THE SECOND CHARACTERISTIC—BEING JOINED TO GOD’S DESIRE THROUGH HIS WORD
Daniel was not only a person who read God’s Word regularly, but a person who was joined to God’s Word. This is the second characteristic. He did not read God’s Word for the purpose of finding out some knowledge or merely for finding out God’s will. Rather, he read to receive and to keep God’s commandments. We should believe that he refused the food and drink of the king of Babylon because he had read the five books of Moses. He must have read about the clean and unclean food from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. At the same time, he must have found out that God’s people cannot partake of any food that has touched the idols. Since he read these commandments and therefore knew God’s desire, he accepted them and applied them to himself. Hence, he was not a person separate from the Scripture. He was not merely studying the Bible.
When he read from the book of Jeremiah that God had ordained seventy years of captivity for the Israelites, and that after seventy years God would turn back to bless them, he immediately fasted and prayed. He did not read the Scripture in a dead way. As soon as he touched God’s desire through the Word, he immediately joined himself to that desire.
This was the way he read the Bible. This was why he could be touched by every word, by the light, and by the teaching in the Bible. After he read the book of Leviticus, he could no longer eat the unclean food. After he read the book of Jeremiah, he could not help but fast and pray for the restoration of God’s people. Whichever point he read, he joined himself to that point. Brothers and sisters, please remember that a person who turns the age for God must possess such a characteristic. When we come to God’s Word, we have to learn not to study for some scholarship or for some knowledge, but to find out God’s desire from His Word. Whenever we find out God’s desire, we must immediately join ourselves to that desire.
I believe that many young brothers and sisters read the Bible regularly. However, I am afraid that when you read the Bible, the Bible remains the Bible, and you are still you. For instance, the Bible clearly says that a believer and an unbeliever should not be yoked together. This word is very clear. Nevertheless, after you read it, perhaps you still make friends with unbelievers. This means that the Bible is the Bible and you are you. The Bible cannot affect your living, and you cannot be joined to the Bible. You read clearly from the Bible that God’s will forbids His children from being yoked together with unbelievers in everything. You should not befriend unbelievers. You should much less consider marrying an unbeliever. Yet you still befriend unbelievers and even consider marrying unbelievers. This means that your living is totally separate from the Bible. Such a person cannot turn the age; neither can he be an anti-testimony in a degrading age. To be an anti-testimony, one must read God’s Word, touch God’s desire from His Word, and must join himself to this desire of God.
The current of the entire world today is against God’s desire. If within you, you have touched God’s desire, your living must be an anti-testimony against the age and the tide. When you read 2 Corinthians 6:14 and find out God’s desire about believers and unbelievers not being yoked together, you should right away say, “Amen!” From that point on, you should be determined not to befriend any unbelievers anymore because this is God’s desire. Although some brothers and sisters among you still make friends with unbelievers, you cannot do that anymore. You will stand up as an anti-testimony. As soon as you find out God’s desire from His Word, you must join yourself to this desire.
Brothers and sisters, this was Daniel’s characteristic in those days. He was not like many Bible readers who treat Bible reading as an objective matter. This kind of Bible reading cannot touch God’s desire. Because you read the Bible apart from the Bible, the Bible can never get into you. Bible reading is useless to such persons. To read the Bible, one must join himself and his living to God’s Word. Any time you find out God’s desire from His Word, you must immediately join yourselves to this desire with fear and trembling. This is the second characteristic we find in Daniel. Every person whom God uses to turn the age must possess this characteristic. Only those who join themselves to God’s Word can be of real use to God!
(Men Who Turn the Age, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)