If you weren’t around last Friday night (or if you were, but you need a refresher), we started a new series called, “Subversive: Living like Daniel in 2015.”

Daniel 1 in Review

Daniel was a young man (a teenager, quite likely) when a foreign king (Nebuchadnezzar) conquered his country and took him, and three of his friends, captive.

It wasn’t the kind of captivity we instantly think of, though. Conquering kings were in the habit of taking the best young people — good looking, well educated, wise — to serve in their courts. They were chosen for a special role.

But no king wants someone in his government who doesn’t like him. That’s where revolution and mutiny come from. So Nebuchadnezzar ordered three years of education for the young men he stole, and at the end of the three years, he would choose the best to represent his government. Those three years were to be spent in indulgences, as the king tried to rewrite their identities and woo them into falling in love with the Babylonian culture. 

One way he was going to do that was to give them portions of his food — “from the king’s own table.” It was a high honor, and the word “food” better translates to “delicacies.” It was the best of the best.

But food was a big part of Daniel’s identity as a young Jewish man. When God established His nation in the Israelis, He sought to make them different, and part of that had to do with their diet. So in offering them delicious, fine foods that they were – technically – not supposed to eat, Nebuchadnezzar was (again) very seductively redefining these young men.

023-023-daniel-refusing-the-kings-food-and-wine-fullDaniel was having none of it.

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

How Daniel 1 Applies to You

Like Daniel, we live in a wealthy, indulgent, ungodly society that is more than happy to offer all kinds of things that we can fill ourselves up on — things that will redefine us contrary to who God has called us to be, things that will distract and pacify us.

So many of us say that we want to live real, authentic Christian lives.

So many us want more of God, but we’re not sure what to do or how to get to Him.

So many of us don’t understand why we don’t seem to have the power or presence of God in our lives.

So many of us suffer from depression or anxiety, and we don’t understand why or where it comes from.

Because so many of us allow ourselves to be distracted and pacified. We let our society tell us who we are, what we’re worth, and what is important in life. We trust celebrities and media outlets more than we trust the Word of God.

Daniel 1Some of us are over it. We want to live like Daniel. We want to subvert the reigning social order that tries to shut out our faith, that exploits the weak, that thrives on war and violence.

Daniel proposed a ten day test. He and his friends refused to eat the delicacies that they knew would “defile” them for 10 days.

We’ve proposed the same test.

Not for the Faint of Heart

But bacon and pastries don’t have anything to do with our identity. So for 10 days, we’re refusing things that try to distract, pacify, and define us. For 10 days, we’re refusing media.

  • Music
  • Television
  • Movies
  • Video games
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc.)

We started Saturday (January 10).

You can jump in now, and be done with us on the 19th. Or you can start your 10 days whenever you read this.

Don’t just scoff it off. It’s not too hard. Music (or Tumblr or video games) are not, actually, your life.

Pray about it. Consider it.

Consider that we get together for church services, and we stand and sing things like, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,” and, “I will fight to follow, I will fight for love,” and, “I let go of all I have, just to have all of You.”

Do we mean it? Or do we sing those things, and then tell Him we can’t live without social media for 10 days in hopes of hearing His voice, of getting closer, of letting Him define us?

10 days

Leave a comment and let us know you’re in. Or tag yourself in our, “Signing off” post on Instagram. Make up your mind, like Daniel, and see what God might do with 10 days.