But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself… Daniel 1:8
Daniel was a young man, probably in his teens, when he was taken by force into exile. His stay in Babylon was to be life-long, and his course was to be marked with uncompromising godliness and holiness. He was to be a prophet who would change the course of the king’s life and bring hope to the captive remnant of the Israelites in Babylon. His course was set at this moment, when he formed a purpose in his heart to be different and set apart in obedience to God’s will for his life. This may seem a small thing for us to do, especially given the seeming insignificance of the person making this decision, but the consequences are life-long. It does not matter what you have done with your life and opportunities until this moment; it matters what you purpose to do with the rest of your days. Settle things in your heart; purpose to be obedient and different. Set your course in godliness and rest assured that, whether or not you rise to be a famous person on earth, your life will reverberate throughout eternity, because you followed the call of God to belong to Another.
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