Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Success Strategies (Part 20)
All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions... Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel 6:7-10 (NKJV)
Daniel had a custom of praying three times a day with his windows open. Apparently, this habit was known among other administrators in Babylon, which was then ruled by King Darius. His co-workers were jealous of Daniel's position and set a trap to catch him.
When the new law against prayer became known to Daniel, he ignored it. Instead, he followed the good habit he practiced for decades. Therefore, he was thrown into the lion's den, and the result is glorious history. Daniel was saved. His accusers were not, and Darius became a God-fearing king.
'I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel' (Daniel 6:26).
The word 'habit' comes from 'habitation,' which means the 'act of dwelling' (Etymology Dictionary). Therefore, a good habit is to dwell (or live) in a good place. Christians know the best Place to live is in Christ: 'Abide in Me, and I in you' (John 15:4).
Jesus gives us the Power to make and follow good habits, like patience, prayer, fellowship, Scripture, helping others, forgiving sins, seeking peace, making friends, speaking life, eating right, exercising daily and sacrificing selfishness.
Among actors, models and talent for Christ, good habits include practice and performance, again and again--on stages large and small. Because through Jesus, 'The Author and Perfecter of our faith' (Hebrews 12:2), practice makes perfect. In worldly terms, your marketability increases.
What about bad habits? Ask God to help you. At the same time, pull them out of the garden of your life like weeds--because that's what they are. If a bad habit sticks up its head to grow back, repeat the process--as often as necessary.
In addition, nurture your good habits like flowers. Cultivate them. Spend time on them. Before you know it, the weeds will be swallowed up by life, as it is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory' (1 Corinthians 15:54).
Both God and man promote people who practice good habits. Therein, good habits are a success strategy.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies (2013) series.