I’m still on some lessons I learnt while here in my stay in Lagos. Yesterday, I worshipped at Lagos Prebyterian Church, Yaba and I’ll like to share some lessons I learnt from the first Bible lesson. The first Bible lesson was Daniel 6:1-24.
- Daniel although a Christian, occupied a political position. It is not a sin for a Christian to occupy a political position.
- Daniel although an exile was appointed one of the supervisors over the 120 governors in the empire and he distinguished himself among the other supervisors and showed that he could do better work than them. This was because he had an extraordinary spirit within him and he was outstanding.
It is your ability and extraordinary spirit that will make you outstanding and distinguish you from others.
- You should be a person of integrity no matter what position you occupy or who you are. Daniel was a man of integrity and he maintained his integrity even while a political leader.
Most Christians are men of integrity but when they get into politics, they become corrupt. But Daniel is an example of a political leader who maintained his integrity even while actively involved in politics.
- The other supervisors and governors became jealous of Daniel and looked for what to use against him but because he was a man of integrity, they couldn’t find anything.
As a successful leader, some people will become jealous of you and try to bring accusations against you. When they try to do so, it is your integrity that will vindicate you. That is why integrity is a very important quality every leader must possess. With integrity, you can silence your enemies.
Even if you are not a leader, as long as you are successful, people will become jealous of you and try to bring you down. It is your integrity that will defend and protect you. As an individual whether a leader or not, you need integrity.
- Since they couldn’t find anything to use against him, they decided to use the laws against his religion. Despite the law that was made to trap Daniel, Daniel still maintained his integrity and remained faithful to God. He did not go to protest against the law but went on his knees as usual to pray.
Daniel 6:10 says, “But though Daniel knew about it, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs bedroom, with its windows open toward Jerusalem, and prayed three times a day, just as he always had, giving thanks to his God.” (TLB)
Daniel did not go to protest against the order the king had made neither did he hide to pray. But when he heard that the order had been signed, he went to his house to pray as he had always done. He was not afraid to stand for what is right. No matter the consequences, he still openly practiced what he believed in. That is integrity.
Maintain your integrity even when you are threatened with grave consequences.
- He was thrown into the lion’s den because he disobeyed the king’s order not to pray to another God. Despite his faithfulness to God, prayers and integrity, he was still thrown into the lion’s den.
As a Christian and a person of integrity, sometimes you will be punished for choosing to stand for what is right. Sometimes you will face negative consequences because you maintained your integrity and high moral character.
This doesn’t mean that it would have been better for you to give up your integrity. This doesn’t mean it would have been better for you to sin against God.
Even in the midst of those trials, God is still there and He will reward you if you trust Him, stand firm and maintain your integrity.
- God had the power to stop the king from issuing an order against Daniel’s religion, God had the power to prevent Daniel from being thrown into the lion’s den but He didn’t. He allowed the order to be signed; He allowed Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den and then showed up for him there. The next day when the king went to the pit, he found Daniel alive and ordered him to be pulled up out of the pit. When Daniel was brought out, they saw that he had not been hurt at all and this was because he trusted God. Then the king gave an order to arrest all the men who had accused Daniel and they were thrown together with their wives and children into the lion’s den. Then the king wrote a new order commanding everyone in the empire to respect Daniel’s God.
God’s ways and thoughts are different from ours. Even when it seems as if God is silent or inactive, God is there. He has it all planned out and He knows what He is doing. He will always show up at the right time. God’s timing is different from ours. When we pray, let us pray with faith, trusting God to answer our prayers. Even when it seems like God is delaying or refusing to act, keep trusting God.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” GOD’S Decree. “For as the sky soars high above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.””
Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG)
What does this integrity that I’ve been mentioning mean?
Integrity is a quality of being honest, faithful and having strong moral principles. It involves doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances whether anyone is around and watching or not. A person of integrity is honest, faithful and has a high moral character.
In summary, be a person of integrity and maintain your integrity no matter where you are and what you are doing. It may seem that others who are corrupt, dishonest and cutting corners are becoming successful, while you’re not getting any reward for your integrity. Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up. You will be rewarded at last if you stand firm and maintain your integrity.