In any setting, people expect to receive the best service whenever they pay for it. The waiter needs to bring our orders in time at the restaurant, cabin crew should make our flights as enjoyable as possible and even our lecturers are expected to teach in the best way that we grasp all we are expected to. Unfortunately many of us turn this to a one-sided affair where we expect the best from everyone else but hardly give the best.
Daniel set the standard of what excellence really means; being taken captive by the Babylonians, he rose through the ranks to governor of the land. When they were choosing these young men to serve Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, they looked at both their gifting (i.e. wisdom, knowledge, quick in understanding) and their ability to serve in the king’s palace. Excellence is actually a duality of gifting and servant hood. Our gifting needs to flow from the place of service for us to walk in excellence and not just acting the part. When we fail to recognize that we are servants in whatever we do, we will not walk in excellence; we are meant to give the best service to whomever we are working for. Excellence=first class service.
How do we give first class service?
Scripture says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, which means the only way to get things right is by having God in His rightful place. Daniel understood this; in fact he was admired by kings who were ruling over him for the very reason. When we honor God, we begin to honor men knowing they have authority from God.
We will not talk negatively about our leaders when we honor them; anything we do becomes a reflection of how we see God. As servants we are to honor those who we serve in our speech and actions. Respecting authority sets us up for favor both divine and in the world. If I do not respect those that I serve, I cannot give my best, it all starts with honor.
When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions for failing to follow a decree, he attributed his deliverance from the lions to the favor he had found in the Lord. Because Daniel feared the Lord, he honored men in authority and thus they also favored him. King Darius loved Daniel so much that he found it hard to sleep or eat when Daniel was in the den.
Daniel 6: 19-22 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions, and when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “Oh king, live forever! My God has sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
Integrity is simply walking the talk; what we say in public is the same thing that we do in secret. A character worthy of honor keeps us in right standing before men and God. Since we are servants, we need to remain blameless despite the odds. The reason why many fail the test of integrity is the belief that no one, who matters in our lives, is watching. This is the lie the devil uses to keep us from living out our lives in fullness because it blocks us from reaching out to our Father in heaven.
When we get into the cycle of taking short cuts, our dependence in God diminishes sub consciously. We easily find ourselves not praying because we know that whatever we are doing is not in God’s will. Alternatively things may seem to be working out in the short term and the lie forms in our hearts that we can do it by ourselves. In both cases the effect of lacking integrity is the same, we lose dependence in the Lord.
It takes a heart that fully depends on the Lord to walk in integrity. Compromise comes from us trying to do it for ourselves but integrity calls for allowing God to do it for us.
When a deal looks so good yet it has to be done mischievously, I can trust in the Lord to bring a better one for me or just wait upon Him when none comes through. That in all secrecy I still know God is watching my every move and so I walk in His ways. Integrity makes all that we do outlive us, it leaves a lasting impression and this is what excellence calls for a good legacy. First class service is all about lasting impressions.
Looking into scripture we find that Daniel served with such integrity that even those who plotted against him knew this fact. They could not find any fault in him with regard to his conduct, unless they charged him on the basis of his worship. The only way to charge him was to declare that worshiping God was wrong; if there would be anything worthy of being persecuted for, this was it.
Daniel 6:4-5 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
This is my prayer to you as you think about these two things; that you may honor your leaders at all times and walk in integrity. Next week I will dig further into where excellence comes from but keep this in mind that if something is worth doing, do it well.
- Boldness and Faithfulness (A Devotional Thought Based on Daniel) (julieannesmith.wordpress.com)
- How To Teach Daniel to Our Children (kevinwilkening.wordpress.com)
- Bible in 365: Day 257 (themoptimist.com)
- Fear And Reverence Leads to Obedience (godlyprinciple.wordpress.com)
- Out of the Lions’ Den (dailybibleplan.com)
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my heart saying, “Look I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
It would not be fair to leave you with this information and let you try to change by your own wisdom and strength-it is like chasing the wind. Only in Jesus Christ does all this make sense and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit will we know the way to go. Say this prayer and receive a new life..
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life, according to Romans 10:9-10—“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). I am also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me utterance (Acts 2:4).
The prayer was obtained from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.