The Israelites who came out of Egypt desired to see the land of promise, but only Joshua and Caleb made it from that generation. What was different about these two? What was about Joshua and Caleb that gave them success!? What allowed them to have a sustaining faith in the face of the same trying circumstances that the others experienced!? …
How would you respond if you were invited to the White House and the President desired to share his food and delicacies with you?
I think most of us will consider it a great honor and privilege to be invited to the White House. The fact that the President would desire to feed us with the best, it would be a very flattering complement! We may even think that this is a blessing from the Lord. We have finally been acknowledged and recognized for who we really are. We might imagine that we have arrived at the pinnacle of success!
And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the nameBelteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
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; Daniel 1:5-8a
Daniel had a different response to king’s delicacies than most people. He was already serving a king. His king was the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. He had been at the presence of his King long before he came before the presence of the Babylonian king. His arrival at the palace was just one of many assignments that God had for him, but His identity and significance weren’t tied to it.
When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food. Proverbs 23:1-3
Daniel refused to eat from the king’s table because his first and foremost allegiance was to His King! An ambassador of Christ is sent to a foreign territory, and he/she is never supposed to get caught up with the culture and customs of the foreign country to the point of not representing the kingdom that sent him/her.
An excellent spirit comes from having settled the issue of our allegiance that regardless of the circumstances and losses one may experience, one’s focus and mission does not change. When we have Daniel’s attitude about our assignments, our outlook and our response to situations are very different. We are not at the mercy of man to recognize us, give us privileges, or take them away. We know the most important person in heaven and on earth has recognized us, so now we focus on being his instrument in the new place!
Daniel was faced with earthly losses many times. However, he was determined to please His God and His almighty King, and the supposed earthly losses turned out to be to his spiritual advantage!
Today, what are you faced with that may require some losses in order to develop an excellent spirit?