Daniel and his friends undoubtedly had been living peacefully in Jerusalem when suddenly their world forever changed.
The year was 605 B.C. and the forces of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had invaded Judah. As a result, Daniel and his friends were taken captive together with other strong talented youth from Jerusalem. Surprisingly, rather than being cast into prison or assigned to some forced labor camp, Daniel and his friends found themselves placed among the favored of Nebuchadnezzar, with even the king’s own food and drink placed before them.
However the Bible tells us: “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).
At Daniel’s insistence, he and his friends were given a 10-day test on vegetables and water to see how they would do. We can imagine that they prayed earnestly during those 10 days, and God heard their cries.
The Bible tells us, “And at the end of 10 days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies” (Daniel 1:15).
Later, when brought before the King, they were found to be 10 times wiser than all the king’s worldly astrologers and wise men (see Daniel 1:17-20).
Just like Daniel, we too have been taken captive. We actually live in a world that has been under Babylonian siege — that of Satan — for more than 60 centuries. As a result, we are dealing with ravages of war on all sides, even in the church: failed marriages, broken homes, lost children, declining health, spiritual compromise, and much more. Yet our case is not hopeless for we serve a mighty God who is even now able to take what the enemy has meant for evil and turn it to good for His glory (Genesis 50:20).
Imagine if we, like Daniel and his friends, stood up and said: “I don’t want to compromise under this wicked kingdom. I want to prove God. I want to test His Word. I want to be faithful so that He can use me for His glory.”
For the last few years, I’ve made it a habit to start my New Year with what I call the “Daniel Challenge.” It’s a 10-21 day fast where I seek to put away all spiritual distractions (including regular food, media activities, etc) as I seek to refocus on going deeper in my walk with God. My life is richer as a result.
Join me in taking the “Daniel Challenge” today!
Melody Mason, is coordinator of United in Prayer
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!
To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!