Monday Morning Leadership Devo
(Originally Published on February 16, 2009)
Leadership Lessons from Daniel
Sometime ago, I preached a sermon on the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel. What I did not have time to go into from the pulpit I want to share with this email list. You see, a close look at the life of Daniel reveals tremendous insight into Christian leadership.
Passage for Reflection: Daniel 6
Notice in the first few verses, that Daniel was in line to become, literally, the number two leader of the world. Second only to King Darius. The Bible even calls him President Daniel. Most people equate importance with busyness. The busier I am the more important I am. You get the idea. So how busy do you think Daniel must have been? To have arrived at the doorstep of the number two leader of the world would have required a lot of hard work. Early mornings, long days and late nights. Busy is busy no matter what year is on the calendar. But the first thing that strikes me about Daniel is that he was never too busy for God. At about the mid-point of this chapter, we see that Daniel makes it a habit to pray to God three times a day from his private residence. It is clear that this is something Daniel does everyday, no matter what. Think about that a moment. No matter what was going on in President Daniel’s schedule, he would stop and spend time with God. Once in the morning, once at the noonday, and once in the afternoon. You get the feeling that Daniel made sure his schedule fit around God instead of fitting God around his schedule.
So what do you think? Did Daniel rise to such a position of influence and leadership in spite of his relationship with God, or because of it?
I think the temptation for all of us is this: the busier we become and the more that God gives us to lead and influence, the greater the likelihood that God will be the first to go. We just become too busy. Other things become more important. Appointments, tasks, emails, phone calls, business trips, other people. While these things are important, they can never supplant God. God must always remain the focal point of who we are as Christians. Everything else must fit around Him.
Another thing I see in the passage is this. Daniel’s relationship with God eventually became the focal point of the confrontation between him and his boss, King Darius. Daniel was called out and forced to make a choice between work and God. He was told he could not have both. So what do we learn from Daniel? When forced into this kind of choice, God must always win. God over and above all else. Period. For Daniel, this decision would seemingly lead to his death, but he chose God anyway. Most likely you and I will never be in this position. But it is likely that we will all find ourselves at some point, through some set of circumstances, having to choose between God or another. Remember, God always wins.
“Lord, I proclaim that you are first in my life. Today and always. Amen.”
PS – to listen to my message on Daniel chapter 6, click here.