Soaked All The Time

Dying to self is to become unresponsive to the constant call of the flesh to sin. We can no longer respond to temptations because of our death from our old nature. Our resurrection with Christ means we live according to what God desires for us and leave those things that will grab our attention from Him.
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Daniel 1:8-21


Soaked, in Merriam Webster (2b), to penetrate or affect the mind or feelings- usually used with in or into.

What made them do these incredible things? In these verses we can see the difference of Solomon from these four young Jewish friends- Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Abednego. Solomon turned his back from God while still living in God's promised land for the Israelites while the 4 remained in God despite being expelled from their beloved land. Through their lives we have a great picture of what it means to really be rooted in God, how they avoided the mistakes Solomon did before.

The following are the very important truths as to how they become firmly rooted in God.
A. Truth
B. Faith
C. Joy
D. Obedience

A. Truth

The main reason why they were able to do these things was because they know the truth- God’s Word. Psalms 1:2 tells us of what a follower of God normally does in order to pursue righteousness: "but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."

Another is found on Joshua 1:8, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Friends, Daniel and his 3 friends knew that what they are about to eat is defiled food offered daily to the gods. Now what is the purpose of God's Word? Let's find out in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." Now you see? Knowing Him through His Word will enable us to pursue righteousness that is of God’s standard, not ours. God’s Word guides us to do things that are right in His sight. Daniel and his friends were equipped of His Words. They cannot be deceived because they know the truth and they stood for it.

B. Faith

Now it is not enough for us to know the truth. It is important that we believe what it says. Hebrews 11:1-3 has this to say, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." Then in verse 6, we can see the importance of faith: "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

If I ask you your name and your address and then after giving them to me I still would not believe them, what would be your feeling? Insulted right? How much more if we don't believe God's truth! For these young men, what they know is true, they really do believe it is true! The moment you have faith in God, your integrity for the truth becomes even more fortified. Look at Daniel 1:8, "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."

Now let me give emphasis on the phrase “resolved in his heart”

In Strong's Hebrew, these phrase mean:
וַיָּ֤שֶׂם (way·yā·śem)
Put -- to put, place, set

עַל־ (‘al-)
Above, over, upon, against

his heart
לִבּ֔וֹ (lib·bōw)
The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

In other words, this a strong indication of their firm standing in God. They will not cower and dilute God’s truth just to blend in. What is right is right! What is wrong is wrong! Our faith settles in so deep that you will not settle for anything less other than standing for what God says is right and pleasing in His sight. What the Bible says is absolute is really absolute. Daniel and his friends' faith in God is so strong not even the thought of being in the hands of their captors can scare them.

C. Joy

Joy is the result of what God has done.

According to the "Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways: Joy of deliverance (1 Samuel 2:1, Acts 12:14), Joy of salvation (Luke 15:7, Acts 8:8, Acts 13:52; 15:3), Joy of God’s presence (Psalm 16:11, Matthew 2:10, Luke 1:14, Matthew 28:8, Luke 24:41), and Joy of spiritual maturity (John 15:11, 2 Cor. 1:24; 2:3; 7:4, 1 Thess. 2:19-20; 3:9, Philippians 2:2, Heb. 10:34; 12:2, James 1:2-4). As we bear fruit in our faith in Christ, the more we become confident in God’s promises and rejoice in our walk."

The more you apprehend about who God is, God's Word, His work, what he can do, the more you grasp it and believe it, the greater is your joy. -Paul Washer

The Greek word for Joy is "chara". As mentioned earlier, joy is the result of what God has done. The word "chara" is also closely related to "charis" which means "grace" or "gift". God’s grace for us produces joy unspeakable. Joy even in the midst of trials really speak of how mature we are in our faith in God.

The joy that we experience in God is fulfilling and satisfying. It is not hollow and void. In contrast to King Solomon, wealth will never give us true satisfaction that is equal to what we can experience in God. You can never find joy just by looking at yourself and your accomplishments.

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound." (Psalms 4:7)

Friends, knowing God is not intellectual in nature, it is experiential in nature. This joy will never happen in your life if we don’t believe in His promises, in His work in our lives, in the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross.

Now for these men, being soaked in God is not only during their time in Jerusalem but in wherever they may be. Our experience of being rooted in the Lord will result in us being more in love with Him with fruits overflowing.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." (Psalms 1:3)

If you want more of God-stay with Him. Be rooted in Him- no matter the force of the river flow, you stay rooted and enjoy what God has in store for your life.

D. Obedience

The next step when we have joy is to allow it take action in our lives. Obedience is not only a matter of duty but is an expression of our love in God. John 14:23 tells us "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'" In order for us to be rooted in God, we need to follow Him. Delayed obedience is disobedience and partial obedience is disobedience. We cannot compromise God’s Word in order to fit your desires and schemes. We cannot be like the Pharisees that think they are worthy to be in Heaven but they’re not.

All our righteousness is even considered as nothing, polluted, and dirty.

Isaiah 64:6 is very clear, "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

Daniel made the right step in following God. It was not out of peer pressure that urged him to obey and follow God. It was because of his love for the Lord that made him do those things.

We may never perfectly obey God, but our constant dying of ourselves every day and submitting to His will for our lives will make a great impact in drawing ourselves closer and closer to God.

Dying to self is to become unresponsive to the constant call of the flesh to sin. We can no longer respond to temptations because of our death from our old nature. Our resurrection with Christ means we live according to what God desires for us and leave those things that will grab our attention from Him.

Daniel and his friends were able to do so, can you?

Photo by: Myungeun