The theme for our youth rally this year was “Dare to be Different.” It was taken from the book of Daniel; from the life of Daniel himself. We had three speakers: Michael Rowand, Ken Hicks Jr., and Kristie Gray. Each one of them had to deliver lessons on Daniel’s life and help us to see how we too could be different than the world around us. I was thinking about this rally and I wanted to share with you some thoughts about Daniel and how we can be different from those around us.
Daniel was a man of purpose.
Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel purposed in his heart. As a young man in a strange land, he was immediately challenged to break God’s laws to fit in to the group he was now a part of. Despite the obvious pressures to conform, Daniel upheld the law of God and did not eat the king’s food. We are in desperate need of Christians who will not conform to the world around them, Christians who will stand up for what they know is right and be men and women of purpose.
Daniel was a man of principle.
Daniel was faced with numerous opportunities to blend in to the world he lived in. Three times he faced huge obstacles in his life. As we have already spoken, Daniel had to refuse to eat the king’s food and drink his wine. Once he had to refuse to accept the gifts the king wanted to give him for interpreting the dream. Another time Daniel had to rebel against the law of the king because the law would not allow him to pray. We need Christians today who will have principles like Daniel. We need Christians who are committed, who have drawn their line in
the sand and will not cross it.
Daniel was a man of purity.
Daniel was a man who had purity in all aspects of his life. He conducted himself in such a way that his opponents could not find anything to accuse him of doing (Dan. 6:1-4). This purity helped him to rise to positions of power and great responsibility. His reasoning for being pure in all that he done was related to his purpose and principles. He would not let his feelings lead him down a path to displeasing God. As Christians we must have the same purity in our lives (1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:6-8; Titus 2:9-10). It doesn’t matter if it’s sexual purity, business purity, and moral purity. It should all be important to the child of God.
Daniel was a man of prayer.
The thing that tied all these things together was the fact that Daniel was a man of prayer. It didn’t matter what others thought or did, Daniel prayed. He knelt in prayer, he prayed often, he prayed to give thanks even in the midst of turmoil, and he prayed by habit. Daniel learned to pray often when he was young (Dan. 6:10). We need to teach our children by our example and words that prayer is an important part of being a child of God. If we look at our own life, can we not see that the times that went well were the times when we prayed often?
These lessons are important for any Christian to learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, new or experienced at being a Christian. Learning to be a person of purpose, principle, purity, and prayer will aid your life and will help you find eternity.