The book of Daniel is rich in wisdom and modeling of how to walk in integrity, how to focus and hold our ground, how to honor others, and most of all, how to advance through the Kingdom of God.
In the first chapter of Daniel we find Daniel holding his ground. He and three of his friends had been among the Israelite captives taken into exile to Babylon.
They were to be served the food from the King’s own table. But we read Daniel’s resolution in Daniel 1:8-15
“But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the King.” Daniel 1:8
We read on about how he found a way to stay true to his convictions and how he negotiated with those in charge, a compromise and a test. Holding his ground took some effort and some wisdom, but he was well rewarded and was able to maintain the standards by which he wanted to live.
We clearly see the FIRST Criteria of being promoted: Standing our ground and in our convictions.
In the second chapter of Daniel we find Daniel seeking the Lord.
“That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.” Daniel 2:19
The SECOND Criteria of being promoted in the Kingdom of God: Seeking the Lord in all things.
We continue reading to find that Daniel gives all of the credit for this revelation to God and God alone. This is what he says to the King,
“But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future.” Daniel 2:27
The THIRD Criteria in order to be promoted in the Spirit Realm, is to ALWAYS give all of the credit to our Living God.
All the glory goes to him, we take none of it for ourselves.
In Chapter 4 of Daniel we find that the influence of holding his ground, seeking his God, and giving all the glory back to God, results in great influence on those around him. We find King Nebuchadnezzar himself praising the Living God and declaring Him through the Kingdom.
“Peace and prosperity to you! I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations.” Daniel 4:2-3
We continue reading as the king continues to give testimony to a dream the king had, the interpretation of Daniel, but most importantly, the compassion and care that Daniel had for the king.
“Belteshazzar (Daniel) replied, ‘I wish the events foreshadowed in this dream would happen to your enemies, my lord, and not to you!” Daniel 4:19b
Daniel had been so long in the service of the king that he no longer considered or knew the king to be any kind of enemy, but rather someone he cared for and worked alongside.
And because Daniel proved himself a friend of the King, he was trusted and moved to speak truth at great risk. In Daniel 4:27 we find him pleading with the king:
“King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” Daniel 4:27
The FOURTH Criteria to be promoted in the Spirit Realm, is to become a friend of The King.
Coming to understand the heart of God proves us faithful with His heart, and gives us ground for speaking plainly and with influence.
We go on to read in Daniel 6 this testimony of Daniel:
“Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.” Daniel 6:3
Daniel held his ground (1), sought God (2), gave all the glory to God (3), proved himself a friend of the king (4), and was therefore given authority and opportunity.
Daniel had made himself highly useful to the king. We have opportunity to do the same with The King of this Universe.
As we seek Him, give Him the glory, prove ourselves a friend of God, we will be given more and more responsibility amongst God’s people, and more authority in the Kingdom of God.
None of these things happen right away. Rather, they are the product of time and of our faithfulness over time. Proving ourselves requires guts and stamina and faithfulness.
Day after day we can prove ourselves to be aligned with the King. Seeking His heart, following His lead, brings us into our own positions of leadership within His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
“God, we come before you today seeking your face. Thank-you for your affirmations of our lives in you today. We seek to make ourselves even more useful to you and your plans on this earth. Please teach us faithfulness, teach us to have compassion and to honor your heart. Teach us to speak life to others. Teach us your heart. We want to become your friend and know your heart more and more every day. Thank-you for your heart given to us. We love you.”
God’s best over each of you.