There come events and times in the life of every Christian that they will have to choose a decision for or against the will of God in their lives. We are highly encouraged to take a stand against a choice or a pull toward some worldly practice. Much of the popular systems of mankind have no desires to glorify Christ, in seeking our own heart’s fleshly ways.

In the Bible book of Daniel, we are given a wonderful example by the striking young man whose choice is done in courage and effectiveness. He is a Godly young man who takes seriously his responsibility to maintain the right standards and testimonies for glorifying God in Heaven.

He had been removed from his own land and then taken from Judah (near Jerusalem) to Babylon as a prisoner. The distance away from home ends up at nearly 550 miles toward the east. Daniel was seen by the dominant rulers from Babylon, who had conquered the Jewish nation, as well-favored, skillful and cunning in knowledge and science. Along with three other young men (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego), there would now be education for future leadership someday in the distant nation of Babylon.

The nation was a huge worshipper of Baal, a heathen god. Daniel now realizes that, as one of the princes of Israel who is listed as “the king’s seed” (Daniel 1:3), he has the responsibility to make and keep the right standard for the God of truth in Heaven. The four young men (may be close to 16 years of age) are being required to “stand in the king’s palace.” Daniel takes his heart and life seriously and now seems to lead the group of young men, carried far away from home, into a Godly direction.

He takes a real stand for God and is not trying to win a popularity contest, nor to please the ungodly rulers that have taken his nation into captivity. Daniel 1:8 starts by saying: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” It would be the very best thing that you and I could also do in our lives. We each need to honor God, accept Jesus as our personal Savior and seriously hear and study God’s Word.

Our worldly systems today are openly getting further away from Bible beliefs and more open to human sinfulness. We need, as Christians, to pray, study the Bible and hear more about the true God we all desperately need to love and follow. We need to take a constant and real stand for what is Biblically true and Christ-honoring. There is a modern softness of compromise that we will be sorry for in our lives if we ever submit to accept them. The best we can do is to read, study and pray every day, in order to be more strong and determined to love Christ and follow His Word. One day it will all come about to be realized and understood as we are given the fruits of steadfastness as real Christians.

Meanwhile, our stand for Bible truth must not be self-righteous, but thoughtful and courteous to other folks. Daniel said to the prince in charge of the prisoners (Melzar): “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel did not want to consume rich food and wine, but vegetables and water to show how their minds and bodies would be sharper and stronger without liquor or high calories. Daniel wanted to refuse the Babylonian diet with all the worldly inputs it would give, and it turned out just as he asked God to do.

For us today, it is of similar importance that we make life a separation from worldly and fleshly living. Paul writes in Titus 3:5 that life in Christ is: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” We all need the same attitude that Daniel had, by feeding and determining that the values of God’s will are way above the ideas that the world system holds true.

To live our lives more and more fully toward the will of God, we must first receive the new and eternal life by being born again into Christ.

Daniel’s convictions in his speech came from his heart, and so must ours. We are obviously in the world physically but must not be held so lowly in our hearts, spirits and convictions that we accept no forgiveness and newness of honoring Christ first.

We cannot truly be born again and headed to Heaven if we merely follow a set of rules in society and even go to church every week to go through the ritual spoken there. Jesus said that it is out of our spiritual hearts that the issues of life truly proceed. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would more fully obey God’s will and word. He did so honorably to God, that the Lord made Daniel nearly the highest ruler of Babylon. Daniel became what was a God-honoring man in a society that was not so.

God honored Daniel’s graciousness in light of his courageous faithfulness. The KJV Bible is still available to reveal to our hearts that we must receive Christ as our real Savior so that we can have true victory in life and eternal joy in Heaven.

America needs to much more return back to the truths that God gives to us in the Bible. Sports, stores and physical labor need to be secondary to Godliness and Christ-honoring in our lives every Sunday. May we raise our families and hearts up to take more of a stand for the Lord!

R.D. “Bob” Hottle is a retired schoolteacher, farmer and pastor of the Anchor Baptist Church.