I apologize for not posting on my blog these past couple of weeks. I have been on vacation for the past week, and I have been enjoying the joys of guzzling through books, taking time in nature, and being with family. Before I jump into the devotion for this week, I would like to share a testimony of the Lord’s goodness to me. As I have mentioned a lot recently, this past year has been a year of health trials for me. I have been struggling with debilitating migraines. Our God is a God who reveals mysteries and solves tricky problems. He hears our prayers and is attentive to our needs. After dealing with this burden for so long, the Lord has taken my migraines away completely. I went from having migraines three times a week to none at all. I praise God that He has blessed me with this new kind of freedom.
I have been continuing my study through the book of Daniel. One key theme throughout this book which has stood out to me is Daniel’s response to the city of Babylon which he lived in. Let me set the scene for you before Daniel arrives. Babylon is a glimmering city filled with all the worldly pleasures that you can imagine. There is an abundance of rich and fattening foods to stuff your mouths with. Maybe they had chocolate truffles, cakes, and fanciest of coffees. The gist is they had all sorts of scrumptious foods. Plus, they had treasures of gold, silver, and bronze. The book of Revelation described another Babylon which is a picture of how Satan traps us with earthly things. This figurative Babylon is depicted as a prostitute who trapped men in sexual immorality. I can imagine that the Babylon Daniel was placed in was known for sexual sin and prostitution.
Now Daniel is about to enter the picture. King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon at the time, not only captured God’s holy vessels from the temple in Israel, but he also captured the Lord’s people. Daniel was one of the captives. However as soon as Daniel arrived in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, he was determined to stand out like a sore thumb and remain faithful to the Lord God who was faithful to him. Daniel 1:8 (ESV), “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 recognized that not only were the golden goblets from God’s temple holy vessels, but he too was a holy vessel, given an honorable purpose.
We also live in a world that focuses on immediate gratification. We live in a Babylonian culture that focuses on our physical pleasure and happiness rather than soul satisfying joy. Often times we associate happiness with joy, and we muddle the differences between the two words. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, happiness is “a pleasurable or satisfying experience” (emphasis mine). However, Rick Warren defines joy in this way: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation” (emphasis mine again). There is no assurance or security in a temporary circumstance. The pleasure of movies, wealth, food, and sexual sin will not last. If that is what we choose to secure ourselves with, we will be left empty. We will fall like the great city of Babylon fell.
2 Timothy 2:20-22 (ESV), “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” When we were redeemed, God cleansed us and made us righteous before Him. We were given a holy purpose like Daniel. We were made to be set apart. Will you join me in resolving like Daniel did to not defile ourselves with the Babylon around us? Will you join me in pursuing God’s will for our lives rather than the fleeting pleasures of this world? We are holy vessels. You are holy.
I want to thank you all for reading my blog. Thank you for remaining dedicated to my page despite my lack of posts recently. May we all be bold this week and act as a beacon of light in this world. I hope you have a blessed week with plenty of coffee to go around.
In Christ’s Love,