So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel was a great leader in his day. We often look at him for his character, which is very noteworthy to consider, but rarely do we look at Daniel as a great and influential leader. Daniel was involved in three cabinets. He served under Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius. He not only served in these men’s cabinets, but he was at the top of two of the three. He was what we would call a leader of leaders.
When you consider the life of Daniel, you must look at what the key was that caused him to prosper. You can read thousands of leadership books on how to be a leader that prospers, but miss the simplest book on leadership that tells us how Daniel prospered. When you look at his life, you see that he was not just a leader but a leader that prospered in all that he did. You would think leaders would run to study his life to figure out what made this man so influential in the different eras of Babylon’s leadership. Let me point out three things that made Daniel prosper.
First, Daniel prospered by putting God first. Daniel started putting God first as a young man when he refused to eat the king’s meat; he continued to put God first when he refused to stop walking with God because of man’s law. Daniel was willing to lose position, power, prosperity, and life for the sake of serving God. God will never be first in your life until you are willing to lose position, power, pleasure, prosperity, and life for His sake. Some may think that you are a fool to put God first in your life, but those who have put God first have always found that God rewards them far above what man has promised to give them if they would just not be so fanatical about God. Whether you are a business owner or a person seeking to prosper in life, you must determine never to sacrifice God being first in your life for the sake of prosperity. You may prosper without God, but you will sacrifice your soul for the sake of position, which is never a good tradeoff.
Second, Daniel prospered by walking with God. You cannot separate Daniel’s promotion to position and his walk with God; they go hand-in-hand. The wisdom you gain by walking with God will help you far more than reading random books on leadership by people who do not believe in God. God is the source of wisdom, and you will gain His wisdom to help you in life and business by reading His Word. When Daniel was faced with the prospect of keeping position and power over walking with God, he chose walking with God over position and power. You will never fail when you choose to walk with God over walking with man.
Third, Daniel prospered by taking a stand. Daniel took a stand against all three men that he worked for, and yet all three men promoted him to a high position. One would think that taking a stand would cause him to sacrifice the possibility of position, but his willingness to stand against wrong is what caused these men to see that he would do right despite any adverse consequences. Taking a stand is not a career-ending decision but a proclamation of your good character to do right in the face of losing all. Even if you lose all for doing right, you can still sleep at night knowing you are not a compromiser.
Do you desire to prosper in life like Daniel? There is nothing wrong with this desire, but you will never prosper without doing the three things Daniel did to prosper.