Today’s Scripture: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8

Today marks exactly two months. “Two months from what?” you may ask. Exactly two months have elapsed since all of those New Year’s resolutions we made on January 1st. Some people decided that they want to lose 20 pounds, get more active, and eat healthier. Others determined to aim for a better job. It may not be January 1, 2016 anymore, but today I have one new resolution to offer you-a resolution that is very much worth keeping! Within the next four days, I want you to purpose in your heart that despite four obstacles you may face this year, you will serve the Lord.

God’s children were not obeying, and He determined that he would take Israel into a set time of captivity to a place where nothing was familiar-Babylon. Rampant with the worship of false gods, the Babylonians were a self-centered culture. It was an environment that was easy to get lost in if your focus was not centered on the Lord. But, a few young men passed this test with flying colors, and we can draw encouragement and be challenged by their example even today. Today, we will look at the first of the four challenges they faced: the place.

It’s easy to take a stand when you are surrounded by your church family. These boys were forcefully taken far away from their homes, families, and friends. Nebuchadnezzar’s goal was to reprogram them into Babylonian culture. Even though Daniel and his friends were offered everything on a silver platter, they didn’t want it. How many of our youth (or even adults) today would have enough determination to turn away everything the world had to offer in favor of following God’s command? Even in this lavish, exciting place, they decided to behave themselves in a way that would honor their true Master. Together, the four resolved that they would do everything they could to stay pure before the Lord no matter what environment they were placed in. The boys that didn’t choose to take a stand aren’t even footnotes in history. The ones that we still talk about are the ones who purposed in their hearts.

Despite the place we find ourselves in this week, we need to be Christ-like and refuse to compromise on what we know God expects of us. Are you going to purpose in your heart to serve the Lord no matter where this year takes you? Even if your boss is pushing you to compromise your standards, or you move to a place where you truly know no one, you must resolve to not let your resolution to God dissolve. No matter the place, purpose to seek His face.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.