Decide Ahead of Time
Phillips Brooks said, "Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones."
We will develop habits in life that can be good or bad, depending on what kind of habits they are. If they are bad habits, that will be troublesome. If they are good habits, that will be beneficial. As a young Christian, I developed the habit of reading my Bible every day, starting the day with the Word of God. That is a good habit. I also developed the habit of biting my fingernails. That is a bad habit.
We develop these habits and patterns that we carry on through life. In the early years, the die is cast. The course is charted. The path is followed.
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel were four young men who were ready to face the big moments later because of decisions they made earlier in life. These Jewish teenagers ended up as captives in Babylon, and they were facing heavy-duty temptation.
Suddenly the world was their oyster. And Nebuchadnezzar was hoping they would be seduced by all the luxuries he placed before them. Yet they had a God to serve and a stand to make. The Bible tells us that "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank" (Daniel 1:8). They made a stand in a relatively small area, and didn’t compromise.
If you compromise now, you will regret it later. You decide the evening of your life by the morning of it. It is not a mystical thing you have nothing to say about. You decide.
Decide now the kind of stand you are going to make then.