It’s a Jubilee year, and with it comes promotion and greater realms of authority both in the natural and in the spiritual. It is a time of great excitement, and also a time where we must depend on the Lord like never before.
As we prepare for this new season of time, I think of the life of Daniel. As he was being carried away captive to the land of Babylon, I’m sure that he faced great fears as the hopes and dreams he once had of living and operating in the land of his forefathers seemed to vanish in an instant.
It is easy to see the heroic feats of this great man of God and assume that there were no moments of disappointment, fear, or failure. However, Daniel was human just like all of us, and I often find myself reading between the lines of his story, pondering his great success despite less than perfect circumstances.
“But 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; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”—Daniel 1.8
What set Daniel and his friends apart was their resolve to serve their God, above all else. However, what I love about this particular example is how Daniel purposely honors those in leadership above him. Many times we assume, when those in leadership above us do not honor our God or our lifestyle, that this gives us an open door to write them off, but this is just not true. In fact God requires honor in ALL of our relationships, because it allows other to see His goodness toward them regardless of their flaws or failures.
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”—Daniel 1.12-13
The results of Daniel’s request changed the entire way young men of nobility were raised within the Babylonian Kingdom. When he chose to honor God with his life, God released honor back into his requests, not only by blessing Daniel, but also by blessing many around him, as well.
“And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”—Daniel 1.15-16
When you walk in favor with the Lord, people of ALL walks of life will take notice. They may not understand why they are drawn to you, but that is the whole point really. Eventually curiosity should overtake them, giving you the opportunity to pour into their life.
“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”—Daniel 1.18-20
As you continue to press into the Lord during this season, do not be afraid when change comes. These challenges will strengthen your character, and most importantly will bring greater clarity that God IS a good God. And, just like Daniel, as you choose to honor the Lord, He will in turn honor you before others. Allow the Lord to bring you through times of testing so that when you stand before kings, they will say that your skills are “ten times better” than ALL others.