“Choosing To Obey”

“Choosing to Obey”
Woodlawn Baptist Church
December 1, 2010

Daniel 1:1-20 (Daniel’s Training in Babylon)

No one ever said our daily walk with God would be easy.  One of the hardest things is choosing to obey Him; and then having to face worldly judgment for our choice.  In Daniel 1:1-20 we see a perfect example of what happens when we choose to obey God and not the world.  Daniel -along with the children of Judah, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah- was well-favored by King Nebuchadnezzar for his skillfulness, wisdom, and great knowledge for science.  Because of these great qualities, Daniel and the other children lived in the king’s palace to help teach.  They were all provided a daily provision of the king’s meat as well as his wine for three years in hope that at the end of that period they might stand before the king.  Daniel knew in his heart that he should not corrupt his body by partaking in the king’s meals and made a request to the king’s helper.  He was told that he must eat of the king’s food to be stronger than the other children.  Daniel then made an agreement with the king’s helper to provide him and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, with vegetables and water for 10 days and then compare their health to the other children.  At the end of the 10 days the king’s helper was so amazed by how much healthier Daniel and the three children were that he continued to only feed them vegetables and water.

Because of Daniel’s obedience, God gave all four children knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.  He also gave Daniel an understanding in all visions and dreams.  Because their healthiness was noticeable, they stood before King Nebuchadnezzar.  Everything that the king wanted to know from them, he was able to find 10 times greater than any magician and astrologer that had been in his presence.  Imagine if Daniel had not listened and obeyed God, in something as small as choosing the right food to eat!  As you read the book of Daniel further, this was only the start of God’s plan.  Had Daniel not obeyed God, would he have been able to interpret the king’s dream? Would Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah –now named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively- have had the strong faith in God that they did to survive the fiery furnace that ultimately caused the king to worship the Lord?  Listening and obeying God is the first step in God’s perfect plan.

Something to think about: God works in amazing ways.  I have been struggling all week with listening for God and obeying what He says.  I challenge you all to first, be still and listen for God and then OBEY what He asks of you.  Trust me when I say in most situations this will be hard, especially when it comes to relationships or having to step totally out of your comfort zone. But whether great or small, what God ask of you, you have to trust that it is all part of His perfect plan.

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