It’s Too Easy to Compromise Isn’t It?

September 13, 2018 at 11:26 AM Leave a comment

Just because a person might be a Christian does not mean that there is smooth sailing through life. If we aren’t battling our own temptations to misuse our freedom in Christ for evil, we are forced to deal with evils outside ourselves; things we cannot control. Whether it’s an inner desire to cheat, steal, lust or the danger coming from an approaching hurricane with 130 mph winds that threatens to blow our home away, living in this life means constantly having to face ourselves and the temptations to turn away from God. That is simply fact for the average authentic Christian.

Let’s take a quick look at several portions of Daniel’s first chapter. In this chapter, we immediately learn about a tyrant named Nebuchadnezzar, who was king over the Babylonian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar was known for his intelligence and ruthlessness. In fact, most rulers during those days were known for these characteristics. Lesser kings didn’t last long.

In Daniel 1, we read about this Nebuchadnezzar who attacked, sacked, and took captive the city of Jerusalem and most of its people and finery. Nebuchadnezzar wanted the best of what Jerusalem had and that not only included the holy vessels from the Jewish Temple, but included all the best Jewish minds at the time. These included Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Imagine being Daniel or one of his friends. One day, you were living in the city you knew, the city you had grown up in, and the next day, you were being marched hundreds of miles to a destination that was north and east of your own city, not knowing what your fate would be.

Imagine if that happened today. You know how you would feel. This was not an “adventure” like going to Yellowstone to do some serious hiking among the wildlife. Daniel was a captive and his life – as far as he know from chapter 1 – was in the hands of his captors. Put yourself in his place to understand how he might’ve felt. Certainly, he had faith in God but he still was unsure about his immediate future.

Once he got situated in Babylon, he quickly learned that he was going to be treated in a special way (Daniel 1:3-7). He would be fed the best food, given the best wine and essentially treated like royalty as he would embark on a path that would educate him in the ways of the Babylonians; their gods, their culture, their language over three years. All of this was done at the command of Nebuchadnezzar because he wanted intelligent, wise counselors around him, who could provide wisdom when he asked for it. Nebuchadnezzar was not a stupid man. He was certainly arrogant as we discover in later portions of Daniel, but he was not stupid. God eventually dealt with the king’s arrogance.

It is in this context that Daniel has to deal with his first test as a believer in Jehovah. Would he remain faithful to God? As a Jew who took the Law of Moses seriously, he did not believe he could partake of the king’s food or wine. To do so, would be an affront to God because there were certain foods Jews were to avoid.

So according to the Scriptures, “…Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank,” (Daniel 1:8a ESV). This was Daniel’s first test after arriving in Babylon. Would he or would he not give in, taking the easy way, which was simply to go along with King Nebuchadnezzar’s commands and eat the food and drink that was provided? Daniel passed his first test by refusing it, but he did so in a polite way. The text tells us, “Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself,” (Daniel 1:8b ESV).

Because he was respectful in his request and because Daniel wanted to please God, the Lord responded by causing the chief eunuch in charge to have compassion on Daniel. We also learn that this eunuch was rightly concerned about his own head and told Daniel as much. He was concerned that if Daniel and his friends started to lose weight and/or began to look unhealthy, the eunuch would likely suffer for it.

Daniel understood and came up with a bit of a test. Daniel asked that he and his friends be given specific foods and water for ten days. At the end of ten days, the eunuch could decide if they looked healthy or unhealthy and make a decision based on that. This was fine with the eunuch and so he went along with it. Bear in mind that Daniel, his friends, and all the other young men from Jerusalem were essentially entered into a three-year program. Nebuchadnezzar would not bother with them until the three years were over. Then he would call them before him and he would ask them many questions to see who, if any, he felt would be valuable assets to him.

Since Daniel stated that they should simply try things out for ten days, the eunuch had no problem going along with it because ten days out of three years is virtually nothing. If Daniel and his friends began to appear unhealthy at the end of the ten days, it would be easy to correct the problem long before the three years were up.

At the end of the ten-day trial period, the eunuch noticed that “…they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables,” (Daniel 1:15b-16 ESV).

The test worked well and provided to the eunuch proof positive that when Daniel and his friends ate raw vegetables and drank water, they were actually healthier looking than their counterparts who ate the king’s food and imbibed his wine. And this was long before today’s processed foods. There were problems with food even then.

What does this mean for us as Christians? Well, the parallels should be obvious. We live in a world that is undergirded by the same system that existed in Daniel’s day. This world system (Babylon) is opposed to God because it has been built by Satan. As such, we should always remember that the world is consistently going to try to trap us and damage our testimony, isn’t it?

