“Just a Little Test”

Daniel 1:8-17

“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. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.”

Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

Tara sat in my office and complained how her parents didn’t trust her and that she was always getting into trouble. Her dad would try to talk to her about how she should act, but after a while it was just so much noise. She went to church because her parents made her and she had a lot more fun with her partying friends than she did with the other kids in the youth group. 
I tried something I never had before, kind of a last ditch effort. I challenged Tara to take 30 days, just 30 days to act as if God’s ways were best. 30 days to listen and respect her parents. 30 days to stay out of trouble, read her Bible and pray and live as if she believed wholeheartedly in what she had been rebelling from. And surprisingly, she took me up on it. 
30 days later, Tara was a different girl and the trajectory of her life was on a whole new course. We both look back on that time as a pretty cool experiment and I marvel at how God has shaped her into the wife, mom, and Christian leader that she is today. Almost 25 years later, Tara is pouring into teenagers and challenging them to give God a chance, because she learned at their age that God’s way is always best. 
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 
  • Tony Evans has defined faith as “acting as if God is telling the truth.” Are you willing to take some time to see if God’s ways are truly better than yours?
  • What areas in your life would you test first? 
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 
Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor

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