LIFE LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF DANIEL AS AN ACADEMIC By Oladipo Stephen

As offspring of God, the arrangement for our salvation is all encompassing. That implies our salvation is holistic. We are saved to go to paradise as well as to be fruitful on earth. God needs us to exceed expectations on earth. He said we ought to possess till He returns. We must occupy to glorify God. He likewise said in the book of Genesis 1:28 that we should, to be fruitful. Being fruitful and productive is resembling God.

As genuine young men, young fellows and grown-ups, God is keen on our prosperity. God wants us to succeed in our academics. God is happy when we turn out soundly in our examinations. To exceed expectations in our academics is resembling Him. An elephant does not birth a rodent. An infant elephant looks precisely like her mom. When we flourish in our academics, then we are demonstrating forward the wonderfulness of our King.

However, if we must excel in our academics, we have roles to play.

Activity actuates responses. No activity; no response.

God won’t descend from paradise to write our examinations for us. He won’t do our reading for us. He will do what we can’t do. Let us consider our hero for this lecture.

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

Daniel 1:3-4 NKJV

NO BLEMISH BUT GOOD-LOOKING
One of the pre-requisites for choosing Daniel was being free from blemish. This might be seen from the physical point of view, however, we ought not to limit ourselves to the physical alone. The spiritual decides the physical. We must keep ourselves from both physical and spiritual blemish. The meaning of blemish is a small mark or flaw which spoils the appearance of something. To exceed expectations in our academics, we should flee from flaw. Blemish can originate from companions, relatives, associates etc.

Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom. Ecclesiastes 10:1GNT

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1KJV

GIFTED IN ALL WISDOM
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverb 9:10
To possess God’s wisdom, God’s Word must be taken with utmost seriousness. We must dig deep into the Word of God. God’s word is God’s wisdom. Charles Spurgeon said, visit many good books, but live in the Bible. The Bible is the compass of life for God’s children. We must eat the Word if the world will not eat us. We must invest our time in studying the word of God.

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. Jerimiah 15:16

To excel in our academics, we must throw ourselves in the ocean of God’s wisdom and continue to swim endlessly. The more we spend time in it, the more we discover HIM and the more we excel in all areas of our lives.

The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Psalm 25:14 NIV

God’s wisdom directs our studying. He leads our reading and help our weaknesses. We should not limit God to being a miracle worker alone, He is the Professor of all Professors. His wisdom is understandable. He knows all things. He created mathematics. He is greater than Science, technology must bow to Him. When we reference God in our academics, He shows us the secret to making it.

POSSESSING KNOWLEDGE.
When knowledge knocks, understanding opens. To possess knowledge means to be disciplined. Knowledge is the back bone of liberty. No knowledge, no liberty. If we will be knowledgeable and well-informed in our academics, we have to be disciplined. We must know how to spend our time judiciously. Discipline and Diligence are the twin roads to success. Discipline leads to diligence. We may have to reduce the hours we sleep. We may have to reduce or do away with some friends. We have to burn mid night candles. To possess knowledge is a hard work. It may be knowledge in Mathematics, History or Fine-Art the same principle applies. Hours of studying must be well scheduled. To possess knowledge does not ONLY answer to prayers but to both prayers and studying. Many people deceive themselves by engaging in serious prayers without studying. Keeping vigil without playing your part will not work. We must study and pray.

QUICK TO UNDERSTAND
Although we may have different speed at which we understand things, repetition strengthens memory. If you have challenge with understanding mathematics, all you need do is to keep working at it. The more you do it, the more you become well informed about it. You are what you repeatedly do. Don’t get discouraged at the face of a challenge. Let challenge be your elevator. Learn from the following:

As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.”

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school and, when he entered Harrow, was placed in the lowest division of the lowest class. Later, he twice failed the entrance exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was defeated in his first effort to serve in Parliament. He became Prime Minister at the age of 62. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.” (his capitals, mind you)

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

ABILITY TO SERVE IN THE KING’S PALACE
There is a great secret when we serve THE KING (Jesus). Despite the academic demands and our busy schedule, we should have time for our King. Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar with His wisdom and knowledge. Our wisdom, knowledge and understanding are to enlarge the kingdom of God. We must honour The King by rendering our service to Him because He is the source of our intellectual ability and capability. Although there must be a balance between the two, we should find time for God.

…AND WHOM THEY MIGHT TEACH
John Maxwell said, “Teachability expands my talent”. Anyone who is not teachable is doomed for destruction. Being teachable is the secret of the wise. We should not be too big to go to our colleagues in case we need them to take us some tutorials. When we humble ourselves, we will learn more.
We have learned some few things from the life of Daniel. I pray that God will help us to excel in all Academics. Amen.

 

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