Had Daniel quietly gone along with the king’s program, it is safe to say that he might not have been given the ability to not only understand dreams but in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, was also given the ability to know what the king dreamed and was then able to interpret it as well (Daniel 2). In essence, Daniel remained faithful to his desire to obey the Lord in spite of the fact that it could have cost him quite a bit, even his life for disobeying the king’s orders.

Because Daniel was faithful in being obedient to God, God rewarded him. This applies to the life of the Christian. Too often, too many Christians seem to be under the impression that since they are “saved,” they are free to live life on their terms. In essence, they believe that God has destroyed the chains that bound them to the Law. While this is absolutely true – meaning, we cannot obey the law in order to gain salvation – there is another aspect of being a Christian that we tend not take seriously. It is that of being obedient to God solely because we want to obey Him in all things.

It is for righteousness that we have been set free, correct? (Romans 6:18). Paul brings this out clearly in the Romans passage and also in Galatians. He says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery,” (Galatians 5:1 ESV). In essence, our salvation literally frees us from the tyranny of the Law because the Law has no capacity to save anyone. The Law points out our failures and inadequacy.

Being set free from the constraints of Law (for salvation), does not mean that as Christians, we never have to worry about obeying the Law. It actually means that in Christ, we can obey Him and His laws because the Holy Spirit lives within us and empowers us to live a life of obedience. How is this done? By making the decision to be obedient every time we are tempted from within or without. Once we make the decision, we can then rely on the empowering of the Holy Spirit to actually carry out that obedience in His strength, not ours. God will help us like He helped Daniel and his friends.

Do you think Daniel might have been fearful of not wanting to obey the king’s orders? He may have been and because of it, he addressed the situation respectfully. He didn’t make demands on those whom God had placed over him. He made a request and his request came from the desire to please God.

This is actually what it means to live the life of a Christian. Forget the Mosaic Law for a moment because Christians are not under that Law. In fact, as noted, the Law has no ability to save anyone ever, period (Romans 8:3).

However, Christians are to live as “slaves” or “bondservants” to God, making conscious decisions to partner with Him to accomplish His will in and through our lives at every turn, right? It’s not a once-for-all thing. It is something we constantly and consistently seek to accomplish.

We should willingly do things like reading and studying His Word daily, praying as often as we think to do so, attend church with other believers for fellowship and growth, give of our earnings to support the programs in the church we attend. Our demeanor in life should be one that attracts the lost as they see our “good works” and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). This is one of the reasons why we should not be caught up in political movements because it can quickly and easily become an “us against them” situation. This in turn can lead to heated situations. If you have complete control over your tongue and demeanor (James 3:1-12), then go for it, but too often, disagreements often spark heated exchanges. Avoid wherever possible.

Notice in Matthew 5, Jesus refers to what we do that pleases God as “good works.” This includes what we think, say, and act out. Again, these good works do not save us. Christ has saved us and our faith in God and His finished work on our behalf grants us a righteousness that comes only from God. It is nothing we can create within our selves. It is God’s free gift to us. Because of our legitimate salvation, our actions, words, and thoughts should note a stark difference with our past.

We see this in Daniel as he took seriously the desire to please God. Look what happened. His faith was strengthened. He became a witness to the lost people around him. Eventually, even King Nebuchadnezzar recognized God for who He is and remains. What a testimony! Will we see Nebuchadnezzar in heaven because of Daniel’s impact on his life? I believe so.

Daniel was faithful in the seeming “small” things that gave great rewards. But remember, all the “rewards” Daniel received came to him because God had things to say to Daniel. God blessed Daniel’s determination to serve Him. It is the same with us.

Now, we might never address or counsel leaders or kings, but that’s not really the point. The point is that God will bless our efforts to be and remain faithful to Him in all things. The world (Babylon) is constantly trying to force us to compromise ourselves and we’ll look at some of these things specifically in future articles. Because the world is trying so hard to pull us from God, thereby minimizing our testimony, it is imperative that we resolve to follow Him in spite of any negative consequences that might occur.

Christians, we must remember (and don’t worry; I’m talking to myself here as well), that we are here to be a beacon of light to those who are dying in darkness. If we are not faithful in the smaller things, we’ll never make a great impact on the world for God. Faithfulness to God results in obedience, not in a legalistic sense but in a true desire to serve the Living God, to please Him and to bring Him great glory.

Oh and by the way, you can start wherever you are as there are likely things in your life right now that should be pushed away and ignored, don’t you think? We all have them. We all deal with them. We are either a slave to the world or a bondservant to Christ. We cannot be both.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Communism, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Eastern Mysticism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , , , , .

Luciferian Age of the Spirit What’s Your Level of Commitment?

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