As a young woman, I can remember going to visit a dearly loved Aunt who lived in Las Vegas. I was so excited to see the lights, fountains and “magic” of the Strip. Once we arrived, there was unexpected energy, it was like the city was alive. Flashing signs, majestic buildings, fountains that shot water straight up into the air in a dance of droplets, all captivated my attention. I wanted to be a part of it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that, but I wanted to absorb everything this flashing city could offer. Little did I know at the time…
The book of Daniel in chapter 1 tells the story of 4 young men who are hand selected to be brought to the King’s palace. They will spend three years learning the ways of this new land, and then they will be brought before the King. One of these men was Daniel (aka the lions den), and the other were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (aka the fiery furnace). I wonder if Daniel felt the same wonder seeing the palace, new land, and architectural marvels as I did when I first laid eyes on Las Vegas.
Now there’s not much more that I love than some really good food. I’ll tell ya, dining is one of my very favorite things to do. I savor all forms of really good food. In fact, my constant friend Weight Watchers is a must in my life because of my obsession for really good food.
When Daniel was offered all the wonderful things from the kitchen of the King, here was his response:
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs…” Daniel 1: 8-9
Now I may not have sinned when I went to Las Vegas (likely not given the age I was), but it exposed my heart. There’s nothing wrong or sinful about seeing the wonders of the world. I happen to be especially fond of the all the natural wonders and have built my livelihood around photographing them. However anytime we prioritize the wonders of the world and what it can offer us, over what the Lord wants out of our actions and His plans for our life, we step into danger.
Anything that is outside the good things the Lord has in store for you, is enemy territory and can be used against you.
Daniel’s people were set apart by God and one of the ways they were set apart, was what they could and could not eat. As New Testament Christians, we don’t have those kind of dietary restrictions, but we are still called to be set apart from the rest of the world so that our actions reflect a life that has God dwelling in it.
Think On It:
- What comes to mind when you think about something that caught your attention that may not be in the best interest of your spiritual health?
- Did you resist the pull to try it out, or did you dip your toes in?
- What was the result?
The world promises momentary satisfaction and can usually deliver. Heaven promises eternal satisfaction. What are you placing your chips?
Digging Deeper Challenge: Read Daniel Chapter 1, and listen for what the Lord says to you. If you’re comfortable, post what you hear in the comments below!