God promotes believers who follow Him with their whole heart.
Text: Daniel 1 and 2; Daniel 1:8-21
Promotion is the elevation or movement from one position or rank to a better or higher one. Nothing can be more frustrating than to remain on the position for a long time without any hope of being advanced. The prospect or hope that one will get promoted one day serves as an incentive to hard work, dedication and commitment. A recent promotion usually encourages the person promoted to increase his or her productivity with another promotion in view.
Ordinarily, promotion is the reward of sacrifice, commitment, hard work, and conformity to the rules and regulations of the employee. In summary, a person is promoted when he satisfies his employer.
It is interesting to see how people scramble and hustle in order to get promoted. Some people do all manner of indecent things, including trying to curry the favor of the people that matter.
Promotion is desirable both in the secular and spiritual spheres. In fact, God does not desire that His child remain stagnant. God desires His people to be promoted. That being the case, God’s children should look up to God for promotion, since promotion comes neither from the East nor from the West, but from God. God looks for certain qualities and attitudes in His children before He elevates them. In our lesson today, we study God’s type and purpose of promotion.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand a Godly promotion.
- To understand God’s purpose of promotion.
- To understand God’s criteria for elevating His children.
- To encourage Christians to rely on god for promotion.
Q1. WHAT IS GODLY PROMOTION?
Daniel was among the captives brought into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He was excellent and fine to look at which made him to look at which made him to be chosen to eat of the king’s meat and drink of his wine. However, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore, he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). He lived a simple godly life as he fed on pulse and God gave him and his companions “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom and other blessings (v. 17, 20, 21).
Daniel exhibited a prayerful life. When he heard that they were commanded to be put to death for not knowing and interpreting the king’s dream, he went to his companions again and they went into prayers. “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven” (Daniel 2:19).
Daniel gave God the glory by not claiming to have known the dream and its interpretation but honored God’s Omniscience. “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days” (Daniel 2:28). Daniel acknowledged that “this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living (Daniel 2:30). How often Christians today arrogate to themselves honor and praises due unto God. The result was that the God of Daniel was honored and acknowledged by the King. “Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon” (Daniel 2:48). God allows various promotions and prospects to come to His children who accord Him the honor due to Him alone.
Q2. WHAT ARE GOD’S CRITERIA FOR PROMOTION?
God does not act arbitrarily. He never gives or withholds particular blessings without good reasons. All blessings He sends into the ways and lives of His children are conditional, (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). They are based on certain criteria which He applies impartially and, in his wisdom, which cannot be faulted.
One of the qualities God looks for in the life of His children before He elevates them is commitment. A child of God must be committed to God. He must trust absolutely in Him. He must serve and worship Him alone from whom all blessings flow. The child of God must see that the only purpose for his existence is to serve and worship God. Not only must a child of God be dedicated to Him, he must be dedicated to his employer or the establishment for which he works. There should be no eye-service. He must not work to curry the favor of his boss. He must work in absolute and unalloyed loyalty to the person who pays him. To earn promotion, a sense of allegiance to God and to man is a must.
Closely related to commitment and loyalty is diligence. A child of God must be dutiful. God looks at the heart and measures our reward to people according to the level of their conscientiousness. God never blessed a lazy person. He never promotes a slothful Christian. Some Christians because of real or imagined failure on the part of their employer deliberately slack their pace of work. God will not justify such an action. Whatever the moral or ethical level of one’s employer; one must for God’s sake work diligently, knowing that one’s expectation is not from man but from God. The scriptures condemn being slothful (Proverbs 18:9, 19:24).
In addition, he who looks forward to being promoted by God must demonstrate the quality of endurance. Some people are easily discouraged especially when they are not “compensated” for hard work, dedication or loyalty. When thus discouraged, they begin to slack in their work. This ought not to be so. A child of God must persevere and endure. He must work and wait patiently. Whatever the odds, whatever the attitude or reaction of his employers, or the condition under which he works, a child of God must endure, hoping always to receive his compensation from the Lord. Endurance certainly results in promotion.
Commitment, dedication, loyalty, diligence and endurance are good qualities, but they are not enough. Faithfulness is another quality of importance. God places premium on faithfulness. God wants us to be faithful to Him. Some are not faithful to God in their giving. The Bible says that he who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully: he who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly, (2 Corinthians 9:6). Giving invites God’s blessings in general and promotion in particular. Besides, God expects us to be faithful to them, we are only demonstrating our faithfulness to God. We are to avoid cheating our employers by malingering, pilfering, forgery, whiling away the time, wasting their resources, forfeiting their advantages or opportunities, etc. Faithfulness is one quality of life and action that elevates a Christian. If you are faithful in a little thing, God will commit to your care, by way of promotion, things of higher value.
However, without sacrifice, all the qualities listed and discussed above cannot be attained. The Christian life is one of sacrifice. Christ gave us an example by sacrificing His life for us on the cross of Calvary. We should also be prepared to make sacrifices to God. But we must also be ready to make sacrifices in favor of our employer. We must sacrifice our time and energy. When we do this, god who is all-seeing and faithful will remember us and promote us in due course.
Q3. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTION?
For a child of God who knows the truth, the reason for living is to bring glory to God, to serve God, and worship Him. We are His ambassadors, (2 Corinthians 5:20). The purpose of promotion is to bring greater glory to God.
God expects to receive glory in increasing measure in our lives. When He graciously promotes us, we should thank Him, bless Him, honor Him, exalt Him, and glorify Him. Any misunderstanding for the purpose for which we are promoted may delay our promotion in the future. If we use our promotion for selfish, fleshly or sinful ends, God will be grieved and may cause us to remain on the same position for a long time until we learn to repent and ascribe all glory to Him. Please give glory to God whenever you move upward in the ladder of promotion. God is behind it all.
Q4. WHAT ARE THE HINDRANCES TO PROMOTION?
We have seen some of the qualities God looks for in a Christian before He grants him or her promotion. Where all these factors are not available, we can be sure that the promotion of such a Christian will suffer delay. In other words, laziness, unfaithfulness, lack of endurance and perseverance, lack of commitment and loyalty, and inability to make sacrifice will hinder promotion.
Apart from all these factors, lack of faith can also hinder promotion. Some people are due for promotion a long time ago. But demons are standing on their way to promotion. Unfortunately, their eyes may not be open to this fact and so they continue to remain in the same position, but with an understanding and insight and faith, we can claim our promotions. We can remove the hand of the enemy from our advancement, but it takes faith. Unbelief and lack of understanding hinder promotion.
Not only that, God looks at a person’s heart. He knows why he wants promotion. He knows what the individual wants to use the promotion for. If he wants to use it for selfish ends or for sinful purposes, then God will withhold that promotion. A wrong motive therefore hinders promotion.
Q5. WHO WERE SOME OF THE PEOPLE PROMOTED IN THE BIBLE?
Joseph is a good example of how God promotes His people. Joseph was a slave in Egypt. He was later committed to prison. He was humanly speaking, in a state of hopelessness. But at the appropriate time, God took him out of the dungeon and made him a Prime-Minister in Egypt. We see in the life of Joseph all the qualities that God looks for in a person. He was honest, dedicated, faithful, loyal, he loved and feared God. In the fear of God, he avoided any sinful dealing with the wife of Potiphar.
Daniel is another example who was a slave in Babylon. Daniel was of royal birth, highly gifted and showed great promise. His moral, faith, and spiritual courage were proved in his decision for Godly separation from the defilement of Babylon. Daniel did not murmur against God for being in slavery. He chose to love and fear God. Daniel was diligent and committed. God rewarded him by promotion. Through divine intervention, he was made one of the governors in the land of Babylon.
Mordecai exposed an evil plot against the king and this later earned him the promotion to become the Prime Minister in the land of his captivity. If we must expect promotion from God, we must shun and expose evil and live for God (Ephesians 4:11).
Daily Living Application:
When we elevate God in our lives, God will promote us. Promotion arises from our obedience, loyalty, and dedication to God. God will always put us in remembrance concerning His promises towards us. If we walk on the contrary, we hardly can make any progress and we find ourselves in the position we have always been. This kind of state in life, whether spiritual or secular does not glorify God. God’s wish for us is to be elevated financially. When we are due for promotion, no man can hinder it because our promotion comes from God.
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister”.