Just because you can

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Much of our lives are spent seeking worldly treasures to sustain our lives, the American dream, the house, the car, the friends, the vacation, the lifestyle, the shoes, the job, the success, the family. In many circumstances there’s nothing wrong with having aspirations to attain many of these treasures, however, as a child of God, a follower of Christ, sometimes the Lord places us in situations and circumstances to exercise our reliance upon him through deviant decisions so that his work, power, and testimony can be made known through our lives.

In Daniel 1 we see Nebuchadnezzar besiege the tribe of Judah and carry them to Babylon. There he takes articles from the temple of God and places them in the temples of his gods. He then does the same with the Lord’s children. He took young men from the tribe of Judah, skillful in all areas and best looking, and put them in his kingdom to train and teach and serve his empire. King Neb favors these men and gives them the royal treatment, they were to be trained in language and literature and given a daily amount of food and wine from the kings table; they were to be treated as royalty. What an honor that after being besieged, to have now been chosen, favored, allowed to work and train in the house of the King. These young men were assigned access to the greatest of foods, greatest of drink, greatest of intellectual teachings, and yet because of their foundational love for the presence of God, they chose not to indulge in the lavish appetite provided by the king. Verse 8 says 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.

You see, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Friends, the Lord has called us to a life set apart. The King’s food and drink, was it bad? Was it blatantly wild or unpure? Was it something one would look at and scoff at because it was ‘sinful.’ There were a few meat challenges, but other than that, it wasn’t. From all worldly perspective, it made complete sense for them to eat the diet necessary to allow their bodies to grow in strength and power, however, Daniel felt that accepting the kings food meant he was accepting his patronage or friendship, his dependency on the king for the sustenance of his being. Daniel knew that although he was chosen to live in the world of Neb, he was not going to put his dependence on the king, but rather depend on God for the nourishment of his body. Scripture says that “15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” “17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” (Daniel 1:15-17)

Friend, just because you can run with ‘those people’ doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can spend your money however you’d like doesn’t mean you should. Just because you’ve been offered the promotion doesn’t mean you should. Just because you’re of age to indulge may not mean you should. Just because you can watch the TV show doesn’t mean you should. Satan deceives us into sacrificing the treasures of God on the altar of Worldly desire. The Lord has called you, set you apart for a purpose, and although many of your decisions my seem misunderstood by others, the Lord honors your faithfulness and reverence. Be encouraged that the Lord can do more with our small offerings of faithfulness than the world can do in a lifetime.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Brittnee Barnes

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