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The Decision of the Will

 

"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he might not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat nor with the wine which he drank" (Daniel 1:8)

Every journey begins in the mind and ends in a location. Daniel's strict temperance during his training was the result of the decision of the mind. The Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."(Proverbs 23:7) Daniel's mind was fastened by the Word of God. But as James writes that "faith without works is dead"(James 2:26), so is a mental decision dead without a corresponding action. The decision of the mind, as noble and aspiring as it may be, without proper expression in action, will never see the light of day, and it is then as good as dead. 

"Desire and goodness and true holiness are right as far as they go; but if they stop here, they will avail to nothing. Good purposes are right, but will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out” (An Appeal to Youth p.185).

Therefore, if Daniel's purpose, as noble and daring as it was, found no expression, it would have failed to do him any good and would not have found its place in the sacred record. 

Daniel's decision did not end with the mind. It moved on to the action of the will. After he "purposed in his heart," we are told, not in the following chapter, nor in the following verse, but in the same verse, that "he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." He doesn't give his mind even the pause between verses to consider an alternative. "Had Daniel desired he might have found plausible excuse..."(Prophets and Kings p. 482), and he knew it. It was for this reason that "Daniel did not hesitate" (ibid. p 483). As soon as the conviction came, and the mind was impressed to make a decision, he acted upon it without second thought.. 
 
In taking this step, he had the approval of God, for he was not left to carry out this heavy burden alone. In the following verse, after Daniel decided and acted upon God's principles, it says, "Now God.."(Daniel 1:9) Now God – God is willing and able to bestow upon us the greatest of blessings that will make this life one of worth and purpose. Yet He waits. He waits to see that He is desired. So when He sees a soul who seeks to honor Him, and does so resolutely, He will pour out the greatest of His blessings. 

In speaking to the inhabitants of Judah after the Babylonian exile, because they had lost sight of the significance of worship, God says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of host if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10)

This He did for Daniel. It goes on to say, "Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs" (Daniel 1:9).  God performed the greatest of miracles to help Daniel -  a miracle of a changed heart. The captor comes to regard the captive with "favor and tender love." This is a miracle. Then, after the initial step is taken, God does not simply allow the Hebrew boys to enjoy their meals just the way they like it. This was not enough in God's eyes. The Bible tells us, "As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom” (Daniel 1:17).  

 

This heaven-sent knowledge was superior to all others: "At the court of Babylon were gathered representatives from all lands, men the most richly endowed with natural gifts and possessed of the broadest culture that the world could bestow; yet among them all the Hebrew youth were without peer" (Prophets and Kings p. 485). Or, just simply put, "And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm" (Daniel 1:20). What a testimony!

It is true when He said, "...them that honor me, I will honor."(1 Sam 2:30). The Bible says "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come"(1 Corinthians 10:11).

That which He did for Daniel and His friends, God so desires to do for us. Yet, He is waiting. Not for Him to get His blessings together, but for us to make a decision. He’s waiting for us to purpose in our hearts and to act upon it. It is then and only then that the following phrase can be recorded in our own stories: "Now God..." He's waiting. 

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Daniel Jeon is a 22-year-old Theology student at Weimar College.  He loves to study the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, sharing about Jesus, photography, driving, and hanging out with friends.

 


Comments

Thank you Daniel for this article.  I have always admired Daniel for his unwavering faith in all kinds of trying situations.  I pray that I could have a portion of his type of faith.

Jane Chung (#1) – January 02, 2012

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