Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who Lives That Way? (Personal)

"You won't die!" the serpent replied to the woman. "God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil." The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it...  (Genesis 3:4-6 NLT)

Sometimes our temptation to leave God is not global, national, or general.  Sometimes the reason is just personal.  The reasons are personal.  The struggles are personal.  The thoughts are personal.  So, we turn away from God and think that "no one understands."  But it's simply not true.  God understands.  Not only does He understand, He is ready to provide you all the help you need to fight off those personal "reasons" to leave.  He wants you to stay with Him.  He wants to help.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king's service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility-- young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. (Daniel 1:3-4 NIV)

Daniel and his friends were not just a part of a global situation.  Their role in this was personal.  They had been defeated.  They had been captured.  They were being selected, groomed, and taught to go against everything they believed.  They were being trained to walk away from God.  But they wouldn't do it.  Perhaps they remembered their forefather, Joshua, as they were facing overwhelming personal pressure.

"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:14-15 NIV)

Whatever the reason, they did not succumb to personal pressure.  Pressure from the King of Babylon wouldn't do it.  Pressure from his workers wouldn't do it.  Pressure from peers or "that woman" or friends wouldn't do it.  Daniel made his choice.  He was going to walk together with God no matter what.  How about you?  Have you made your choice?