Wednesday, June 08, 2011

June 8, 2011 … Integrity Passes the Test

Passage of the Day: Daniel 1: 14 - 16 … 14 So he [Ashpenaz] agreed to this [Daniel’s proposed scheme] and tested them [Daniel and the Hebrew boys] for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

My Journal for Today: In our lives our spiritual (i.e., Christian) integrity WILL BE tested. The testing may be set in motion by God Himself, as it was for Abraham (see Genesis 22: 1-2).

SCRIPTURE: Gen. 22: 1 - 21 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," He replied. 2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

However, more likely, the testing may come from our circumstances, mostly resulting from our own choices – as when Israel wandered in the wilderness (see Deut. 8: 16).

And finally, the testing of our Christian integrity may come from Satan, allowed by God, as it was for Job (see Job 1: 12; 2: 6). But no matter the source, all testing is under God’s control and foreknowledge in order to mature believers and bring them into increased fruitfulness (Romans 8: 28; and 1st Peter 1: 6 – 7).

In today’s passage, Daniel and his three friends were tested as they carefully, yet assertively, chose to stand for God’s principles in the face of death before the worldly authorities. And God honored their stand for His glory by clearly intervening to make them look healthier than their peers after only ten days of their vegetarian diet. This, of course, had to be supernatural; because when you consider that middle eastern, Hebrew diet of the day, there is no natural way that they could have looked so physically different from the other Babylonian fed trainees in such a short period of time. And so, God, through the faithfulness of the Hebrew lads and His intervention, had opened the way for Daniel and his young friends to continue honoring God as well as witnessing to His power to the Babylonians.

We must believe in the truth of 1st Cor. 10: 13 (which I hope you have memorized by now) … that God will never allow us to be put in or to go through any test, trial, temptation, or tribulation through which, with His help or guidance, we cannot pass or endure. As you’ve hopefully believe from Rom. 8: 28 (which I ASSUME you have also memorized by now), ALL tests are for our good as Christians; so, we should be ready, and more importantly willing, to take the tests in Christ’s Name. Prayerfully, we will come out of these tests with a passing mark (… from God, of course).

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, in any test of life which may come my way today. Amen

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