If Daniel had just been examining the facts, they would have looked something like this:
* Fact: He was far from home, facing the temptation to do things he knew were wrong.
* Fact: His parents would never find out if he gave in to temptation.
* Fact: Most of his friends were sinning and encouraging him to join them anyway.
* Fact: The most powerful king on earth wanted him to give up his beliefs in return for wealth and power. That would be a welcome change from his current status as a foreigner in a hostile land.
The facts seemed to indicate that it was in Daniel’s best interest to abandon his faith and take up this foreign religion. But Daniel had made a commitment and a relationship in his heart not to compromise his faith in God, no matter how tempting it was, no matter what price he would have to pay for his obedience. It’s something to think about, isn’t it? “Everybody seems to be doing whatever they please… Mom and Dad, my wife, my church…will never find out… There appear to be rewards for following the crowd. But… I’ve got a relationship with God, not to compromise my Christianity no matter what others do.” God will bless you for faithfulness like that. When do you find this kind of against-the-flow courage the hardest to muster? How can you be obedient to God even in the face of obstacles?
PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.