Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen 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 1:11-16 ESV
The story of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is well known in Christian circles. We know of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. He spent the night in a den with lions and God protected him and shut their mouths- see Daniel 6. We know about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown in the fiery furnace and God sustained them, they did not even have the smell of smoke on them, and Jesus appeared with them in the fire- see Daniel 3. We could preach a good sermon on meeting with God. A sermon about God wanting to meet with us, but we must first step into the Lion’s Den, to have a sleepover with God, we must first go into the fiery furnace to walk with God. That is a good sermon, for another day. There is an underlying message here, that we need to see, especially since in American, and the world, we are going through a similar situation with the plandemic of Coronavirus. These Jews were living in a foreign land, these Hebrew boys, controlled what became part of their experience and all 4 of these men are memorialized and looked to for guidance and example. What about you? When this plandemic and fear-based living is put behind us, will you have stayed true to your values and identity, or did the environment take over and make you like the others who worshipped at the feet of idols and forgot who they were, and where they were going?
Leader, this is the choice: Do we conform to the thinking of this world, or do we continue to transform our thinking and think, feel and act like our Lord has called us out to be? The Jews were paying a price for their idolatry. They had begun to follow after the gods of the world; Fornication, Lust, Money, Fame, Lasciviousness’, envy, hatred, strife, record-keeping, pound of flesh-carrying, covetousness…—the gods of America today. Or for those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, for those who IDENTIFY as Christians, do we control WHAT GOES INTO US? In the first chapter of Daniel we can see the way to maintain our connection to Jehovah, to maintain our citizenship in heaven, in a country that seems to be on a fast pace to the Kingdom of Darkness. But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or wine. So he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself. (Daniel 1:8) Remember, the Babylonians wanted to control what went into the Hebrews. They wanted to control what they worshipped, where they went, what they ate, what they drank and what they thought. America has replaced the worship of God, with the worship of self, of the earth, of our sexuality of our RIGHTS and of this thing called, FAIR AND JUST. America has become a foreign land to those of us who do not just IDENTIFY as Christians, but walk according to the Word, the Way and the Will of God, through His Son, Jesus the Christ. It is like being a Jew in Babylon, during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. These 4 Hebrew boys showed us the pattern, they controlled what became part of their experience. They stayed true to what Yahweh had instructed them through His Word!
Conduit, today I want you to have HOPE! Hope to know that God is on the throne and that we can control what becomes part of our experience, even when the country you once loved, left your God and your values. They way to do that is to CONTRO what you put INTO your experience. God will take care of the rest. God is the one doing all the heavy lifting. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11) Even in the book of Daniel, where these four Hebrew men overcame all kinds of odds to rise to the leadership of a country that was it’s enemy, it was God who gave them what they needed! As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. (Daniel 1:17) There are 5 portals of entry into our experience, they are called the 5-senses. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory are the 5 portals of entry into our experience. We SEE things, HEAR things, FEEL\experience things, smell things and taste things. Every single memory we have is stored in 1, or many, of the 5 senses. All memories are codified, and ONLY codified in the 5 senses. The Bible tells us to RESIST the devil and He WILL FLEE!! Not he might, not, maybe, not TRY…HE WILL FLEE!! (James 4:7) That verse is prefaced by the phrase: Submit, Humble, Subject, SURRENDER yourself to, unto God. We see from today’s scripture that what we put in our experience shows up on the outside! What the Hebrew men put into their experience, was visible on the outside, and they were highly commended! We might be forced into isolation, into staying home, into losing our homes, and our businesses. But we have full control over what we allow INTO OUR EXPERIENCE. It is time to be better stewards of what we watch, and what we listen to, our thoughts, our food intake, our focus, our internal dialogue, and the feelings we have about all this. Remember we are like sponges! When life squeezes us, the only thing that can come out of us, is what is IN US! Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Or don’t you know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20)