Day 4

Godly Determination

from the Daniel reading plan


Daniel 1:8-16, Proverbs 21:2-3, 1 Peter 2:15-16

BY Andrea Lucado

I have two main types of sin in my life. One is the white-knuckle kind of sin that requires gritting my teeth through every second of the temptation, and still, I often fall victim to it in the end. Because if I’m honest, deep down I don’t want to not do this type of sin.

The other type of sin is the kind I sort of breeze by, compared to the white-knuckle version. This is the kind of sin I hate most. I’ve been there, done that! I know what it does to my relationship with God, and I simply don’t want it this time. God has entered my heart on this issue and given me motive to obey. I have a conviction stronger than my own resolve—I have godly determination.

This is what Daniel had when King Nebuchadnezzar ordered him to eat a diet that went against Jewish law, including non-Kosher meats and wine that was used as an offering to Babylonian gods.

Scripture says, “Daniel determined that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). So he asked a guard watching over him and his three pals to feed them vegetables and water instead, and the guard agreed. After only ten days, it was apparent that Daniel and his friends were stronger and in better shape than the men who had fed on the king’s rich diet.

Let’s not get side-tracked here. These verses in scripture are not a diet plan for you. They are not an argument for vegetarianism. They are much richer than that. So before you clean out your fridge, let’s feed off of some deeper truth found here.

Verse eight says Daniel was “determined.” The translation of “determined” in this context means “set upon his heart.” This was not a white-knuckle resolve. This determination of Daniel’s was a godly conviction. It was not Daniel’s remarkable willpower (I mean, I would take a burger over vegetables any day) that allowed him to stand strong; it was God working in him and through him.

This is good news for us. I think we can often look at the story of Daniel and compare ourselves to him. Wow, I would never be brave enough to stand up for my convictions like that. I wish I could be as strong as he was. Then we hang our heads and sulk away.

But Daniel is not the point of the book of Daniel. Look at verse nine: “God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the guard.”

Who granted Daniel favor and compassion from the guard? God. God did!

And that is the point. God had a plan that he accomplished through his faithful servant Daniel. Because of God, Daniel remained true to his faith and was set apart in the kingdom, even in captivity.

I don’t think Daniel would have ever survived Babylon if he had tried to white-knuckle his way through those years. And I don’t think our souls can survive if we’re trying to white-knuckle our way through own lives. Just as Daniel lived, so do we: by God’s strength, by God’s grace and for God’s plan.

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Post Comments (146)

146 thoughts on "Godly Determination"

  1. Brandie says:

    I pray that I can be more purposeful in my daily life – in what I say, in how I respond – and set my heart completely on the things of God. I deeply and whole heartedly want to “live as people that are free” so that the world may see and know the goodness of God, and that like Daniel who influenced kings and nations, God may grant me favor to reflect His glory wherever I may be found – even if it’s in Babylon.

    1. Kylee says:

      Amen Brandie, what a sincere and beautiful prayer! I’m going to copy and paste it into my phone so I can pray this over both of us whenever I feel overwhelmed in the “Babylon” I find myself living in.

  2. Ashley says:

    I was impressed by the verse that says Daniel asked permission not to eat the kings food. Even though he had purposed in his heart not to, he still acted out of respect and submission. I think our human nature is to push our obedience onto others instead of trusting God in the process of convicting our hearts on a matter. In the end God made a way for Daniel to obey His convictions.

    1. Maria Barhams says:

      So true!

  3. Steph says:

    Fierce convictions. Compelled by love.

  4. Claudia Pannetti says:

    I will keep determining into heart not sin. As hard as it is sometimes. I will determine over and over until I learn it’s Gods strength alone that can help me overcome it.

  5. Monisola says:

    I have just joined the Daniel wagon, i keep missing days …Christ have mercy,but i determined in my heart that whatever it takes, i will finish this study. Today’s passage is all about me, i recently moved from my country in Africa to the Uk. This seems to me like I’m Daniel, you see where i come from, i think service to God is quite easy, a large bunch of the people I meet are mostly Christians…everyone has like minds, similar goals, fellowship is compulsory, but here I find myself being TOO FREE, it is different and it takes the grace of God to stay focused. I am in babylon where I have heard of religions that i didn’t even know existed in my life, where it is so hard to voice out where you stand in Christ because you don’t know who might get hurt. Where sin seems like nothing compared to what you see others do. At the end of the day, just like 1peter 2.16 says even though I am free, i am a slave to God. I choose today in my heart to follow God, to live like Christ despite my freedom from my heritage. SO HELP ME God.

    1. Criswithcurls says:

      Praying over you (and myself)! I, too, live in a country not my own. I am no longer surrounded by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. But God is with us-He has promised that. Stay strong-you are not alone, nor never will be.

    2. Agnes says:

      I can relate to you too, Monisola. I recently moved from the U.S. to Chile to do ministry, and even though it seems like being in ministry would make it “easy” not to sin (ha), it definitely doesn’t. Everything is different and the things I take for granted daily, like being able to speak in my own language, aren’t an option anymore. I feel ashamed because I’m surrounded by such loving people and yet I feel bitter about my discomfort. I keep thinking about how hard it is to praise God in a foreign land in a foreign language, but then I see Daniel’s unfailing faith and God’s power in him and I realize that God has no boundaries and He speaks every language. He put Daniel in Babylon so he could demonstrate his limitless power, just as he put you in the UK and me in Chile. It’s not easy to be surrounded by sin and idolatry in an unfamiliar place, but God knows our hearts and our temptations and he’s for us and with us. I pray that you feel Godly determination and peace.

  6. Praying God would fill me up with His strength and determination so I further His Kingdom! Bc I can do nothing without Him working inside of me!!!!

  7. Amber says:

    my version states “but daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies” i love that this was not a passive resistance. he had to literally purpose his heart to resist. i think two assumptions can be made from the daniel passage read today and they are: 1. that daniel had a focused life and 2. he had a history of prayer. what would happen to our faith if we were taken away from our community and were carried to a foreign land with foreign gods? i think daniel was spiritually sharp-he knew the prophecies of jeremiah and thus refused to join in with the eating delicacies of a wicked ruler. it’s clear that there is a correlation between our eating and our sharpness. a popular fast is the “daniel fast” and fasting overall reminds us that one’s spirit, soul & body is connected and cannot be separated. this makes us spiritually sharp- fasting is a detox of our soul.

    1. Nannawoman says:

      Well said Amber!

  8. Lauren Potts says:

    “Our obedience is not driven by lack, but by joy in the Giver.” Just yes. Thank you for unpacking this wonderful book of the Bible in a fresh and relevant way

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