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A Purposed Heart

By Pastor Fernando Villicana, Correspondent | March 01, 2022 | NATIONAL

Story No. 020322102

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank… (Daniel 1:8a)

Singleness of purpose...this is not a foreign concept to the first responder. The very duties of these occupations cry out for a concerted singleness of our purpose to fulfill the mission. It is essential. This essentiality also applies to our spiritual lives. Only when we pursue God with singleness of heart do we find the peace that surpasses all understanding. If we seek with less than the whole heart, the result will be less than joy.

Today we’re hearing an awful lot about culture. And it is for good reason - there is without a doubt, huge changes in the way people think as it relates to a long list of things.

-politics
-economics
-race/racism
-laws/freedoms
-gender
-family (by many) is being redefined.

Daniel remained faithful and steadfast in the Lord no matter how much pressure was put upon him by his changing culture. He took a stand that could have led to his execution or, at the very least, enslavement or imprisonment. Daniel made a decision not to defile himself with food and wine from the king’s table. This was no trivial matter to Daniel.

According to God’s Word, the food was unclean. Furthermore, God’s Word warned against partaking of strong drink (Prov. 20:1). This is why believing Jews usually added 3 to 6 parts of water to one part of wine. Finally, the king’s food and wine had most likely been sacrificed to false gods before it was served. When Daniel and his three friends had to choose between obeying God’s Word and bending to the culture, they chose to obey God’s Word. They were stedfast on their convictions. They were determined to be faithful to the Lord and the word of God. A whole nation was taken into captivity. But one man decided not to bend or compromise under that captivity.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Indecision about God is described in our English Bibles as "double-mindedness" - and double-mindedness is a costly habit. With so much contentment at stake, why do we waver? Why don't we choose God more wholeheartedly? Even though we say we desire fellowship with God, perhaps we're simply not willing to let go of the alternative. We suppose that there must be a way to have the best of both worlds.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you . . . purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8).

What we need is the courage to pursue God with singleness of purpose.

Pastor Fernando Villicana
Fire Department Chaplain

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.