Some two thousand years ago, Jesus shared a startling revelation with His disciples...
"Remember the word that I said to you,'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20, NKJV).
If you've never suffered for your faith in Christ, if you've never been mocked or ridiculed in any way, I want to let you know it's coming. Brace yourself for the inevitable, and rejoice when it happens. Because that means you're doing something right.
It also means you're in good company--the company of our Lord and Savior, as well as His original disciples, and many others down through the ages.
So today I want to share some things I have discovered from the sixth chapter of Daniel that will prayerfully encourage us to become all we can be in Christ.
#1: Consider "average" your enemy.
Daniel was a lowly Israelite living in Babylonian exile, and he was only a teenager at the time. But he was anything but mediocre. The king saw an excellent spirit in Daniel, and he decided to put the young man in charge of the entire realm (Daniel 6:3).
Let this truth sink deep into your spirit today. The Lord did not create you to be average. You can't be great at everything--none of us can. But God has blessed you with unique gifts, abilities, and callings, and you should give Him an excellent return on His investment.
#2: When you achieve success, you'll acquire haters.
Now you might think you're the most lovable person on Earth. Maybe your mother thinks you're the cutest person who ever walked the planet and that you hung the moon in exactly the right place. But I've come to tell you that when God elevates you, haters will line up to send you back to the ground floor.
That's what happened to Daniel almost from the moment the king showed favor to him (Dan 6:4). If you're committed to following God at all costs, it will happen to you, too. And when it does, consider it a sign that you're heading in the right direction.
#3: We're called to be trustworthy and live free from corruption and negligence.
Here's where things can get a little tricky. The haters that showed up in Daniel's life could find no corruption in him (Daniel 6:4). That might not always be true for some of us. We've made mistakes. We've fallen short. Our haters may have plenty of ammunition to use against us.
But be encouraged today! God is not concerned with what happened then. All He cares about is what happens next. Honor God from this day forward. The beginning of your story can't be changed, but it's never too late to re-write the ending.
Finally, when you begin to do these three things, you can expect God to show up in a powerful way. As He did for Daniel, He will silence the mouths of the liars and close the mouths of the lions.
When you honor God in the little things, He'll use you to do legendary things.