“He instructed me and said to me, ‘Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.’”
I am a people pleaser. I care about what people think of me. I want people to like me. It is really important to me that I have a good name and reputation. When people expect something of me, I don’t want to let them down.
Needless to say, “people pleasing” is a huge struggle for me. I can get so wrapped up in trying to be there for everyone else, that I often neglect the most important things: God and my family.
I worry too much about what people think instead of what God thinks.
In Daniel 9, as Daniel is praying, he has a vision of an angel Gabriel coming with the answer to his prayer. The angel tells Daniel in verse 23, that he is “highly esteemed.”
Daniel was “highly esteemed” by the God of the universe. Daniel spent time with God and God spent time with Daniel. He shared visions and interpretations of dreams with Daniel.
So how does someone become “highly esteemed” by God?
I think the answer is found by taking a closer look at Daniel’s life.
Daniel spent quality time with God every day. Daniel 6:10 says, “…Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
The king had just issued a decree that no one was to pray to any god except the king. What did Daniel do? He did what he always did. He prayed…three times a day…to his God.
Daniel wasn’t a “people pleaser.” He chose to be a “God pleaser.”
Another interesting thing that stood out to me about Daniel was that he honored God in every aspect of his life. He was a man of integrity. He was trustworthy and righteous.
Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
Daniel 6:4-5 says, “At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find ground for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’”
Now I don’t know about you, but you wouldn’t have to hang around me for very long to find fault in me. I have many. The men who were out to get Daniel were watching him like a hawk, and they couldn’t find anything that he did wrong. Nothing. The only fault they could find was in Daniel’s dedication to his God. Now THAT is impressive!
Daniel spent quality time with God in prayer and he honored God by living a righteous life. The result: Daniel was “highly esteemed” by God. When it came time to pick someone to share a dream or vision with, God chose to share it with Daniel.
Psalm 25:14 says, “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”
Isn’t that cool? The Lord doesn’t just confide in anyone. He confides in those who fear him. In the KJV it says, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” The Lord has secrets to share, and He confides in those who fear and honor Him. He shares with those He “highly esteems,” like Daniel.
Yes, we are all created by God, loved by God, fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
But I think we sometimes forget that in order to have a close relationship with someone, it takes investment from both sides.
We are as close to God as we choose to be.
It boils down to this question: Do we want to be “highly esteemed” by people or by God?
The answer to that question will be displayed in the relationships we choose to invest in. Revealed in how we spend the majority of our time and energy. Reflected in our passions and the way we live our lives.
God is looking for people He can confide in. He is willing and waiting. He desires a close relationship with us. And He has wonderful secrets to share with those He “highly esteems.”
Does the Lord share His secrets with you?