Mark 4:21-41; 2 Samuel 11-12; Daniel 6
There are some people who survive in “cut-throat” environments. A work place might be filled with political or personal intrigue or drama. Advancement is based not only on personal achievement, but also on survival as those underneath you try to destroy you while you are trying to destroy those above you. Some people are destroyed by such an environment. They can’t handle the pressure and quickly bail out – sometimes with a ruined career. Others rise above the environment and seek to make the company look good no matter what the situation may be.
One of the things we have discovered about Daniel recently is that he rose to the top of whatever group he was in. He did it not by “playing the game” better than anyone else; he did it by being faithful to God in all of his dealings. His opponents sought to dislodge Daniel from the position he held. They got frustrated. “Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’” They set a trap for Daniel based on his faithfulness to God. They tricked the king into agreeing to the trap and then caught Daniel in the act of prayer: a violation of the new law that Darius had signed. Yes, that’s right; Daniel had gained the trust of three different kings. Darius, having signed the decree, was forced to follow this bad law and as a result, Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s Den. Because Daniel was such a favorite with the king, Darius worried all night long and the next day tried to find out if Daniel had, through some miracle, survived. He had. Those who sought Daniel’s life ended up paying the penalty they sought to inflict on Daniel.
We will run into “cut-throat” environments at times in our lives where people seek personal power rather than God’s leadership. They may be at work, at home and even at church. The key to success in that type of situation is to stay faithful to God. Don’t let the situation change you. Keep walking with Christ: reading your Bible, praying, worshiping, and most of all, being the biggest asset to everyone you are involved with in that situation. (Obviously, reading your Bible and worshiping may not happen during work time if that would keep you from performing your duties. I must admit that I pray quite a bit at work!) As followers of Jesus we should be so important and so valuable to those around us no matter what their beliefs may be that those superior to us in any organization would recognize our value when others would seek ways to remove us. Think about your situation today at work, at home, at church, even in politics: do you fit in well with that culture or do you rise above it by your dedication to everyone in the group and your dedication to God? Rise above and lift others with you!