One of the biggest rewards when I was a youth Pastor years ago was when young people would come to the altar at summer camp making commitments to serve the Lord whole-heartedly. Many of those young people that kept steadfast to their decisions went on to do great things for God.
It reminds me of a story of a young man in the Old Testament. We read in the first chapter of Daniel where Jerusalem was conquered and the inhabitants taken into captivity. Daniel was probably around sixteen years old at this time. His whole surroundings and culture that he lived in drastically changed over night.
As was the strategy of many conquering kings, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that some of the finest Jewish young men be picked and forced into a 3 year transformational brainwashing. The plan was that over a period of time they would slowly be converted in the ways of the Chaldeans. The King commanded that they would eat of his dietary preference. Of course there was definite contradictions to the way these Jewish boys had been told to live their lives. Daniel knew if he followed the king’s plan it would be in direct disobedience to God’s law. So Daniel made a choice! We read in Deut. 1:8 that he, “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”. More than likely the king’s food was forbidden food, as well as being dedicated to foreign gods (Lev. 11, 17:10-15, 1 Cor. 8: 1-13) and therefore would be defiling and polluting for these Jewish young men before God’s law.
Daniel made a conscious and determined decision to follow God’s statutes and ways. Now remember he was a young man in his teens when he aimed to please God not man. Yet, even with possible deadly consequences Daniel chose to make a stand. I believe he had come to an altar of commitment sometime in his young life. Whether this was a result of godly influences or lessons learned from ungodly rulers in his past, he was intent on keeping his commitment.
It’s only when we have purposed in our hearts to whole-heartedly follow God’s word that He can prosper and bring fruitfulness through us. (Tweet)
In the days we are now living in, it seems as if our great nation has also been taken captive and we are being carried away to a land of compromised beliefs. God’s Word tells us in Rom. 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. Also in 1Thes 5:22, “Abstain from every form of evil. (NKJ). Daily we are faced with decisions of whether we will live in obedience to God’s Word or be caught in the ever growing compromise of this age. It’s only when we have purposed in our hearts to whole-heartedly follow God’s word that He can prosper and bring fruitfulness to our actions. Then all those around us will see and glorify the Lord God.
Because God had touched Daniel earlier and now had divinely positioned him, he was able to purpose in his heart to not be polluted by the onslaught of a changing society around him. It wasn’t until Daniel purposed in his heart that God breathed upon that seed of faith and prospered him. The result was not only a witness in good health, but ten times more wisdom, skill and gifting than any other in the kings program.
When God’s people purpose in their heart to not be polluted with the compromising society around them then God’s blessings come and people will take notice and ultimately glorify God.