Take a Stand: Powerful Expectations

“The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.” (Daniel 1:5)

After being selected for the king of Babylon’s “best and brightest ” program, captured students from around the world were put through a three-year course of study and then placed in a high-ranking job. It was kind of like going away to college and a career—except that you were a conquered slave with little chance of ever going home again.

takestand_350Part of the program included the world’s best cafeteria food ever. At this point in history Babylon was the most powerful nation on earth, and they were huge foodies. The kids in this program would get the best food and wine money could buy to help them become the smartest and strongest young men in the world.

Of course, everyone selected was expected to participate in everything they were asked. They were expected to eat meat. They were expected to drink wine. If they didn’t, the king’s anger could be cruel.

Think: Has anyone in your life ever just expected that you would go along with something you believed to be a wrong choice? How influenced are you by other people’s expectations?

Pray: Ask God to give you the wisdom and courage to refuse to go along with anything because it is expected, but to participate only in what you believe to be right before him.

Do: Pay attention this week to the expectations people put on you without ever really asking if you want to do those things or not. What are your family’s expectations? Your friends? Your co-workers? Notice how you respond to those expectations.