Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little at a Time

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Daniel 1:8

A dripping faucet may not seem like a major problem, but given enough time it will fill an entire bucket one little drop of water at a time. Think of the choices we make every day. Most of them seem as insignificant as these little drops of water. But they add up over time, especially as they relate to a believer's relationship with the Lord. 

Do you obey God in the little things? Or do you think He only cares about the big stuff? I guarantee you He does not. There is no small act of disobedience against the one and only God. When we're tricked into believing that the little things don't matter, when we chose to disobey God day after day, then we are moving away from the Lord a little at a time.

The Old Testament character Daniel understood this. He was taken captive by the Babylonians when he was only a youth and placed in the royal court of King Nebuchadnezzar. They tried to force him to assimilate to Babylonian culture. They changed his name and made him learn their language and literature. They even tried to make him eat the king's food. Daniel had very little choice in all of this, but he resolved not to cave to the great pressure being put on him.  He wasn't in control of his own destiny but He served the God who was and he decided to do his best to obey that God. Daniel knew that God had commanded the Israelites not to eat certain kinds of meat, and that any meat they were allowed to eat had to have its blood drained in a certain way (Leviticus 17:10-14). None of the food given to him by King Nebuchadnezzar would meet God's standards for His people so Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat the king's food. He endangered his life in order to obey God in what seems like an insignificant command to us. This small act of obedience meant much to the Lord and He blessed Daniel for his obedience. He became the wisest man in the kingdom. Over the next seventy years kings and empires came and went in Babylon but one thing stayed the same: Daniel was a servant in the royal court who was renowned and respected for his wisdom and his dedication to his God.

God still blesses obedience. Sometimes a small act of obedience is just the thing we need to get us back on the right track. Making the right choices in the small things can really add up over time. Don't cave to the tremendous pressure our world puts on you to rebel against God and disobey His commands. Make up your mind like Daniel to obey God even in the little things. Over time, little-by-little, your small acts of obedience can help you become more like Jesus.

In what small ways do you need to obey God today? Do you need to flee from sexual immorality? Do you need to stop foul language from coming out of your mouth? Maybe you need to stop watching TV shows and movies that are not in line with your Christian confession? Whatever the Lord lays on your heart, resolve in your heart not to defile yourself with disobedience today.

For further reading...
  • I Peter 2:11- Did you know the New Testament asks us to live as exiles in this world?
  • James 1:27- Somehow we always seem to forget the latter half of this verse.
  • Romans 12:2- Be a non-conformist!

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