The Old Testament book of Daniel tells the story of four men who possessed leadership influence and spiritual convictions. Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, later renamed as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the four individuals that this book is based upon. Their ability to participate in an environment that many would interpret as negative, shows powerful skills of leadership influence with a foundation of deep convictions.
There are often times that many leaders have convictions and ideas that are completely lost because their influence is destroyed. Influence is best defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, behavior and development of people. All through the book of Daniel, leadership influence and convictions are seen in the behavior of all four of these men.
Where Influence Begins
During the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon came to Judah and took it captive. During this siege, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring into the service of Babylon the best of Judah. His request was simple,
“…….bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. (Daniel 1:3-5)
The king was seeking out young leaders who were Continue reading