Pull a Daniel at Work

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I love Daniel. Every time I think my job is difficult, I can be thankful I at least applied for it. Poor Daniel didn't have much choice in his job in Nebuchadnezzar's palace—work for the king or suffer unpleasant things. Hmm, tough choice.

He was also one of the few Israelites who was genuinely obedient to God while in exile in Babylon.

Daniel had a heart for God even in a very difficult work environment. Things don't get much more difficult than being sentenced to death because a bunch of your coworkers—false prophets—couldn't accomplish a slightly impossible task their manager gave them to do.

The king replied to the astrologers, "This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble." (Dan. 2:5)

"Tell the king his dream" is kind of like "find a cure for cancer." Not impossible, per se, but beyond the scope of your average court magician.

If I were Daniel, I'd be rather annoyed at the demands of my department head and the incompetence of my peers. However, Daniel retained both his cool and his manners.

So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death. When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. (Dan. 2:13-14)

He immediately tackled the problem. Granted, his life was in danger, but proper motivation is never a bad thing. He asked the king for some time, then went to his friends.

I think that we underestimate the value of friends in our work situations. Work is such a dog-eat-dog environment. So it's hard to remember that our coworkers can help us—or at least pray for us. Friends and family are a phone call or an email away, and their prayers are just as valuable as practical advice.

Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery. (Dan. 2:17-18)

Prayer works! God sent Daniel the answer he needed. Like Daniel, we can always count on God to send us the answers we need, but they may not be the answers we want. In this case, God's answer also happened to be the answer Daniel was looking for.

Before Daniel went triumphantly to his manager, he gave credit where credit was due.

During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. (Dan. 2:19)

Voila! The impossible accomplished with a calm head, immediate action, prayer support, and praise. And all for the glory of God.

The same God who worked alongside Daniel is there for us. In the face of impossible tasks, "pull a Daniel"—respond with godly wisdom, pray for God's direction, ask for help from godly friends, and give thanks for godly intervention.

Except we won't have to worry about being cut into pieces by a Babylonian guard.

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