Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
The Babylonians could take Daniel from his home. They could change his name. They could change his diet. They could teach him many things. But they couldn’t change his heart for God. That is what endures through all the outward circumstances of life changes. That is what remains no matter what other people try to do to him. That was something that wasn’t dependent on where he was or what he was called or what he had to do. And so in the midst of what was a very challenging time in his life, Daniel could remain faithful and even prosper despite all the difficulties he faced.
When we are dedicated to God and committed to following His ways, we’ll be okay no matter how others try to change us. When our relationship with God is the most important thing about us and the most important part of our lives, drastic changes around us won’t have an effect on our commitment to God. And when that is solidified and established in our lives, we’ll be less likely to be give in to the kinds of temptations that Daniel faced. When we know ahead of time that our course is to stick to God’s way no matter what, we’ll be better equipped to make the right decision when the time comes.
When we refuse to forsake God in even the smallest way, God will honor that in our lives. Daniel may have ended up in a place he didn’t want to be, but that was not an excuse for him to forsake what would honor God. That didn’t give him a reason to tarnish his testimony. And if we desire to be faithful to God, He will make a way for us. He will give us strength to endure any hardships that arise. He will help us to thrive even in the midst of less-than-ideal conditions. And He will bless us in many ways for giving Him first place.
So, are we willing to make that choice right now that we will follow God and honor Him and choose His righteous path no matter what? Will we lay that down as the foundation of our lives and refuse to compromise? Are we willing to take a stand, to refuse to take the easy way out, and to follow Daniel’s example of remaining undefiled before the Lord? It’s not an easy thing to do. There are many ways we can potentially be drawn astray living in a sinful world. But if we persevere, God will honor that and bless it in our lives.