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Spiritual Intelligence: Lessons From Daniel

Daniel 1:8 (KJV) says, “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.”

Spiritual intelligence is the ability to use spirituality to navigate life and solve problems. As a scholar, I am attracted to Daniel’s life and a lifetime is not enough to study the book of Daniel. Daniel was spiritually intelligent and it was evident in his food choices and other spheres of life. Let’s consider this scripture:

At the end of the time set by the king to bring all the young men in [before him], the commander of the officials presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king spoke with them, and among them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they were [selected and] assigned to stand before the king and enter his personal service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters (Magi) in his whole realm. Daniel 1:18-20 (AMP)

Daniel was mindful of the food he consumed because he knew and understood God’s health plan for His people. Daniel understood the spiritual and physical effects of food under the old covenant, leading to his determination not to defile his body and spirit with the food. By God’s grace, we no longer have to worry about being spiritually defiled by food, given that Jesus said “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Matthew 15:11 (NKJV)

While food may not defile our spirit, food can defile our bodies. What does “defile” mean? To defile is to poison, corrupt, degrade, or alter the pure state of a thing. As we all know, some foods negatively affect the brain, hormonal balance, and general well-being, while some foods help the human brain and body function well. Hence, we must observe our emotional or bodily reactions after consuming certain foods. It is not enough to pray over our food; we must choose to eat the right food. Praying over five burgers and a large plate of bacon will not stop the adverse effects of eating unhealthy foods or overeating. It is noteworthy that Daniel was a wise man with the Spirit of God, yet he was mindful of his food (Daniel 6:3; Proverbs 23:2). So, I say it is wise to observe your emotional state, body changes, and how much weight you gain after consuming certain foods.

When Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat foods that would defile him, he was practicing self-control. He modeled self-control. It is common for Christians to say, “I can eat anything because I am under grace”. My question is- How is that working for you? Are you healthy? Let’s hold 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT) in mind when making food choices: You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

Self-control is the ability to restrain ourselves despite the freedom we have. Are you going to use your freedom to defile your body or master your body?

Please ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the foods that defile you and empower you to exercise self-control. I have discovered a few and eliminated them from my diet. I encourage you to do whatever the Holy Spirit reveals to you.

If today was your last day on earth, do you know where you will spend eternity? Are you sure you will make it to heaven? If you are not sure, you need to give your life to Jesus Christ. Please say the prayer below and let me know about it here.

Say this: Heavenly Father,
I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe you exist and you sent Jesus to die for me. I receive your love and forgiveness. Reveal yourself to me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen

Welcome to God’s family!

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Author: Temi Michael-O

Temitope Michael-Olaniran (Fafore) is a wife and #boymom. She is the author of A Christian Mother’s Creed. She created this space to share spiritual experiences of motherhood, provide emotional support to families and develop a virtual community where Christian mothers can share Biblical viewpoints on parenting and other aspects of life.

As a lifelong learner with a passion for mental health, Temi is a PhD student (Infant and Early Childhood Development specializing in Mental Health and Developmental Disorders). She is a Perinatal, Infant, and Early Childhood Mental Health consultant, Certified New Parent Educator, trained Postpartum Doula, and U.S. Army veteran.

Click here to contact Temi

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