What Are You Purposing in Your Heart?
One of my two favorite Old Testament books is Daniel. The story of Daniel’s life and the circumstances around him are incredibly instructive for each of us today. Though I will only write once on Daniel, I encourage you to read the six chapters and think about how they apply to your life. In Daniel chapter 1 we are told that Daniel and some friends were taken to Babylon as prisoners but were chosen to be trained to serve the king. One of the “perks” of serving the king was a special diet of really “yummy” things to eat, but these things apparently violated the dietary guidelines that God had given His people. In verse 8 we read this: 8 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.
For me the important phrase is “Daniel purposed in his heart”. Daniels wasn’t sure at this time what the consequences were going to be for refusing to eat the food and wine provided by the king. The outside pressures would be for him to conform. But Daniel’s motivation came from the inside. He “purposed in his heart” not to eat the king’s food. If you read the rest of the chapter you find out that Daniel’s decision proved good for him and his friends. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes when people follow how God leads them “from the heart”, they lose their jobs, family or even their lives. But it is always right to follow how God leads.
Is there something today that you need to “purpose in your heart” and then follow through? Men, do you need to purpose in your heart not to watch pornography? Men and women, do you need to purpose in your heart to reconcile a relationship or to say a difficult thing to someone that needs to be said? When we purpose in our heart to follow what God says, the outside results don’t matter because we’ve allowed ourselves to be guided by Who is inside of us.