Daniel 1:[8] But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. [9] And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, [10] and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” [11] Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, [12] “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. [13] Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” [14] So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. [15] At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. [16] So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

One day closer to New Year’s and we take a look at one of the most famous texts in the Bible regarding a resolution. Daniel, and a very large number of other Jews, have been taken captive into Babylon and he is one of a group of hand picked, exceptional young men from the upper classes who are being groomed for government service. Daniel has the wisdom to know that he will be tempted to become just like everyone around him so he makes a resolution that he will not defile himself with the food that he is being offered. This is probably because the food he was offered was food that God had said should not be eaten. Note just a couple of things regarding this resolution as we consider what ones we should make.

1) Daniel knew that he was going to be tempted to conform to practises that God had said he should not be a part of. We live in a world that is not shy about enticing us to abandon the Christian lifestyle for what it determines is right or good or beneficial or enjoyable. Far too often we allow ourselves to get sucked into behaviour that no believer should practice because we didn’t see it coming. Daniel has been tempted and he knows that he can fall so he makes his resolution.

2) Daniel makes his resolution in company with others. The text does not tell us that his three friends also made the same resolution, but we see them making the same stand as Daniel did. We fall into sin quite often because we try to fight sin all by ourselves. This is a sin in itself. One of the things that God provides for all His children in the lifelong battle against sin, is the support of others. There are support groups for almost everything imaginable. Alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, you name it there are groups of people who band together to fight their problems. God has given us a support group to help us fight our temptations. It is called the church and we need to remember that one of its chief purposes is for its members to help one another avoid the sins that so relentlessly assault us.

Hebrews 3:[12] Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. [13] But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

We need to be a part of a small group of some sort where we can be bluntly honest about our struggles and know that we will be prayed for and helped and accepted in our struggles against sin. Daniel knew it and God has told us about him for this very reason.

There are more but two is enough for now. Where do you need to resolve not to defile yourself with the world’s meat? In what areas of life does the world say to you “Come and taste this. It is good for you and will help you get ahead. It will be satisfying and beneficial.”? Do not think this will not happen. You know it does. It has already. What have you resolved to do to make sure you do not fall?

Make a resolution to not defile yourself with whatever it is that tempts you. And then share your struggle with someone else. Make yourself accountable to a group of others who will pray for you and pray with you and not judge you and who can trust you to help them with their struggles. This is a beautiful thing in action when it happens and you will not regret it if you find it. We can do better this year if we use what God has given us to walk in obedience. Resolve, with others, to do so.