Just honest to goodness, holding on to one’s integrity with every fiber of their being. “This is what I believe, and I’m sticking to it!” The person who governs his or her faith by these attributes is a person who is truly sold out for God.
This one will unashamedly hold on to their beliefs despite circumstances. They are as clear as transparent glass in their true devotion to God. What you see is what you get. They are the same inside and out. They are as unwavering in their faith behind closed doors as they are in the open square. They are the same in the streets as they are in the church house. Their walk with God doesn’t swing on the hinges of what is convenient or comfortable or safe. They live for Him, for an audience of One, in the good times and the bad.
No backing down. No false or phony surface worship. Their hearts are truly tied to God in the most real of ways, and substituting for less just is not an option. And let’s face it, in a world filled with so many things that are artificial, at the very least, one’s faith should be real.
At least, that’s what Daniel and his friends: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah believed. Chosen to enter the king’s training program designed to indoctrinate them while being held captives in Babylon, they were given favorable treatment and “a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank,” (Daniel 1:5). While all of this may sound good on the outside, on the inside some things that came with this special favor didn’t sit right with Daniel. It came with a price that Daniel was not willing to pay. The price: compromise.
So, the Bible tells us, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, not with wine which he drank . . .” (Daniel 1:8). Historically, traditionally, and according to the Law, to do so would be to participate in that which is considered unclean and not appropriate for the strict dietary guidelines of their faith.
Special privilege or not; an opportunity to advance and make life easier for himself could not and would not cause Daniel to do anything that would eat away at his conscience in his relationship with God. Throughout his young life, he has known nothing but to adhere to the ways of his people passed down from generation to generation under the instruction of God. Now that he was in captivity and at the disposal of the enemy’s power and influence, Daniel still persisted uncompromisingly to hold on to his belief and not waiver from what he had been taught to be right. The enemy’s goal may have been to indoctrinate these young people with their own ways, but God was already seared on their hearts and Daniel and his friends were resolved to keep it that way. They may have been in a strange country now and under strange human leadership, but their hearts were still tied to God and His ways, and they were determined with everything in them to follow God all the way.
Following God all the way, that’s the true definition, in my opinion, of an uncompromising life. We all face decisions and choices in life that may not sit well with us. They may ask us to do things that we feel aren’t pleasing to God or we know that it’s just out and out wrong. Jesus helps us with those decisions by plainly and without apology reminding us, “No man can serve two masters . . .” (Matthew 6:24). To follow the world would be to deny God. To follow God, as Daniel and his friends did, would mean turning your back on the world, the desires, and those things that we believe would make our life easier and advantageous.
When Daniel and his friends decided to stay with God and not take the easy way out, God blessed their faithfulness: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). Previously, God made it known, “For them that honour me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30). Our God is a just God and He believes in rewarding them that diligently seek Him and His ways (Hebrews 11:6). In the end, God elevated Daniel and his friends with more.
Even if the reward isn’t as immediate. Even if we don’t see it on this side of heaven, God is still calling for uncompromising people of faith to pick up the standard of His Word and live it.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments . . .” Psalm 111:10
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