God wants you to be successful in what you do.
He makes your progress possible because he has a plan not only for you, but for the place you work and for the people you work with.
In the story of Daniel, although an example from thousands of years ago during the time of the Babylonian Empire, we’ve found parallels with our own work and study situations.
Now, at the end of our series, we find Daniel is promoted and materially rewarded in his secular work because his heart remained committed to God.
Daniel rose to the top not by neglecting his faith, but by being faithful to God in the work he had been assigned.
Daniel succeeded not by wasting his God-given talents, but using it for God’s glory.
Likewise, your success depends on faithfulness and smartness.
Do not neglect your God-given smartness.
You have been selected for your good qualities. Maybe not specifically for physical beauty, but your employers or college evaluated your potential, your education and qualifications, and your comprehension. They chose you because they saw in you good qualities they could work with.
Daniel was chosen for being without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace.
You don’t walk into a job or college knowing everything. Instead, you are trained—whether formal or informal on the job training—before you can be an asset to your employers.
It was the same for Daniel. He was taught in the language and literature of the Babylonians.
God has chosen you also, for the position you’re in. Perhaps it’s far from your dream job, and not at all what you want. Daniel’s turn of events were not at all where he expected to end up, either. God, too, selected Daniel for a position in the Babylonian royal service.
God has a plan for you and it includes success. He needs you there for his purpose.
God is often at work in our secular workplaces in more ways than we realize.
God makes sure people respond well to you. God can influence the minds and hearts of your employers, even those who don’t follow him. With Daniel, God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel.
God makes sure you have what it takes, just like Daniel: To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Believe God is sovereign over your position, and you can work at being successful because God wants it too.
You can stand out. When you’ve been trained and your employer looks at your work, you want he or she to react like the king who found none equal to Daniel. Daniel and his friends stood out from the other trainees and the astrologers who grew up in Babylon, had been in the king’s service for longer, and had more experience: In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Don’t look for a way out. Perhaps you are desperate to leave your work situation. Instead, of looking for a way out, this could be the time to reevaluate and consider how far you have come. Ask yourself: Does God want me to remain where I am until I have fulfilled the plan he has for me here?
Daniel had no chance of leaving the king’s palace and living with his own people. We are told: Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Reevaluate your heart. Are you thinking about your own needs or God’s needs? See where God is at work, decide to join him, and do your best.
Then get down to the nitty-gritty. We learned from Daniel to: Be determined. Choose your battles. Don’t make demands. Be amendable. With an impossible task, God makes it possible. Bring your team members along with you in your success. Be wise and respect those who are above you.
Then you will be successful and rewarded, and God’s plan will be fulfilled.
Daniel provided the solution to the king’s problem. For this, Daniel received gifts and promotion. The king also acknowledged God above his own gods: Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries.
Do you face the chance of promotion? Are you been rewarded with a pay rise and bonus?
With Daniel, God has a committed and trustworthy believer in the highest place in a pagan country. Perhaps he wants something similar for you.
Keep using your God-given smartness, because success comes from God and is for God.
Dear God, help me to see the talent, education and skills I have as things I can use to be successful and for your glory. Amen.