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Daniel wasn't an average guy in the kingdom with a regular job, a wife, three kids and a nice house down the street. He started out as a slave, lowest on the totem pole and doing work for nothing. Yet, he made one of the biggest leaps to power in all of the scriptures. He ended up being favored over princes and presidents. In fact, Daniel ended up over "the whole realm" and in charge of all King Darius' money! How's that for trust? And all this from a guy who used to be a slave.

Daniel 6:1-2 announces the change in Daniel's destiny when it says, "It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first...."

Daniel wasn't even a citizen of the country he was enslaved to. So, looking at the circumstances, he shouldn't have had the opportunity to dabble in politics at all! Yet, obviously God was with him because the Bible goes on to tell us that he was made head "...over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them and the king should have no damage." This means that it was Daniel's job to make sure nobody stole from the king and to make sure that everything the king owned was accounted for.

"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes..." (v. 3).

So, after the giant promotion from slave to first of the three presidents, Daniel got another big promotion. He became "preferred" or given favor over all the presidents and princes. He became a leader over other leaders.

Now, doesn't it seem odd to have a slave ruling over princes and presidents? Doesn't it seem strange to have a slave with no former accounting experience working a job that handles all the king's dough? Daniel's life is proof that God works in mysterious ways. It's proof that God can take a "nobody" and put them in a position of great honor and responsibility.

But how, in the natural sense, could Daniel have made such a huge leap in society? The Bible tells us how: It was, "...because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm" (v. 3). You see, Daniel didn't get to that powerful position by stabbing his slave co-workers in the back, lying about his abilities or brown-nosing his boss. He didn't make it through some back door. Daniel was elevated because he was faithful to God and man, and God was able to use him. He had three characteristics that really got people's attention. He was a man of great purpose, prayer and perception. And that eventually led him to a place of great power.

Now, I can guarantee you that being a faithful guy wasn't all gravy for Daniel. He had a whole lot of opportunities to compromise his standards of excellence, slack on his prayer time and get depressed about his circumstances. But he decided not to take those opportunities. He made a quality decision to be a man of purpose.

Daniel - A Man of PURPOSE
Daniel was a man of purpose and that purpose was his fierce loyalty to God. He was so loyal to God that after he was promoted he refused to eat what the king and his colleagues dined on because he said it would "defile" him. The "king's meat" was from the animals sacrificed to pagan gods and Daniel flat out refused to eat it. He said, "I ain't going to defile myself with meat sacrificed to other gods! I'd rather eat pulse than eat that unrighteous stuff!" Pulse was beans, peas and some vegetables.

As a slave, I imagine that he wasn't given much, if any, meat. Slaves were fed poorly. So when Daniel was offered the king's meat, he didn't decline because he was a politically correct vegetarian. He made a real sacrifice when he passed up steak for peas and beans. No matter how great that meat smelled while it was roasting, no matter how delicious he knew the meal was, Daniel chose loyalty to God over his growling belly and ate pulse.

The head eunuchs were worried about it. One of them told Daniel, "Man, if you look sickly and under weight, we're gonna be in trouble!" They knew that the king liked Daniel and wanted him to be happy, healthy and full. It would have fallen on their heads if Daniel weren't physically taken care of. But do you know what Daniel said to the eunuchs when they questioned him? "Have no fear! My God is taking care of me!" And sure enough, Daniel looked healthier than everyone eating the meat did!

Nobody could change Daniel's mind. He wasn't going to eat, say or do anything that was against God. No matter how hard his enemies tried, they couldn't get him to stop being loyal. Even when confronted with death, Daniel still stuck to his guns. I believe that is partly why he was victorious in everything he did.

Loyalty to God will bring you halfway to victory. When you are a person with a strong purpose, you don't budge when temptations come - even if it's hard. Loyalty like that means that when everyone else is giving in, you get even more determined. It means that when everyone is pressuring you to compromise and be a mediocre believer, you firmly shake your head "no" and strive for excellence.

Don't Compromise Your Loyalty
The first thing that will try and get you to compromise your loyalty to God is your own flesh. That's because your flesh likes things to be easy and flow smooth. Sometimes following God means going against the grain of what everybody else is doing. Your flesh will try to control you no matter if you've been saved two weeks or 40 years. It is no respecter of persons! After all, it didn't get saved when you did. Your spirit is what was saved. Your flesh? It usually still wants to do it's own thing. That is why those "renewing your mind" and "crucify yourself with Christ" scriptures are in the Bible. They're in there to teach you how to handle yourself, get control over your life and help you succeed in being a person of purpose.

