You set yourself apart by the work that you do. Are you highly valued by your superiors? Would you be greatly missed if you left? That is the example that Daniel set. As Christians, our work ethic should be such that we are indefensible. While it may not go noticed and promotions may not follow we do our work for the glory of God. Each day we seek His guidance and provision to do the work we are given.
Sometimes you can see the writing on the wall. Our future isn’t written on billboards. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was? As you are driving down the highway a sign lets you know what is coming in your future. That would be nice, but it’s not a reality. God chooses to get our attention in others ways. We see one such instance today in Daniel 5. King Belshazzar receives a message from God in a very abrupt way.
Could you imagine eating dinner one night and God starts writing on the wall? What destiny would God write? What would he warn you about? In Daniel, as King Belshazzar was eating dinner with his guests a hand mysteriously appears and starts to write in a language he doesn’t understand. The only one who could interpret is Daniel. What Daniel had to say wasn’t good, King Belshazzar’s life would be taken tonight!
What Would God Write on Your Wall?
Have you heard the saying the Mighty Have Fallen? Have you ever seen a tree that has fallen? The Oak tree is the most sturdy tree known to man. Its thick wood and deep root system coupled with resistance towards drought enable it to weather almost anything. They can live to be hundreds of years old. So when a mighty oak falls, it is usually to some disease. Humans are similar. We can endure almost anything except for disease. One of the worst conditions is something doctors can’t detect on any test or scan; it’s pride. It eats us from the inside out and leaves us hollow.
At the end of twelve months, he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you,
Too Big for His Britches
King Nebuchadnezzar got too big for his britches, as my grandpa used to say. He was impressed by the size of his kingdom and took all the credit for it. To correct his pride God sent him through a time of humbling correction. He let him know through a dream, which Daniel interpreted. The king was a mighty tree that God cut down. He lost his kingdom and grazed with the animals for seven years! Ouch. That had to hurt.
Pride Led to His Fall
Pride leads to the fall. Nebuchadnezzar was mighty, but he was too impressed with himself. That led to God taking his power away and turning him into an animal for seven years. It took that long before he would turn his heart toward God. Pride has a strain of stubbornness that runs through it, and we often don’t realize it until it’s too late. Humble yourself before the Lord and allow him to do the spiritual surgery necessary to eradicate this deadly disease from your heart.
It takes courage to live with conviction, to guide your life to a higher standard. Daniel was such a man. He wasn’t going to lower his expectations of himself to please other people. We need to live with the same conviction. Choose today to set a high standard for yourself.
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
Take a Stand
When Daniel and his boys Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were being trained to serve the king, they were given food that was sacrificed to other gods. This was strictly forbidden for Jews, and Daniel took a stand. He didn’t protest but asked his supervisor if he could have just vegetables and water. After ten days they looked better than the rest of the trainees. To live with conviction means that we will have to take a stand.
To Live with conviction, we must be above reproach. That means no one can lodge a complaint against you that will stick. Daniel chose to live that way even though no one would’ve noticed. He lived with conviction and denied himself the pleasures of this earth to remain pure before God. It is so easy to defile ourselves (do the wrong thing) when no one is looking. We need to live with convictions that are based on the Word of God not on what will impress other people. Don’t let the opinions of others circumvent your convictions. Stand by them and let God prove them true.
There are a lot of experts who will tell you how to be successful and get the most out of life. The Bible tells us the secret to a satisfying life is to learn how to walk humbly. Daniel was a man who was marked by his humility. He never let his success go to his head, and he always made sure God got the glory.
The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
The king has a dreamed that rocked him to his core. He couldn’t make sense of it, so he turned to experts, who were no help. He was about to get rid of them when Daniel stepped up and offered to help. When the king asked if he could make known the dream he had Daniel told him the truth. No man could, only God could reveal it. He had a chance to steal the spotlight and get all the glory, but he remained humble.
Daniel walked and counseled in the king’s court yet always remained humble. He never saw his gifts as his own but given from God. He didn’t draw attention to himself but was available when God needed to use him. This elevated him in the eyes of God and man. He ended up being in second in command.
Walk humbly. Don’t seek the attention or praise of others. Work in such a way where you give glory to Jesus Christ. Strive for Godliness and contentment. The pursuit of peoples praises can be a trap. Be rich in good deeds. Daniel was a servant first. He never forgot his place and who he was serving. He lived with conviction and let that guide him.