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A Strong Resolve

By Pastor Amir Rostampour

Table of Contents

Today we’re going to be in the book of Daniel, chapter one.

 

We’re starting a new series called Kings, Queens, and Prophets, studying Old Testament biblical characters, whether it was the actual king or the relation with the king. It’s going to be a great summer in God’s word. I’m excited about that. Toay we’ll be looking at the Book of Daniel, chapter one.

To give you some context of what’s going on here, the Book of Daniel starts with the Babylonian king, King Nebuchadnezzar coming to Jerusalem. 

 

The Bible says he besieged it, which simply means he took it over, he surrounded it. And what’s different than maybe some of the war strategies we see in the Bible is that he doesn’t come in and kill everyone, burn everything down, and steal stuff. No, Nebuchadnezzar conquers differently. He strategically takes young men and women who are gifted and strong,  and he takes them back to Babylon so they be trained and serve in his court. Then he leaves the poor people there; in that regard, he’s kind of savage. Then they take things from God’s temple to put into their god’s temple. That’s a bad idea that will not work out for him in the long run.

 

Some of these young people are Daniel and his friends. That’s who we’re going to read about today in Daniel 1:3-17: 

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

8 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. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them 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.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

—Daniel 1:3-17, NIV

 

We’re gonna look at that word “resolved” in verse eight today, but I wanted to note a couple of things that just stood out to me while I was reading this passage just now. First was just that what I read in verse 15 was a miracle from God. The second thing was that in verse 15 we get to see God continuing to bless the four men for their faithfulness. I love that!

 

Ok, so here’s what’s going on in this passage. Daniel and his friends are in captivity. Really, they’re enslaved. They’re exiled to Babylon. And what the Babylonian culture is trying to do is to get these young men—who could have been late teenagers or young adults—to think, act, and be like everyone else in their culture. 

 

When I was studying this, it made me think of fads. Fads are like trends that cycle through our culture. We’ve had countless fads over the years, where you see something, or you see what someone else is doing, and you think, “I want to buy that,” or “I want to do that.”

 

Maybe it’s the therapist in me, but I’m fascinated by fads! I have a bad habit of making fun of my best friends who jump into fads. I probably shouldn’t do that. But this week I went on a deep dive into some fads, so I thought I’d show y’all a couple. It just reminds us how awesome we are as a culture.

 

The first one is a selfie stick. Wow. You remember when the selfie stick was a cool idea? And you’re like, “Oh, I want to take a picture!” And everyone leans it, and you take a picture. We laugh now, but that used to be the thing. I’m convinced that Dr. Q., one of our pastors, has a degree in selfie sticks. 

 

Let’s go to food. A couple years ago, Keto was a thing if you wanted to lose weight. “I got 99 problems, but a carb ain’t one.” If you didn’t know, Keto is a certain way to eat. I don’t even know what ketosis means still to this day, so forgive me.

 

Another example is from social media a few years ago, when it was not uncommon to have #ManCrushMonday or #WomanCrushWednesday every week. Remember that? So you posted about your boo, your spouse, your boyfriend, or your girlfriend every Monday. You posted about them because you felt bad if you weren’t posting while everyone else was. The challenge came if you were single, and every six weeks you were posting about a different crush. While everyone else was like, “Didn’t you have a crush on someone last month?” And your response was, “No, #manCrushMonday. It’s a new week. I can post about a new person!” 

 

Here’s the last one. There’s been a war going on in America that you may not know about. I’m going to call this one the Battle of the Cups. It started probably over a decade ago with the Yeti. When the Yeti came out, there was stainless steel, short and tall. Wow. In the beginning it appealed mostly to men who camp or were outdoorsy, but then everyone got involved. “You mean this thing keeps things hot and cold? I can drink it!” But then there were knockoffs, things that compete with it.

 

The best next contender was the Hydro Flask. Bigger. Stronger. Colder. With a straw. Wow, a straw. This is some competition here. Everyone, we gotta get a Hydro Flask. The problem with the Hydro Flask, though, was that if you put it in your car, it was too big in the base, so it just rolled around everywhere. How do you keep this thing? Especially for guys, we don’t have a purse to put it in. 

