So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:11, 12, N.K.J.V.
Daniel might have found a plausible excuse to depart from his strictly temperate habits; but the approval of God was dearer to him than the favor of the most powerful earthly potentate—dearer even than life itself....
Daniel requested that the matter be decided by a ten days’ trial—the Hebrew youth during this brief period being permitted to eat of simple food, while their companions partook of the king’s dainties.... The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of the Hebrew youth, and His blessing attended them....
The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character. It presents a lesson for all, and especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life.
In the experience of Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.
What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. Indulgence of appetite would have involved the sacrifice of physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power. One wrong step would probably have led to others, until, their connection with Heaven being severed, they would have been swept away by temptation.
God has said, “Them that honour me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30). While Daniel clung to his God with unwavering trust, the Spirit of prophetic power came upon him. While he was instructed of man in the duties of court life, he was taught of God to read the mysteries of future ages and to present to coming generations, through figures and similitudes, the wonderful things that would come to pass in the last days.—The Sanctified Life, 21-24.
Jesus longed for His fledgling church to come together in purpose, harmony, and mission. Today, amid perhaps unprecedented polarization in the world, our nations, and our church, we too need to heed Jesus’ counsel to seek His Spirit and come together for mission, especially for the least of these. The task seems daunting and impossible in our humanity. That’s why we need to pray as never before for the miracle of healing and reconciliation that only God can bring.
Faith and optimism—two simple words that can change you, your church, and your future. A positive, healthy attitude based on hope and faith is the number one human ingredient in church growth. In this inspiring article produced by Ministry Magazine (Dec. 2012), author and pastor Joseph Kidder shares real life examples that will challenge your thinking paradigm in leadership.