Daniel was a long way from home. His parents had either been killed or taken prisoner by the enemy king, Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians had destroyed everything he held dear. With so much sorrow in his life, Daniel could have made a lot of excuses for not doing what he was about to do.

King Nebuchadnezzar taught Daniel and the other Jewish youths the Babylonian culture. They had to eat different food, speak a different language, and learn different customs. Daniel didn’t mind learning new things, but he did have a problem with eating the king’s food. He believed it was his responsibility to continue following the dietary laws God had given to Israel. In the quietness of his own mind, he made a decision not to eat the king’s meat. He made God his own, and God gave him favor.

Like Daniel, we will reach a point in life when we have to make God our own. Others cannot choose right and wrong for us. We have to reach this decision completely by ourselves, not because of our parents, friends, or people in church. It’s personal, and that makes a world of difference.

How does a person know if he has made God his own? The answer is found in who you are when you’re all by yourself — when you are willing to go against popular opinion to stand for God; when you make an effort to get alone with God on your own; when you are all by yourself and have no one to impress, and you still do the right thing; when you are hurting, but you refuse to compromise.

Have you made God your own? You can. Spend time talking with Him. Read His Word, and apply it to every part of your life. Let Him influence your thoughts, actions, and convictions today.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder