“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him… Daniel got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel 6:1-4,10
“‘Pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to [serve tables]’… They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of [them] rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking… His face was like the face of an angel.” Acts 6:2-3,5,8-10,15
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
Daniel and Stephen are just two biblical examples of those who did their work in an exemplary way, and kept their focus even when confronted with opposition. They accepted their positions from God their true Master, and unto Him did they perform. They were zealous, not slothful, and fervent in spirit, not flagging. They were wholeheartedly devoted to serving the Lord, even as they served men. (Romans 12:11,16)
Challenges come in and to our work: difficult personalities, unclear goals, disparate views, power grabs, disunity, pride, boredom in monotony, red tape, feeling under-appreciated, performance pressures. We are expected to do jobs we think we are above, and we are fearful of those that test the extremes of our abilities. None of these pesky situations surprises our Lord. He bids us rise above the floundering and fickleness of the flesh to work in all jobs with willingness, fervor, cheerfulness, energy, and gratitude. (Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19)
Daniel was supernaturally spared being eaten by hungry lions, and Stephen was stoned to death. No matter the threats and vicious attacks against them, neither was swayed from his God-given call to work. Their eyes held fast on God, and each honored Him distinctly. King Darius was so moved by Daniel’s God he decreed His dominion to the whole kingdom, and Saul, who was cheering on the murder of Stephen, soon was transformed by the Spirit he witnessed in him. (Daniel 6:16,18-27; Acts 7:54-60; 8:1-3; 9:1-20)
How do I go about my work? For whom are my best efforts spent? If I truly delight to work in all things as unto my Lord, what evidence is there in my demeanor, words, and actions?
Lord Jesus, please establish my heart in every good work You assign, with every day You give. May those who observe my work, and me working, not fail to recognize You as Sovereign and glorious. (Matthew 5:16; John 9:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)