you should glorify the Lord – 1st Corinthians 10:31. The Lord who bought with a price, sealed by the promise of the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 1:13– who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory
Daniel, Shadrack and Meshack and Abednego capture me with their resolve. They were Hebrew boys captured and taken to the Babylonian exile. Babylon was a powerful city in the world. It had walls almost 91 meters, 10 meters deep and 2 meters thick. That city right there is one to marvel about!
They were to be assigned to the king’s service. What intrigues me most about this Scripture, is that Daniel resolved not to eat the Kings food and wine, that he may not defile himself. He, together with Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego put their testimony of their faith in God before wealth, favor, power and status that would come due to their disposition in the King’s court.
Do you know how old they were? They were approximately 15-17 years of age, yet, they deliberately made a choice to keep their testimony. That is young. So young, yet we are very busy excusing that age as “the age to make mistakes that you can learn from.” True, most of us make mistakes then that engrave indelible scars on us forever. My prayer to you as one in the season of singleness is, if you can learn from Christ, glean as much from Him. He is the true North. You can have a resolve. Scars can be beauty marks, but wisdom is a crown of honor and glory – Proverbs 4:9.
“Those days were not like this days!” you say! Are you sure that it was that fluid for them? Are you sure it was any easier for them? Cut form their families at a very young age, don’t you think it would have been easier for them to fit in, to conform, so as to keep their heart off the gaping holes of loss?
We are very fortunate to live in country that professes Christianity. Babylon was a place with nothing but false gods, orgies, wantonness and all kinds of sexual misuses. Temple prostitution was common at every corner so we can safely say that the pressure to conform was real.
The bible terms Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego as handsome and skilled men who had apt abilities specially in literature – they were quite a catch for anyone, I must say. But they held onto their God. Am sure as they walked down the streets of Babylon, prostitutes tried at every corner to catch their attention but the boys did not relent on their faith.
It was a great resolve! To keep their zips up while their bodies were raging with testosterone, and SEX was casual at every street. It was a great resolve, a deliberate resolve to keep their testimony and glorify the Lord in a foreign land. A land that knew not about the God who delivered them from the hand of the hardheaded Pharaoh into their promised land. Could you say the same about you?
You see the incessant search for spouse has made most us keep away our testimony in Christ. That is spiritually hazardous. You don’t say anything about Christ, about your faith in the Lord lest he/she finds you unappealing or boring. So you keep quiet about Christ and make the new relationship a god whom you are devoted to far much more than your faith. You claim that you are born again at heart – after all salvation is personal. Yes, it is personal, but remember conversion unto salvation is about His great commission.
You cannot afford to let a conversation escalate without being resolved like Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego – not to defile yourself. You cannot say that you are born again but keep quiet about your salvation especially when waiting or seeking out for a spouse. You cannot say that you are born again yet your conversation is no different from a man who isn’t. Your testimony begins first. God. God first. Every other thing become secondary, passive, insignificant compared to His infinite worth! That’s where it all begins.
Your testimony gives you your identity, your worth. If he/she cannot ascribe to your faith, it’s alright – your work is not to convict, but to speak of Christ.
But rarely does that happen. We shelve Christ till after marriage when we realize how flawed this person is, only then do we begin to actively profess Christ, join in the mission’s team, join the praise and worship, never miss prayers, read all Christian books in a bid to cover the lost time. Great! It works- sometimes, but we painfully bear the consequence of putting down our testimony for a mortal man or woman.
It is not worth it! Satan is after us. Satan is after your singleness. He works day and night (as you are busy wrapped up like a burrito in your duvet) to derail you from Christ and cause you to turn inward to yourself and outwards to other things.
He hates it when you have to ask Christ for his approval in the minutest of things that you do – like what to wear. We think he works best by putting ideas in our heads, but clearly he works best by putting things far from our heads and furthest from our hearts. We forget, what he greatly remembers, that what our bodies do, affect our souls too.
“Keep prayer away –let him think it’s unnecessary.”
“Keep him/her from reading and studying Bible – let him be devoted to Sunday services only – sink him in religion more than a relationship.”
“Keep him/her away from accountability partners – let him think they can do life alone! Make them think they are very wise, after all, they got a PHD.”
“Keep him/her from testifying about Christ – let him think it’s a nag. And the world has more urgent things – like addressing corruption, his favorite football club, Inflation, occupy his mind with that” Yes, he works best by keeping things from us.
If you are to walk in righteousness in the season of singleness, do not be afraid to let people know who you identify with. If its Christ, let it be known! After all, He is the giver of life, not a mere man.
I bless the Lord for giving me the resolve to tell Johnny then that I was born again and I cannot take any less than Christ! It felt good to state my identity! There he was, spoke with absolute authority about His savior that I could clearly see Christ’s place in his life. It was a great journey then and still is a great journey, still in Christ, even now!
Be resolved! That under no circumstances will you let Christ take the second place in your life.
Singleness in Christ…