by Dr. Paul Chappell
“Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.”
Spiritual success is reached through everyday faithfulness.
When Pat Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1982 to 1990, the team won four NBA championships. In taking over the New York Knicks in 1991, Riley inherited a team with a losing record. But the Knicks seemed able to play above their abilities and even gave the eventual champions, the Chicago Bulls, their hardest competition in the play-offs.
How did Riley do it? He says his talent lies in attention to detail. For example, every NBA team studies videotapes and compiles statistics to evaluate players' game performances. But Riley's use of these tools is more comprehensive than that of his rivals. “We measure areas of performance that are often ignored: jumping in pursuit of every rebound even if you don't get it, swatting at every pass, diving for loose balls, letting someone smash into you in order to draw a foul.”
After each game, these “effort” statistics are punched into a computer. “Effort,” Riley explains, “is what ultimately separates journeyman players from impact players. Knowing how well a player executes all these little things is the key to unlocking career-best performances.”
Riley realized that it was the seemingly unimportant, often overlooked areas that led to overall success. In the Christian life, it is the everyday faithfulness that leads to a fruitful life.
Daniel is a perfect example of everyday faithfulness. Each day he knelt by his window and prayed. No matter what was going on or even what decrees were made, he was faithful to spend time with God. And because of his faithfulness, God used him greatly to witness to the king of the land.
Imagine how God could use you one day. He has amazing plans for your life! But before He entrusts you with a great task, He has entrusted you with everyday commands to read His Word, spend time with Him, witness to others, and live a holy life that glorifies Him. Even more than having elaborate plans to serve God, focus on being faithful to Him every day.
Have you ever wanted to do something great for God? Perhaps you had aspirations of serving God in a specific way but haven’t had the opportunity. Make sure you are faithfully obeying God’s commands. It’s not wrong to dream of doing great things for God! But He cannot use you in a great way unless you are being faithful to His commands each day.
Commit to being faithful to God each day this week. Set aside time for prayer and Bible reading. Be a witness to those around you. Keep your heart clean of any sin. And love others as God loves them. As you are faithful in the commands He has already given you, God will give you much more to accomplish for Him.
To learn more about Pastor Chappell's books, Sunday school curriculum, and spiritual leadership resources, please visit strivingtogether.com.
Daily Bible Reading
Leviticus 6-7 • Matthew 25:1-30