Temptation is too hard to resist if you don't have fierce loyalty to God. The devil is going to make sure that he tempts you with the very thing that is hardest for you to resist. Take me for instance.

Before I was born again, I loved booze. My two favorites were scotch and tequila. I ate more worms at the bottom of a tequila bottle than the earliest bird on your block. I drank so much scotch, I could have set a city on fire with my breath at the strike of a match! A doctor told me I'd be dead in my twenties if I kept it up. Thank God He saved and delivered me because I'd be dead today if He hadn't!

It was my purpose that kept me from breaking the promise I made to the Lord back in 1974. The promise that I'd never drink or do drugs again if He'd only come into my life and change me. But do you know what? I never had to work at keeping that promise to God because He met me right where I was and cleaned me up from the inside out! He supernaturally delivered me from my addiction to alcohol and drugs. He rehabilitated me in about ten seconds flat when I gave my life to Him. No withdrawals, no shakes, no sweats. Nothing but freedom!

Now, how could I hurt my God by going back on my promise? I couldn't! My loyalty to Him is just too strong to let some hell-bent flesh ruin what He has done for me! It is that loyalty that makes me strive for excellence every time!

How about you? Do you feel that your loyalty to the Lord is so strong that it anchors you down when the winds of temptation blow? Do you feel in your heart that you are a person of purpose? If you are the least bit unsure, pledge your complete loyalty to God right now in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be like Daniel, faithful to obey and uncompromisingly loyal to the Lord.

Daniel - A Man of PRAYER
Daniel wasn't just loyal to God. He had a regular habit of talking to Him too. And he could have cared less if other people knew it. Daniel took time out to hear the voice of God. Not just once, but three times every day.

Do you think Daniel did all the talking three times a day? No way! A man can't have that much to say! He shut up long enough to hear what God had to say too. That's why he could get into hairy situations and not worry all the time. He dwelled in the secret place of the Most High and consequently, he was able to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Daniel's time spent with God was what helped him overcome the normal, human response of worrying when things look bad. And believe me, things looked pretty bad for Daniel every now and then.

Take this situation for instance. The fact that Daniel was such a praying man was a bit of an annoyance to some of the governors and satraps that he was in charge over. They already hated him because the king had elevated him from slave to high position. But the praying business really bothered them too. The scriptures tell us that they actually tried to use his prayer time as a way to find fault with him. "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God" (Daniel 6:5).

These men decided to trick the king into signing a law that said nobody could pray to anyone but the king for 30 days. It sounded good enough to the king. He probably thought it would foster more loyalty among his people. He didn't have a clue his governors where conspiring against Daniel.

The Bible tells us that even though Daniel knew that law was being signed, he prayed three times with his window open towards Jerusalem the day it was put into effect. Daniel wouldn't quit praying. And he was thrown into the lion's den for disobeying the new law.

Of course Daniel knew that by himself he didn't have power over the government. But, because he was a man of prayer, he knew that the One he "continually served" would protect him. And that is just what God did.

Everybody knows the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den. Although the king was distraught over the situation, he had to obey his own law and throw Daniel to the lions. But, make no mistake, even a bunch of hungry lions will not touch a man when an angel of God is on the scene. That angel was a representative of the Most High God. Those big cats knew who made them! They weren't going to touch a hair on Daniel's head! So what did Daniel do? He went to sleep.

I can imagine what the cats were thinking as they stared at Daniel sleeping on the ground. We know he looked healthier than anyone eating the king's meat, so imagine how delicious he looked to a bunch of starving lions. They were probably staring at him and thinking, Look at this! Here is a perfectly good hunk of meat and we can't touch it! Why doesn't this angel go on home? We need to eat! C'mon angel! Take a break. Give us a shot. We're starving here!

No, the cats didn't get a bit of meat that night. God shut those lion's mouths and Daniel went free the very next morning. The king was so thrilled that God protected Daniel, that the very next day he celebrated Daniel's divine deliverance by changing the law and throwing every last one of those devils from hell into the same lion's den! So, the hungry lions didn't have just one guy to eat, they had a feast of evil men!