 

So then came the national champion right now: Stanley. I like to call it Senora Stanley because Senora has a 99% woman following, okay? When you get a Stanley now, the bottom fits in a cup holder. It has a handle! And it looks cute! But at the beginning of Stanley, it was supply and demand. You get it on a website like Black Friday, and if it crashes, sorry, you didn’t get a Stanley for six more months. Now it’s more readily available, the ladies have one. 

 

But lately, there’s a competing bracket. Now we have the Owalla, the newest one. The thing about Stanley is that the straw leaks. And Senora Stanley’s company tried to fix that. Nope, if it knocks over in our house, it still leaks water everywhere. But with the Owalla, no leak, no problem!

 

So what we do in our home is just sell the previous model on Facebook because we try to make our money back. It’s hard out here, but we have these cups. I get it. We see something that other people enjoy, and we want to jump in. 

 

Here’s a trend, though, that maybe a lot of people don’t talk about in the summer that is quite prevalent. Summertime is special. Don’t get me wrong. It could be time with family, friends, and outdoors. It’s not uncommon for people to take breaks from school for our students, and you might take a trip, a vacation for your family. But a trend that happens quite often in the body of Christ in the summer is that people can tend to drift from their faith in the summer. 

 

This is a trend that no one talks about. It’s a time where we get out of rhythm with pursuing God. We can seek God less. I get it. Some of it is because your schedules are different. It’s not intentional. Maybe it was good in the beginning, but when we see God less, what tends to happen is we come to church less. We get around the body of believers less.

 

We hear God’s word corporately less. We worship God less. And I’m not trying to challenge you if you take a vacation, but there are 14 weeks of summer. If you’re on a 14-week vacation, praise God for you. But we don’t want to take a break from God and his Word, but this is exactly what can happen. 

 

You can be vulnerable to temptations during this time when you get off with the Lord. You can start to make small compromises that feel like no big deal. We’re going to see in Daniel. This is where they drew the line, but it can tend to happen to a lot of us. We can get to August or when the fall kicks back in, and we think, “Man, I feel quite distant from the Lord, man, I’m kind of into things that haven’t been into in a long time. What happened?” 

 

Where I just want to encourage you and challenge you is don’t check out from the things of God this summer. God has awesome things planned for you, but God doesn’t want to be sidelined till mid-August, so we can go do the things we want to, and then come back and serve him.

 

No, he wants to be Lord throughout the summer. I’m talking about your devotion. I’m not saying you can’t have fun and enjoy yourself, but I’m saying God wants to be in the center of it all. Can I get an amen? 

 

So how do we do that? Well, we just read this one word in Daniel, this word that has stuck out to me all week. In Daniel verse eight, he says, “resolved.” 

 

Resolved.

 

Underline it your Bible, this word resolved. It means this:

 

“to devote one’s mind and heart to someone or something; to be fully committed.”

 

Daniel was resolved to not devalue himself as what that scripture said, but this means in his mind and his heart, he says, “Hey, I’m going to follow God no matter what. I’m going to honor God’s word.”

 

It’s like he pre-decided. Yes, he happened to be a slave, so there’s not much choice he had, but he was pre-decided, “I’m going to do my best to honor God.” Let me say this way. His inner conviction far outweighed the outer pressure. He was led by his convictions. So this summer where I want to encourage you as we start the summer off is to have a strong resolve with the things of God. That’s something that could be strengthened, like spiritual grit to grow in. 

 

So I want to give you three ways to have a strong resolve in Jesus. Not just for the summer but for your life, especially in the culture we live in. 

  • Know who you are. 

 

Your identity, how you see yourself, how God sees you. Let’s reread verses six and seven: 

6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

 

Maybe you’ve heard these names in different stories of the Bible. What’s interesting is that all of their birth names had “God” in the meanings of them. But now their Babylonian names had Babylonian gods in the meanings of their names. What are the Babylonians trying to do? They’re trying to use their new names to change the Israelites’ identity, so that they saw themselves and others saw them as part of the Babylonian culture.

