Several years ago I was managing a store. My sales team was doing ok, but not great. I found the person in the district who was making the most money month after month and asked him what his secret was. He told me the mix of products he sells that yielded him double what my team made. I was so excited to share this formula with my team. I wrote it all down and walked them through it. I then said that they would have to trust me for two months before they would see the results. Only one person on my team followed my instructions. Sure enough, two months later his check doubled. After sharing his success, only one other person cared to do the steps necessary even though they knew what it would do for them.
In Daniel 1, the Babylonians had invaded Israel and taken several promising youth captive back to Babylon to serve the king. They devised an eating and learning regime to yield high results in education. The only problem was the eating regime went against the Law God had given them as Jews. Verse 8 says that Daniel made up his mind to follow God’s law over the king’s. This put his life in peril, so he made a deal with the guard to observe him for 10 days. At the end of those days, he looked better than the others who knew God’s laws and chose not to follow them. Then verse 17 says God blessed Daniel by giving him wisdom in literature, philosophy and interpreting visions and dreams.
James 1:25 says, “But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do” (GNT). There are many blessings God holds for believers who don’t just go to church and hear what the Bible says, but apply it in their lives. Unfortunately so many of us miss out on many of God’s blessings because we aren’t following His laws. Just like in Daniel, they often contradict societal norms. When we choose to follow God’s ways over the world’s and live the way He asks, we open up the pathways to His blessings. Don’t just listen to what the Bible says. Put it into practice in your life. God has so much more for you.