Do you know what those lions did when they saw all those men tumbling down into their lair? They ate those governors and satraps without remorse, licking their chops and purring. It was feasting night for the lions!

How Daniel Got The Gift
Why did Daniel have the ability to interpret the dream? Because God trusted him. Daniel's mind was renewed because he talked to the Lord on a daily basis - actually throughout the day. Daniel was sensitive to the things of God because he knew and cared about obeying God's Word. This gave him clarity. It enabled him to discern spiritual matters, see beyond the present and look into the future. Besides, God wanted to talk to the unbelieving king and He wanted Daniel to move up. So, He gave Daniel what he needed to get noticed by the king - the gift of divine perception.

Yet, God went even further with Daniel. Because he was a man of prayer and purpose, God trusted him with visions of the future. So, although he had many dreams and visions concerning his own time and was instrumental in the life of his king, Daniel saw much further ahead in time. Daniel had the privilege of prophesying about the life and death of Jesus. He was even given insight into the end times. His recorded insights shed light on what is happening in our day and age. Now, that's trust. That's a man with divine perception.

You see, Daniel had a destiny to fulfill and it wasn't going to be lived out in slavery. God honored his loyalty, love and faith by giving him the exact attribute that was most needed by the king. That's what got Daniel promoted to a position of power.

Promoted to a Place of POWER
It's God that moves faithful believers into places of power. How does He do it? By giving us exactly what we need to capture the attention of those who are in charge. He is a generous God who rewards those who are faithful, loyal and communicative with Him.

Psalms 75:6-7 says it best when it says, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Promotion comes from the Lord! He knows who to maneuver to get you in the right place at the right time, and He'll give you the right attribute to meet the need of whoever is in charge. God picks the people who He can trust.

Daniel could be trusted with the king's money. Even though he came from a background of slavery, he didn't get a swelled head the minute he got power. You never once hear about Daniel doing anything abusive with the power that was given to him. You never hear about him holding his position over his former slave boss's head! He handled his job without an attitude. I think that is an impressive trait in Daniel's life.

Superior to Power, Not Driven by Power
To me, Daniel was a man who was superior to power instead of being driven by it. He didn't allow the sight of all that money to tempt him into thievery. He didn't push his weight around and act like "the big man" just because of his new title. Daniel kept the same attitude of excellence that got him to that position in the first place.

Even when his colleagues criticized him for not eating "the king's meat", Daniel didn't use his power to harm them. He could have. But he didn't. No, he didn't use his power for vengeance. His life's example was about being superior to power and trusting God. He would not misuse it in God's sight.

Of course, the best example of a man who was superior to power was Jesus Christ. When the Pharisees came to take him away He could have called down 12 legions of angels from Heaven to blast those power-hungry idiots to the moon. But He didn't. Instead, He was superior to His own power. He chose instead to look beyond what was going on in the present and look ahead into the future. He chose to allow those people to sentence Him to death, to hang on a cross for the sins of us all. Now that is superiority to power! He knew what His personal sacrifice would do and laid down His power so that we could inherit the promise. Glory!

Today God is looking for men and women He can elevate to positions of power. He's looking for those who are superior to power, instead of being driven by power. Can He use you? If you have developed excellence of spirit, He sure can! All He needs is for you to be a willing and cooperative vessel with a love for Him and a heart for people.

Purpose. Prayer. Perception and power. Daniel's "excellent spirit" is a great example for you and I today. I challenge you to focus on exercising your own spirit of excellence. Practice being loyal to God. Practice letting your own opinion fall second to God's Word. Practice talking to God regularly. Develop that God-given thirst to pray. Remember, the more you talk to God, the greater your perceiving abilities will become. God will honor your loyalty and commitment to Him by giving you just what you need to be recognized by those in power.

No matter where you are in life, you can go higher. If a slave can be head over a king's money, surely you can move up in life too! And remember, when you do get into that place of power, try not to let the reactions of those around you get to you. The truth is that people rarely remember the slave days. They won't recount all the time you sacrificed on your knees in prayer to God. They might not remember that you were eating pulse when everyone else was eating "the king's meat." What they will notice are your victories. They'll notice your prestige. They'll notice your power.

They'll recognize the results of your excellence of spirit - the favorable hand of God equipping you to fulfill your divine destiny! One day you'll find them looking at your life and asking, "How in the world did you get where you are?" In other words, they'll want to know how you got to be so excellent!

Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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