Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's the Plan?

I was discussing this topic with a friend the other day and it reminded me of something I read years ago. It's always a good idea to have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens; know what you're going to say if confronted with gossip, know how you will react when confronted with a sinful choice, and know what you will eat when all there is at the party is junk food! What's the plan?

In a later post, I will give some ideas to make your own healthy trail mix or other on-the-go snacks, but for now I will just post the following. (I mean not to violate any copyrights.)

Daniel 1:5, 8, 11 – 16 (NIV) “The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service…

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way…

Daniel then said to the guard, whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”

Notes from the Life Application Bible:

1:8 Daniel resolved not to eat this food, either because the meat was some food forbidden by Jewish law, like pork (see Leviticus 11), or because accepting the king’s food and drink was the first step toward depending on his gifts and favors. Although Daniel was in a culture that did not honor God, he still obeyed God’s laws.

1:8 Resolve is a strong word that means to be devoted to principle and to be committed to a course of action. When Daniel resolved not to defile himself, he was being true to a lifelong determination to do what was right and not to give in to the pressures around him. We too are often assaulted by pressures to compromise our standards and live more like the world around us. Merely wanting or preferring God’s will and way is not enough to stand against the onslaught of temptation. Like Daniel, we must resolve to obey God.

1:8 It is easier to resist temptation if you have thought through your convictions well before the temptation arrives. Daniel and his friends made their decision to be faithful to the laws of God before they were faced with the king’s delicacies, so they did not hesitate to stick with their convictions. We will get into trouble if we have not previously decided where to draw the line. Before such situations arise, decide on your commitments. Then when temptation comes, you will be ready to say no.

1:12 The Babylonians were trying to change the thinking of these Jews by giving them a Babylonian education, their loyalty by changing their names and their life-style by changing their diet. Without compromising, Daniel found a way to live by God’s standards in a culture that did not honor God. Wisely choosing to negotiate rather than rebel, Daniel suggested an experimental ten-day diet of vegetables and water, instead of the royal foods and wine the king offered. Without compromising, Daniel quickly thought of a practical, creative solution that saved his life and the lives of his companions. As God’s people, we may adjust to our culture as long as we do not compromise God’s laws.