 

Speaking of new names, I gotta tell you a story. Beth and I got to go on vacation a couple of weeks ago with some of our best friends. The place where we were staying they had a Michael Jackson show. It was awesome. The guy sang like Michael Jackson, looked like Michael Jackson, and danced like Michael Jackson. We were kind of amazed, like, “How does he look so much like Michael Jackson?” So we get to the end of the show and the MC says, “Give it up for the men and women who were backup dancers! Give it up!” He was a good MC, building it up for the star.

 

Then he says, “Let’s give it up for the star of the Michael Jackson show…” He took a deep breath and said, “Larry Jackson!!!” 

 

And I said, “Who’s Larry?” Everyone started clapping, and I just started laughing. I was like, “Who’s Larry?” I look at my buddy, Seth. He was laughing. Beth was confused. I just kept on, “Larry? Who’s Larry?” 

 

I walked up to the MC afterwards and said, “Hey man, why did you call him Larry?” And he said, “That’s his name, Amir.” And I said, “That’s not his name. Didn’t you mean Michael Jackson?” He goes, “No, his real name is Larry Jackson.” I said, “No, it isn’t. He’s either lying, or he changed his name to be a Michael Jackson performer because there’s no way his parents named him Larry Jackson, then one day he would go on to be a Michael Jackson impersonator. That’s just for his job. I’m sorry, I just don’t believe you. I believe this man changed his name.”

 

He said, “He got a new name: Larry.” 

 

But of all the names, I was like, “Larry, Larry Jackson.” I don’t feel like that was one of the Jackson family members, but we can go back to the drawing board on that. I can’t un-hear “Larry” now with “Jackson.” It’s in my head. 

 

Daniel and his friends find themselves in a culture that’s trying to influence and change their identity. The purpose of the new names, the new education, and even the food they ate was indoctrination. They were trying to get them to accept, live by, and identify with the Babylonian culture. This meant you would identify with the king. This meant you would identify with their little G gods. In doing that, they were trying to get them to forget, to disown the God of Israel, their culture, their upbringing, their family dynamic. But what I love about Daniel is that he wasn’t fazed by this. Daniel knew who he was. He had an assurance of that. 

 

Satan uses this same strategy today against believers. He wants to influence your identity with the world. We can think the world is the enemy, but the world’s not the enemy, Satan’s the enemy. The beliefs and narratives and all these things that can happen in our world that feed us what the world offers, is there because what Satan’s trying to do is get you to question Jesus, to get you to question his word, and to challenge your identity. Ultimately he wants you to turn away from the things of God.

 

This is why it’s integral to know who you are, to be confident about who God is within you. Practically speaking, we can talk about identity in two big picture ways. 

 

  1. Know how God has uniquely made you.

 

The first part is how God has uniquely made you. Let me give you some examples. This includes your appearance, your gender, your ethnicity, your personality, strengths, weaknesses, passions, gifts, your name, the family God chose to place you in. These are some things around how God uniquely made you. I love to say it this way: you are the only you in the whole world! Embrace it. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You’re not an accident, you’re not a mistake. No, that’s language of the enemy. You are beloved. God loves you. 

 

We gotta stop wasting our time, church, trying to be like someone else and instead just embrace who God’s created us to be. Scripture says, “I formed you. I knew you, I knew the number of head of hairs on your head.” (See Jeremiah 1:5, Matthew 10:30, for example). 

 

Then the other part we could describe is our identity in Christ. This is all based off our relationship with Jesus, what Jesus did on the cross, what Jesus has said, and the promises found in His Word about us. So let me give you some of them. Scripture says this: 

 

  • You are a child of God in John 1. 
  • You are a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5. 
  • You aren’t a slave to sin anymore, Romans 6. 
  • You are completely forgiven and deeply loved, 1 John 1, 1 John 4. 
  • You are totally accepted by God, Romans 15. 
  • You belong to Jesus and the family of God, 1 Corinthians 3. 

 

These are just some of many, many promises in God’s Word for you. So if you’re  thinking, “I get it. I’m a Christian and I know my identity is supposed to come from Christ, but how do I grow in that?”

