// Even when my eyes don’t see it You know what I need before I know I need it. Even when I don’t believe it, I know You are for me. Even when my heart’s uneasy I’ll still follow tomorrow, Lord, as You lead me. //

Even When: Brandon Oaks

A sustainable drive comes when purpose is embraced.

Happy 2018!! I’m excited to begin this month & year with a journey through the word. As mentioned in our post last week, “Breakthrough,” we are going to take a walk with the Hebrew boys: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Maybe better known as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abed-Nego.

To make these weekly posts honorable for your time, I will be diving in. As a preface, we will be going through Daniel 1-3. There is so much to unfold I’ve broken down our month into four weeks of uncovering the truth. So these next few posts will be related in that sense. Let’s begin!

Have you ever asked yourself is the life I’m living worth it? Do I set a standard for myself? What’s the point? All very truth revealing questions about the season you’re in. We go through this season time and time again where we question “is this the plan for my life? To be… for the rest of my life?” You fill in the blank. It’s okay. You’re not alone. We hear scriptures that are timeless:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

These scriptures value the test of time. Many can quote them, yet many lack understanding of them. While yes they are empowering, we struggle to see the truth in them. We have a hard time not so much believing it is truth even for someone else, but could it be true for us. It’s okay. You’re not alone.

As we live life, we have many decisions and choices that impact our daily living. Day by day, we continue making choices. Some are hard, some easy. Regardless the outcome, the choices you make today will determine your future.

So what drives the choices you make? Are they driven by friends, family, circumstantial? Does it cross your mind to ask God? What about asking for the consequences of those actions?

No matter the answer there is a “why” that drives you, “I’m doing this because…” If you never know your “why” you become exhausted and lose focus on the end goal. Our “why” empowers us in those struggling times. “I’m doing this because…” becomes our base of strength and war cry.

As we take a look at Daniel 1, we see a living example of having to know your “why” through Daniel and friends. As a new king comes to rule, laws are changed to fit the needs of this king. The land is scoured for young men. With the requirements listed in Daniel 1: 3-4. Taken from their land and placed in a new environment with new laws. That alone is enough to make your head spin.

When you think about this, we all have our comfort levels. We are willing to do this, but if we’re asked to do this then it’s over with. We set conditions for ourselves. But yet so does the Lord. Daniel 1: 8-14. The practice for Daniel, & friends was set by God. They could have chosen to give into what would be a lavishing and royalties, Daniel 1:5. Instead, they chose to honor God. In return, they were seen favorable in His eyes. Thus, setting themselves apart.

The war to finish what you start is a constant battle. Whether it is something big, small, or indifferent. You have to find your “why.” Without it, you will surely give in, or not be able to reap the full reward of working in excellence. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abed-Nego had to find their “why” in choosing to live for the Lord when it would have been easier to live for the earthly king. It helped they went through this battle together, but each had to make their own choice to serve the Lord. Just as you have to make that choice, between only you and Jesus. They came to a spot where they had to war cry this, “I’m doing this because… I love the Lord & I will concentrate myself to obeying what He has told me.”

“Then the king interviewed them, and among them, all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Because they choose God in remembering their “why” they were found favorable. So whatever you’re going through, do you have a “why?” Why are you doing this? What’s the end goal? Who are you doing this for? Is it worth it? What does Jesus say about it?

It’s not easy, but finding your “why” is a weapon in your fight of endurance. Don’t forsake the power you’ve already been given through Christ. You’re in fellowship with the God who made the universe. It’s a relationship you’re building. Trust, and communication with the one who made you. You have to be open and willing to put yourself on the line at times. Vulnerability to say you’re weak, make me strong not in my strength but yours.

Next week we will continue on with, doing life together. I hope this has encouraged you. I pray you not only find your “why” but that you would be able to stand firmly on it without compromise.

If you’ve found this enjoyable, please like, share! If you’ve got a testimony of how these posts are transforming your life, we’d love to hear that too! Until next time, peace & blessings!!