What is you had to lead a team of people and not one of them was like you in any way? What's more, what if you were in a land that was not your home, with an adopted language, culture and customs? Finally, what if those people were involved in activities that were banned by your God in His book? Sounds like a tough if not impossible job, right?
Wrong! That exactly describes Daniel's situation, yet Daniel went on to prosper in Babylon and serves as a great example of the power of purpose. If you have missed any of our Daniel articles the last few weeks, you may want to go back and catch up. If you are current, then it's time to move on and learn more about this remarkable man.
When the king had a dream that troubled him, the Bible tells us:
In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, "I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means " (Daniel 2:1-3).
We saw last week that the king refused to divulge the dream to those so-called wise men, but demanded that they tell him the dream and the interpretation. Only Daniel was willing to see His God for the answers and God graciously revealed the dream and the meaning.
The king rewarded Daniel for his exceptional work, as one might expect:
Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel's request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court (Daniel 2:48-29).
Who were those wise men over whom Daniel was put in charge? They were the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers mentioned earlier. Can you imagine Daniel's business meetings with those men? He had to listen to their occult reports as their chief, and he did so with distinction.
Why do I point this out? I do so because you may be called to fulfill your purpose in Babylon, too. You may not feel comfortable with your team or their spiritual values or orientation. Yet God may still direct you to serve and lead them and do so with the same excellence that Daniel employed.
Daniel did not choose to be in Babylon. God sent him there. He did not want to make a life transition that would take him away from his land and people.Yet when it happened, God made Daniel a champion in a foreign culture and He remained true to his God by doing excellent work.
Did you ever wonder how the Magi knew to look for a star and come to Bethlehem when Jesus was born? Some suggest it was Daniel's influence that caused then to search. After Daniel had heard the reports in his meetings from all the soothsayers, astrologers and necromancers, it was his turn and he reported on the hope of Israel. Some were so impressed that they spent the next five centuries searching for evidence of what Daniel had predicted would happen. When they saw the star, they left their homes, just like Daniel did his, to find the Promised One of Israel.
If your purpose takes you to a modern-day Babylon, don't fret. Just do what Daniel did. Look for an opportunity to serve and shine brightly for your God and tell them what you know to be true. Then watch and see what God does, for He never sends His best anywhere without giving them success in the matters at hand. Have a great week!
KENYA UPDATE: I just posted an update from Pastor Peter in Kenya concerning an Easter distribution of clothing. You can read what he wrote here and then please give a belated Easter gift to the work in Kenya through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for your help.
UPCOMING SEMINAR IN PITTSBURGH: I am hosting my quarterly purpose profiling seminar in Pittsburgh (at right is a picture from the last one held in October, 2013) at Allegheny Center Alliance Church on Saturday, May 3 from noon to 4:30 PM. As usual, the seminar is free but you need to register by writing to let me know you are coming. If you can't make this one, the next one is on June 7 at the same time.
MISSIONS EVENT: I am speaking at the African Christian Fellowship fundraising luncheon at noon this coming Saturday, April 26 here in Pittsburgh at the Wyndham Hotel in Oakland. I was invited by my good friend Emmanuel Ike from Nigeria. Admission is free but, as always, you need to let me know you would like to come.
PURPOSE ASSESSMENT: Don't forget that there is a free purpose assessment on the home page of my website. Once you take the assessment, you will hear from me with your score and with suggestions for the way forward.
ONLINE RADIO: I now have three weekly Internet radio shows, to which you can listen live or access all of the archived interviews and download them to listen to on your mobile device or on your computer. The three shows are:
- Leadership Talk: Friday at 4PM (U.S. Eastern Time Zone)
- Urban Heroes: Wednesday at 8AM
- Ministry Beat: Tuesday at 4PM
FACEBOOK: When you have a chance, please go to my Facebook ministry page and register a like so you can follow me there.