Standing Apart

In a large class, what distinguishes you from everyone else?  As you apply to graduate schools and jobs, what sets you apart?

Daniel and his friends, the Scripture reveals, clearly stood apart. “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.  Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.  And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.  Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus” (Daniel 1:17-21, NJKV).

Did God just give them an extra outpouring of His Holy Spirit?  Were they just extra blessed?

“In acquiring the wisdom of the Babylonians, Daniel and his companions were far more successful than their fellow students; but their learning did not come by chance…. They placed themselves in connection with the Source of all wisdom, making the knowledge of God the foundation of their education. In faith they prayed for wisdom, and they lived their prayers. They placed themselves where God could bless them. They avoided that which would weaken their powers, and improved every opportunity to become intelligent in all lines of learning. They followed the rules of life that could not fail to give them strength of intellect. They sought to acquire knowledge for one purpose—that they might honor God….Constantly praying, conscientiously studying, keeping in touch with the Unseen, they walked with God as did Enoch.” – {CC 247.2}

You can see their faithfulness to God’s principles in Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (NKJV).

“True success in any line of work is not the result of chance or accident or destiny. It is the outworking of God’s providences, the reward of faith and discretion, of virtue and perseverance. Fine mental qualities and a high moral tone are not the result of accident. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them….His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. As the Lord cooperated with Daniel and his fellows, so He will cooperate with all who strive to do His will. And by the impartation of His Spirit He will strengthen every true purpose, every noble resolution. Those who walk in the path of obedience will encounter many hindrances. Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty.” – {CC 247.4}

God blesses everyone; he gives opportunities equally – the question is what we make of them.  As we put God first, obey His eternal principles, and stay faithful to Him, He will give us true success.

Father God, help us to do our best in whatever we do for one purpose – to honor You… set us apart for Your glory and praise.  We purpose in our hearts today not to defile ourselves with any other motivation.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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