 

Find a handful of scriptures, like identity statements, and start to pray them over yourself. As you do, you start to believe it: “No, I am forgiven because first John 1 9 says, when I confess to God, he’s faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me. That’s a promise from Jesus because I am a son and daughter of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.”

 

That’s where your identity comes from. Not from some article, not from some TikTok post, not from some other things. No, it’s from the Word of God and how God has wired you. The Spirit of God inside of you. I’ve heard this quote said, I’ve taught this before, but I believe it with all my heart:

 

“When you know who you are, you’ll know what to do.”

 

I’m not trying to correct you. It’s just human nature. We want to figure out, “What do I do? What do I do with my life?” Young people ask, “What’s the next step? What’s the next season?” 

 

And I would say, “Great questions, but first take a step over here and say, “Who am I?” 

 

This is an ongoing thing in your life you grow in, and then out of your identity, then yes, you’ll know what to do. My identity helps me know that I’m not going to be defiled by the things of this world. My identity in Christ gives me direction and purpose. So, we need to grow and continue to know who we are in Jesus. This is integral to building some resolve.

 

This is integral to not get shaken by the world and culture around us because you stand assured, like Daniel, and you say, “No, I know who I am. You can change my name. You can change the other things, but I’m going to stand for Jesus.” Amen. 

 

  1. Know What You Believe. 

 

Know who you are. Know what you believe. 

 

How many of you have a friend or maybe are that friend that’s a little gullible? A show of hands. Yeah. You like to give them a hard time. Someone who’s gullible can be easily persuaded to believe things that other people wouldn’t believe. You give them a hard time, and it’s fun, right? It’s fun to poke fun at this person. 

 

But when it comes to your beliefs and your convictions, it’s not the time to be gullible. It’s not the time to be persuaded easily. No, you need to know what you believe, maybe now more than ever from this word. So let’s read Daniel 1:4b-5 again: 

4 …He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

They were going to teach them about culture and literature about their gods. And again, we see Daniel is in exile, but he’s like, “Cool, I’ll learn these things. But I know what I believe. I’m not going to be convinced by y’all.” His convictions, his values, his worldview are based off who God was, God’s word and God’s ways that he was raised up in before he was taken.

 

Let me say it this way. He knew how he could be in this new world of Babylon, but not be of the world. Big difference there. Church, we’re called to be in the world, a light, a city on a hill, but we’re not called to be of the world and blurred and, and just like everyone else. Our beliefs, our values should stand different.

 

It’s the difference between a biblical worldview and a secular worldview. Or some people are just kind of an open, neutral worldview. A biblical worldview is where your beliefs, convictions, values are based off your relationship with Jesus and God’s Word. 

 

And really this comes back to what we just talked about. Your identity in Christ. It’s something that forms what you believe, influences what you believe. So my relationship with Jesus and God’s word, it shapes my values. It shapes my convictions. It influences the way we live as a family, what we consume as a family.

 

But the other side of that is when your beliefs are based off anything or everything, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be open-minded and learn. Sometimes you gotta test what you’re hearing out there with the Word of God, but when you’re open, you can be influenced by anything. You can be influenced by the world, its values, its opinions, its stances, which is going to start to influence whether you believe or not, what you value as a family and as an individual, the way you live. And this can often lead to confusion and uncertainty in your life. 

 

What’s so ironic is those people might have strong opinions you’re hearing from, but oftentimes they have a weak identity. Oh, I can know what I say and puff up, but then they’re full of insecurity. You may be wondering, trying to figure out what to learn or what to believe, and you think, “Let me just search the world.” I’m just telling you, that’s going to breed insecurity in you. But the Word of God, your identity in Christ, biblical values will bring security and confidence from God inside you.

 

We saw this about four years ago. We went through stuff in 2020 that no one’s ever gone through. For most people during that time, if you’re honest, we all consumed more media than normal just trying to figure out what’s going on. So maybe more news, more articles, more social media, more YouTube, and then the enemy got to work. 

