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A Lifetime of Conviction


By Steve Troxel

Daniel was one of the first captives taken by the Babylonians in 605 BC. Upon his arrival in Babylon, Daniel was selected to receive three years of specialized training (as well as special food and drink) to prepare him for service in the palace. This special treatment would have caused Daniel to violate the laws of God, so he "resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine" (Daniel 1:8).

His convictions had a profound impact on those around him - especially his three closest friends who were soon thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow to a golden image; "We want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:18).

Daniel served seventy years under the kings of Babylon and his convictions earned him a place as the most trusted advisor in all the land. When the Persians defeated the Babylonians, the new king even "planned to set {Daniel} over the whole kingdom" (Daniel 6:3). But when the other officials became jealous, they convinced the king to pass a law forbidding prayer to anyone except the king.

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Though he knew he would be severely punished, Daniel held to his convictions and prayed to God three times a day. For this violation of the law, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions; but "God sent His angel, and He shut the mouths of the lions" (Daniel 6:22). When the king saw how God miraculously protected Daniel, he issued the following decree:

Daniel 6:26
"I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For He is the living God and He endures forever."

There were many opportunities for Daniel to question his circumstances. He was taken into captivity at a young age, tempted with special treatment, despised by his peers, thrown to the lions, and served an entire lifetime under foreign rulers. But, without a single complaint, Daniel continued to trust God and serve Him without compromise. In the end, Daniel was used to encourage the Jews while in captivity and to draw an entire nation to a greater reverence of God. Shortly after the decree was issued 50,000 Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Stories like this are scattered all through God's Word! We may not understand our circumstances or be able to see God's plan, but we KNOW which way He's calling us to walk. Let's continue to serve and trust with all our heart. Let's walk down His path without turning to the right or to the left. Regardless of our present circumstances, let's determine once and for all to give Him a lifetime of conviction.

© Steve Troxel
Note from Rach: Steve, of God's Daily Word Ministries, writes the BEST daily devotional series I've ever received. Subscribe here.

 

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