Draw Your Line
“But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods." -- Daniel 1:9
We have all faced the temptation to sacrifice what is easy or more accepted for what is right. When he was just a teenager, Daniel was taken captive from Jerusalem and shipped off to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted the best and brightest from Israel, the five-star recruits, to be assimilated into Babylonian culture and serve in his palace. They gave Daniel a new name, taught him their culture and language, and provided him with the best food in all the land, straight from the King’s table. Daniel took their name, he learned their language and read their literature, but he was unwilling to defile himself with the King’s food. Later on, Daniel was forced to pray to King Darius rather than God. Again, Daniel refused to give in. This time his faith found him face to face with a den of lions, but God delivered him.
Daniel drew a line in the sand and essentially said, “My faith won’t allow me to cross this line. I can’t go any further.” In the midst of an EVER changing culture, we must remain faithful to our NEVER changing God. We need leaders like Daniel who are unwilling to defile themselves, unwilling to compromise their faith for the ways and customs of the world. It feels more and more every day that Christian leaders find themselves in a world like Daniel’s.
The world ever so slowly seeks to conform us into its image. Yet, just because every other coach or athlete in your area is doing something, doesn’t make it right. Just because something is easier or more accepted, doesn’t make it right. We are often called to do what’s difficult. We must draw our line in the sand, so we become less like the world and more like our Lord Jesus.
- How have you seen the sports culture shift away from God?
- Have you recently experienced the temptation to sacrifice what is right in order to fit in or win? How did you respond?
- What are some practical ways that you draw your line this week?
Daniel 1; Daniel 6
“Father, please help me to be a leader like Daniel. Give me the courage and strength to remain faithful to You at all times. Help me to look more like You and less like the world. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”