 

I can’t pinpoint my finger on it and I’m not even talking about an issue. I’m just saying you could see the enemy trying to divide and deceive people. Louder voices got louder. This wasn’t new, but then there were people who started attacking God’s word, attacking the local church, attacking biblical worldview.

 

This has always happened, but for some reason in 2020 people were just open to it. “Yeah, maybe God isn’t real.” “Maybe Jesus didn’t die on the cross.” “Maybe the word of God is lying to me.” 

Church, let me just be real with you. We shouldn’t watch a 30-minute YouTube video that is trying to convince you that Jesus doesn’t exist, get done with it, and then think, “Wow, I wonder if Jesus doesn’t exist.”

 

We’ve got to have a little more grit, a little more resolve. I’m not saying you can’t learn from other people, but your foundation can’t be a TikTok video. Let’s just be real. I’m not saying people aren’t sharing God’s Word on these platforms, but I am saying you shouldn’t be shook so easily by a loud voice in your life.

 

No, you come back to God’s Word, and go back to Jesus and say, “Jesus, what is true? What am I hearing? What’s mine?” This is what Jesus talked about firsthand: those who build their house on a rock or those who build their house on the sand. When the storm comes, you’re tested in what you believe. It’s going to be challenged. 

 

Very sadly, though, we all know people who have left the faith since that time. Now, I have to remind you, church, we’ve got to continue to pray for them. We’re going to continue to love them, be faithful to invest in when God gives us opportunity. Even for our family, Beth and I had to realize that we need to know what we believe.

 

It’s not just because we heard this truth taught or someone else believes it. Beth and I have got to know for ourselves. So we had to study God’s Word. We had to seek Jesus in certain areas, around certain topics. That would also be my encouragement for you. Study God’s word. Learn God’s Word. Seek Jesus, so you know what you believe. 

 

This is part of making your faith your own. This is part of maturing in Christ. This is part of being a fully devoted follower of Jesus. Now, obviously, I’m not saying discipleship and mentorship isn’t part of that process. Other people help you learn. Other people help you grow. But if those things are God-honoring, they’re always going to point you back to God’s Word, and they’re always going to point you back to Jesus. 

 

God-honoring resolve isn’t going to come from the thoughts and opinions of the world. It’s going to come from you seeking God. It’s going to come from you getting His Word in your heart and spirit. That’s where our conviction and beliefs come, so we can stand when we hear things that counter that.

 

  1. Know what you consume. 

 

So we’re talking about having a growing resolve, knowing who you are and what you believe. So thirdly, know what you consume. Let me tell you a story. We’ve all made this mistake here. You’re hungry, and you go with your family or friends to a Mexican food restaurant. And you sit down, and by the grace of God, they bring you chips and salsa. Praise God. So you begin to partake from the manna from heaven. You start to eat chips and salsa. Thank you, Lord. And then you order your food, and you eat more chips and salsa. And you’re just talking. And then they bring out another basket. Look at God. So then you start talking and eating, and then they bring out another basket. And then this happens. And Mexican food restaurants, historically, are fast. They bring you out your food and you pray and then you’re like, “Man! I am so full. How did I get so full? Because I’m three baskets of chips deep! That’s how I got so full, and I ate too much. The chips got me again.” 

 

This is what happened. You don’t realize how much you consumed in the moment. There’s something spiritual there sometimes with the things of God. Daniel said in verse eight that he resolved not to defile himself with the royal food. He asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way. This word “defile” in the Hebrew is a very strong word. It means “to stain, to pollute or to desecrate.” My goodness! Daniel knew, “If I eat this food and drink this drink, it will dishonor God and His Word. It will pollute my heart and spirit. It will bring desecration to me.” 

 

The Bible instructs us to be consecrated. “Consecrate” means “to be set apart for service unto God.” And this word “defile” means there are things in our lives and in this world that could push you away from the things of God. Well, why he considered this food defiled, most people believe it’s for two reasons.

 

The first one is there are certain meats this culture ate that were not aligned with the values, what God told them to not eat. “They were not kosher,” is what people say. And secondly, very likely the food and drink was sacrificed to idols. So if Daniel is going to eat this food with his friends and drink this drink, that means he’d be aligning with those false gods, aligning with this pagan culture. 

