Men with Convictions
Daniel 1:8 (NKJV) “But Daniel purposed in his heart…”
In the times we live in, there is a great need to be men with convictions. As we read through the scriptures, it is easy to point out the faults of powerful men of God. Abram lied about his wife to Pharaoh; after taking the life of an Egyptian, Moses refused to go to Egypt and speak on behalf of the Lord; Samson’s lustful passion led him to his death, David’s adultery leads to the death of a child, incest within his home, and war amongst his household; and Peter cursed and denied his relationship with Jesus. The stories are endless; men failing God.
As easy as it easy to look for the negative things within the men that God used to set a standard, God is calling EVERY Apostolic man to be a man with convictions.
The Prophet Daniel demonstrated several factors that will help us be a reflection as men with convictions.
Living a Committed Life
Daniel 1:3-4 (NKJV) “Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.”
Daniel and the three Hebrew boys had been given new names and they’d have an opportunity to receive a great education from the best teachers within Babylon. On top of that, they’d be receiving the best meals they’d ever eaten. However, this is where Daniel draws the line. He could not partake of something that had been previously offered to the gods. Someone taught him that Jehovah God was not only worth living for but worth dying for. There was pressure in his life to live a committed life before the Lord.
We see in our society, even in our churches today, that there is no longer a pressure to live a committed life. Divorce in the homes has taught our children that commitment in a marriage is not important. However, the example these young men provide is one that advises us that we must continue living a committed life! We are committed men!
Living a Consistent Life
Daniel 1:8 (NKJV) “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
The next factor we see is that Daniel and these young men lived consistent lives. When we purpose within our hearts to never defile ourselves and fear the presence of the Lord, it has the power to influence even our boss at work. They lived consistent lives of devotion; consistent lives of purpose. Fasting and prayer was something common in their lives. It wasn’t something that only took place in the beginning of the year; it was a common practice.
Because Daniel was a God fearing man, “God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.” Daniel 1:9 (NKJV)
We may or may not have the greatest education but because God has favor upon our lives; it’s enough to impact the world! Because we live a consistent life for the Lord, we are able to receive heavenly blessings beyond measure and earthly benefits. We are consistent men!
Living a Contagious Life
After “God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams…” Daniel 1:17 (NKJV)
“…the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah...” Daniel 1:18
God’s favor allowed these young men to be contagious men. The Lord is calling men who desire to be contagious; to teach, mentor, and be spiritual fathers to a rising generation. The standards we set as leaders within our homes, the local church, even the community are a reflection of our passion to our Lord and His Word. The actions our children see, the words our wives hear are all a determining factor of our passion towards our Lord and His Word. We not only impress our families and communities outwardly, but we are also able to leave an internal impression in their hearts. We are contagious men!
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm…” Daniel 1:20
It is amazing how far God’s favor will go with His chosen elect. One can stand out, for the Glory of God. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 (NKJV)
In closing, the blood our Lord and Savior shed on the cross, the blood the apostles shed among thousands of early Christians deserves that our apostolic men live a life with convictions. And though modernism desires to enter our churches, God is calling for every man to uphold His Word and be Men with Convictions!
Santiago Calderon, Jr.
Men with Convictions