The Lord watched closely upon Daniel and his friends and approved their behavior. He saw the purity of their character and their motivation. God’s blessings accompanied them. “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” (Daniel 1:17 NIV). They saw fulfilled the promise of 1 Samuel 2:30 (NIV): “Those who honor me I will honor”.
When the young men had to be tested after many temptations, they were examined in order to see if they were fit for service in the kingdom bureaucracy. After the examinations, “the king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service” (Daniel 1:19 NIV). Their acute comprehension, their wide knowledge and their refined vocabulary witnessed the strength and vigor of their intellectual capabilities. “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, and Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus” (Daniel 1:20, 21 NIV). After the storm, the calm arrives, and the recognition, but the war is never over…
In strength, vigor, physical appearance, mental acuteness and literary capability they had no rivals at all. They walked straight, shinny face, they senses were acute, their breath was no contaminated, all these things witnessed their good habits. These things showed the noble results of following God’s advice and obedience to His laws.
When they studied the Babylonian science and laws, Daniel and their friends had much more success than the other students; but their knowledge did not arrive by chance. They used their faculties and cultivated them under the direction of the Holy Spirit. They were related with the Source of all wisdom, and they took the knowledge of God the basis of their education. With faith, they prayed asking for wisdom and they lived according to their prayers. They were always in a position where God could bless them. They avoided anything that could diminish their faculties. They took any opportunity to become acquainted with any area of knowledge.
Many think God has nothing to do with Mathematics, Chemistry or any science, but the history of Daniel demonstrates that if we ask God for wisdom, he will bless us even in this. They also made the most of any opportunity to study and of using wisely their time.
In any working area, profession or skill, the real success does not come by chance nor by luck. It arrives because of taking advantage of the opportunities given by God. Perseverance, faith, discretion, prudence will recompense the young men and women. God gives the opportunities, the success will depend on how you use them.
While God worked in Daniel and friends’ life “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV), they did their best as well seeking their own salvation. Human efforts are worthless without God’s help, and, God can do little if nothing without the effort of humans. God is the one who puts in our hearts the wish to do things, but that will never take the place of our efforts to achieve those things.
How often we say “I do not like to do this.. or that other thing… read the Bible… praying… come to church… studying… working in that project…” We pray asking God’s help but we do NOT ask God to put as well in our hearts the will to do it. That is what we really have to ask.
The same way God cooperated with Daniel and his friends, He will cooperate with all those who will do the effort of doing God’s will.
God drove the history in such a way that Daniel and his friends were in touch with the most important people of Babylon. God set some witnesses to represent His character in the midst of a pagan country. How could they get prepared for such a high honor and responsibility? Everything began with being faithful in little things, details, that was what shaped their characters for life. They honored God in the small tasks and duties, as well as they did later with bigger responsibilities.
This is how God called Daniel and his friends to witness for Him in Babylon. On the same way, he calls us today to be faithful witnesses in this world. Many are waiting for a great task to be assigned, while they neglect daily opportunities to be faithful to God. Many neglect to cope with their daily small tasks and duties, while wait for a “great” opportunity to serve God, mostly to show off their talents and ambitious wishes which they think they have, instead of actually serving God and others.
Oftenly I get upset at home because I find small pieces of paper over here and there, one sock there, and many little things disordered. My family oftenly thinks I am a bit exaggerated and too perfectionist. And this is why I ceaselessly insist in taking care of the details. If we can not take care of small things, God will never increase the responsibilities, and will not give us bigger tasks to accomplish.
In the life of a true Christian, everything is important, even the smallest thing. At God’s sight every duty is important. The Lord measures with exactitude all possibilities to serve. We will be judged by what we should have done and we did not do because we did not used our faculties to glorify God.
God speaks to every young, every adult, and every believer. People like Daniel are wanted today, men and women who are active, daring, bold for God’s cause. We need pure hearts, strong hands, intrepid braveness, because war between bad and good habitudes requires a constant surveillance.
Intellectual capabilities, physical strength and longevity depend on immutable laws. Through obedience to these laws, the human being might be victorious over himself, over his own tendencies and over “the rulers, authorities … (and) powers of this dark world and … (over) the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
Daniel and his friends were men with passions like ours. Young men nowadays might have the same spirit Daniel dominated, they (you) can find strength in the same Source, possess the same self control and power and reveal the same grace in their (your) life, even in the worse circumstances. Even being surrounded by temptations to satisfy their own appetite, specially in this big cities of nowadays were it is really difficult and the sensual attraction impregnates quite everything, they (you) might stand faithful by God’s grace in purpose and honoring God.
The same powerful truths revealed through those men, God is willing to reveal them in the present time through young people, adults, and even children of today. Daniel’s life and friends are a demonstration of what God can do for those who surrender their life to Him and seek by heart to pursue God’s purpose.
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