 

So Daniel says, “No, I, I can’t drink this. I can’t eat this.” And what I love about this is that we learn from him that we need to be aware of what we’re consuming. I’m not just talking about food and drink because some of these things could be influencing what we just talked about—our godly beliefs and convictions. They could be influencing our identity in Christ. Let me give you some examples. 

 

Let’s think about our relationship with food and drinks. We all need food to eat and drinks to drink, but sometimes we can have an unhealthy relationship with those things. Sometimes we don’t honor God with our bodies. Let’s move forward into more severe things, substances  like alcohol, or things you smoke, or pills you take, things we could consume that don’t honor God. Sometimes the music we listen to, the shows we watch, or social media news may not honor God. I’m not saying all of these things are inherently wrong or evil, but sometimes just the number of hours we spend on some of those things in a day or a week does not honor God.

 

It could be erotic images, erotic books, or toxic environments and relationships that do not honor God. What could it be for you? 

 

Whatever that thing in your life that you’re consuming, ask a series of these questions to yourself:

 

  • Is this thing I’m consuming honoring God, or is it defiling me in some way? 
  • Is it drawing me closer to God, or farther away from Him? 
  • Am I taking steps towards freedom in Jesus, or am I walking in steps towards bondage? 
  • Is this aligning with my identity in Christ? Or is this actually moving me towards more the things of this world?

 

So Daniel realized this, and he says, “Hey, I can’t eat that.” This decision could have got him killed, but he boldly makes that choice because of his faithfulness. Then, God shows him favor and offers a solution. In verses 12 through 14, he said, “Hey, test us in this. For 10 days, let us just eat vegetables and water.”

 

This is where we get the Daniel fast. What’s so cool is oftentimes in the Bible, the number 10 represents a test. In this case, he literally says, “Test us for 10 days. See if we don’t look better than these other young men in the official decree.” They go 10 days and, sure enough, the Bible says they looked healthier and better nourished than those around them.

 

This was the grace of God. They were faithful to God, so God blessed them supernaturally. I don’t know if the water that day was extra purified or the vegetables were extra green, but it was the Lord who moved on their behalf. 

 

So here’s my challenge for everyone here, myself included. Test yourself, like Daniel did, for 10 days on something you’re consuming. I believe the Holy Spirit will show you. This could be something in the list I talked about, something that could be influencing you in a negative way or that’s defiling you. Maybe it’s just something you’re consuming too much of, you’re spending too much time on that God wants to recalibrate. Maybe it’s simply something the Holy Spirit is saying, “Hey, I want you to set that aside for 10 days.” Fast from it for 10 days just like Daniel did. I’m going to do this, and I’m asking you to do with me.

 

So, today being Sunday, if we started sometime today, that would be until next Tuesday. You pick your start day. But remember, when we fast, we fast from something to God. We fast from something for health in this regard. And what I’ve been praying for you, what I believe God’s going to do, like He always does, is He’s going to meet you in the middle of it. He’s going to encourage you. He’s going to refine you. He’s going to bring health to you like he did with these young men. He’s going to cleanse you. 

 

It will be hard. It’s a spiritual discipline, but it will be worth it, church. We can fast more than once or twice a year, I promise you, and we’ll be okay. And this might be one of the best things you and I can do to start our summer. 

 

We want to grow in a resolve with God. We set some things aside, almost like a dedication to Jesus and say, “God, I’m going to set these things aside and recalibrate. I’m going to seek You out.” We’ve got to know what we’re consuming. So from Daniel chapter one, we learn that there’s strength in these things to grow a resolve and following God, having godly conviction. 

 

I want you to look back at the end of your summer and not have regret in your relationship with God. This isn’t just a word for the summer; this is a word for our life to grow and resolve. You’ll see it throughout the book of Daniel that these young men found a way to live by God’s standards in a culture that did not honor God. Church, we can do, will do, and can continue to do the same thing. In Jesus name, Amen.

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