Thursday, September 26, 2013

Faithfulness and Self-control & Reward

 The three go hand in hand.  I am wondering, 'am I faithful to what I know is truth?'  Can I be  more faithful to God who is so generous to  me in all things.  I cannot complain about God's dealings with me, even though sometimes things get rough for me, like yesterday.  There is a reason and sometimes it brings me to my knees so to speak and with tears.  I start out by searching my heart for a reason, or my actions to see what has happened to me that would cause a gap in my relationship with God.  By the way, there is always a reason.   If we find even a small gap, there is a reason for it.  I like to think about Daniel and his faithfulness even in the face of the Lion's Den.

When Daniel was taken captive and taken into Babylon, Daniel and his three friends were picked out as promising young men to serve the king.  They were given the privilege of sitting at a table with the king's food placed before them, and of course Daniel was raised by godly parents evidently because he refused to eat the king's meat or drink and requested a plant based diet because he had purposed in his heart not to eat of the king's delicacies.  He had made up his mind to serve the Lord regardless if it meant his life, and so he asked for a ten day trial.  'At the end of the ten 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.

Daniel 1:17  "As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. "  God rewarded these men with knowledge and wisdom and Daniel with understanding visions and dreams. They were faithful to God even as teenagers and that is an encouragement to me, if young people can be that faithful and have self-control, then so can I.

I mentioned Daniel and the Lion's Den at the beginning and his faithfulness even in the face of death is some-thing that is astounding to me.  I don't think we realize what real faithfulness is until we read a story like that.  Some people say the lions weren't hungry but when Daniel was brought up out of the den and the men that tricked the king into signing that paper that sent Daniel there, were cast in, the lions had them before they hit the bottom of the den.  So we know that it was Daniel's faithfulness to God that saved him.

Some people say, 'O we can't be like that, but I say, Daniel wasn't any different than we are.  He was a captive in Babylon and made a Eunuch and we are not captives of another country and haven't had our bodies tampered with, so what today is our excuse for our unfaithfulness.  I can't think of any myself, and it's not because I don't make any, I am no different than anyone else.  I would probably find a flimsy one and then be ashamed of it.  In fact I have and they are very flimsy.  Right now I don't know what they are.  I am thinking more at the moment of the power of God that Daniel and his friends had how I can apply that to my life and have more power over the temptations that come to me.

One thought I had about Daniel and his prayer three times a day was that Daniel could have closed the window went to a secret place but he didn't and he knew what the penalty would be if he were caught. Could we do the same?  It would be hard but knowing we are in Christ and He is in us would make all the difference.

Read Daniel 1 and 6 and in between too if you so desire.  It is a good story, just like Joseph's story.  There is so much good reading in the Bible, we are missing a lot when we ignore it.  Not only that, we are missing the good life that God had planned for us.

I hope you will be like Daniel and purpose in your heart not to defile your body with the king's delicacies which destroy our immune system and will eventually destroy us.  We must be faithful to God and have the self-control that Daniel and his friends had.  I pray that I do and will, I am still struggling and praying for God's help in my life and will continue to do so as long as I have breath.  It isn't an overnight thing, to some people it is but not for me and maybe not for you but with God's help we can do it.  Right?  Grandma Joan

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