But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
The key to Daniel’s life is that he did not wait until the pressure to make a decision was upon him, but decided before the decision had to be made. Two incidents in Daniel’s life show how his purpose before the decision is what helped him make his decision.
The first incident was when he was faced with eating the king’s meat. One may ask what was so bad about eating this meat. It was bad because this meat had been offered to idols. Daniel purposed not to eat something that was not blessed by His God. Daniel purposed to serve God no matter what happened. He understood that serving God would not be easy, but he did not know how that decision would be tested. When they put the meat in front of him and told him to eat, and when he saw everyone around him eating that meat, the pressure to eat the meat was felt, but he followed through on his purpose and did not eat the meat. Daniel would have compromised had he not purposed aforetime that he would not defile himself.
The second incident is when a law was made that no one could pray to any god or person other than Darius the king. When Daniel heard the law was made, he did not flinch in what he always did. Daniel always prayed three times a day, and just because a law told him not to pray, he realized there was a higher law that demanded that he pray to the God of Heaven. When faced with the pressure of not to pray and the impending mouths of the lions eating him, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. What was the secret to Daniel not folding when the pressure not to pray was great? The secret was that he purposed aforetime.
You will never do right when others are doing wrong if you don't purpose in your heart aforetime that you will do right despite what others do. You cannot wait until the pressure is on you to choose to do right, but you must purpose aforetime to do right. Those who have done right when others were pressuring them to compromise did right because they proposed aforetime that they would do right. You must purpose before the pressure is upon you that you will do right. You must purpose aforetime that you will be faithful to church, because one day you will not feel good or a boss will tell you that you have to work on Sunday and miss church. You must purpose aforetime that you will do God’s will for your life because the time will come when a greater opportunity will present itself to you, and only purposing aforetime will keep you focused on doing God’s will.
However, you must also purpose aforetime that you will not change your purpose when it is difficult to continue. Many have undone the right decisions in difficult times because they did not purpose aforetime that they would not undo in difficulties the decisions they made in times of ease. You will face difficulties, and the purpose you made aforetime will be tested, but you cannot change your purpose because of the difficulty and the present pressure that you face. If your purpose of right was right in times of ease, it is still right when pressures and difficulties demand that you change. Make the decision now to do right and never revisit that decision again despite the pressure to change your decision.