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Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine. Dan. 1:8

Dear Lord Jesus, the older I get, the more I’m intrigued by the life of Daniel and his exiled friends. May the gospel bring me greater freedom to live and love as this man did—with passion and conviction, wisdom and hope. The madness of the current political season in America has greatly intensified this longing.

I used to read the book of Daniel as a “Christian survival manual,” for believers waiting to be lifted on the face of the earth. But that’s not the way you wrote the book. I now realize that Daniel is a testimony to your commitment to redeem your every-nation people, and to make all things new, even in Babylon. It’s your intent to extend the transforming presence of your kingdom wherever you send us—in every part of the world and every sphere of life. Jesus, free us to live and love as Daniel did—as conduits of your mercy and grace. Gospel presence, not fearful paranoia, is the order of the day.

Keep us wise to the particular “defilements” that wage war against our hearts and your story—not just the things in “Babylon” (Rom. 12:1-2), but also the things in the dark continent of our hearts (Gal. 5:17). I now realize the more fully we give ourselves to knowing and loving you, the less enticed we’ll be with the “royal food and wine” of the wrong kingdom (Phil. 3:7-11).

Indeed, Lord Jesus, you are the greater Daniel, the true and eternal King—the One who lived and died for our freedom. Nourish us the “royal food” of your kingdom. As Bread of Heaven, feed us till we want no more. As the giver of the living water, quench our thirst that we might live and love as Daniel did—with passion and conviction, wisdom and hope, until the Day you return to finish making all things new. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and holy name.

 


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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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