8 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.—Daniel 1:8
As New Year’s Day is now past, we must take a serious look at how this year will be different than last. This will require not only an open mind and heart but a determined resolve in some areas of life. Here are a couple thoughts on why a New Year Resolve is important.
Resolutions Lead To Personal Revolutions
Many people’s lives are simply on spin-cycle. Round and round they go, never making any progress. God never intended for us to wander in the desert, circling aimlessly. No! He has a Promised Land for us. However, we will not make it without making and keeping some promises ourselves! Everyone wants “change” but no one wants to work for it. No one wants to do anything too “hard”. Yet pushing ourselves, disciplining ourselves, and maintaining a sense of resolve will lead to a new and different year and a new and different you!
So what areas need work this year? Personal? Financial? Spiritual? Emotional? Make a list of areas that you need some resolve this year and then put into place at least one action step toward fulfilling that goal. As is seen in the passage above, Daniel resolved some very specific things: not to eat the king’s meat, nor drink his wine. When you make your list, don’t be general…be specific.
Resolutions Are The Solutions
If you take some time to seriously look back on 2013, one thing that you will probably be able to quickly see is that somewhere along the way, you lost your resolve. Whether it was becoming too busy, forgetfulness, or simply “biting off more than you could chew”, your resolve for your goal or project waned. This is not unnatural. In fact, you should plan for this. Excitement and enthusiasm are to be expected upon any new adventure or challenge. However, we cannot live life on emotion alone. We temper our emotions based on what we know and believe. We also learn to muster emotional energy when we are fully committed to our resolution. Emotions and excitement will dip. When this happens, we must be resolved to a final outcome and not a present reality. The solution to waning feelings is a reminder of what you want in the end. We must live with the end in mind.
The passage above was not just about Daniel keeping some easy routine or habit from home. Mind you, he was taken into captivity. He was given a new name, with new traditions and expected to excel. Asking to not have the “best” the king was offering could not only be insulting but result in severe punishment or death. Nonetheless, Daniel, along with his comrades, resolved to live for something greater; standing clean before God. When faced with possible problems or questions of life, Daniel look to the end. His solution was to see himself standing before God, not an earthly king. Practicing this solution informed his new resolutions. He knew what he wanted the end result to be and therefore he could be resolved to do whatever it took to obtain that goal. What do you want the end result of your life to be? Make a list of what you want to hear God say at the end of your life. Then make some resolutions on how you can keep from “defiling yourself” in order to hear those words one day.