“All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!”
Daniel 4:28-31 NKJV
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.”
Daniel 4:34-36 NKJV
We all have moments in our lives where we recognize where real power lies. We realize that we have a creator, someone who has made us and holds the copyright on our lives. For me, it was an admission that I did not have any power of my own and all that I have comes from God. When I read through Daniel this morning, I happened on the familiar story of Nebuchadnezzer. He was the great king of Persia, modern day Iran, who had a dream. Daniel interpreted the dream for him, which told of his fall, his humiliation, and his eventual restoration. The story is a lesson for us all.
I write as one who has known the humiliation of the Lord.
Many of us have that sensation, that feeling that we are the captains of our own ships, determiners of our own destiny. History has demonstrated time and time again that the great fall. Many of us lean on our own strength and forget about the sovereignty of God. I am guilty of that. All too often, I became my own standard of what is right and what is wrong. Like Nebuchadnezzer, I received warnings, which I ignored. So many times, I mourn over the wasted time that could have been used to glorify the Lord.
There are pastors and leaders who glory in the building of huge churches, who do not give glory to the One saving the souls. Likewise, there are so many stories of pastors who have strayed from the orthadoxy of the Scriptures and begun to spread false teaching. The list of those who have fallen away from the truth is neverending. Many have strayed, many have turned to self, yet God still waits.
When I look back at my own meanderings, I am reminded at God’s faithfulness. Though I strayed, God was still there. In the midst of the consequences of my wandering, my future was assured. When I came to my senses, the Lord restored me, though there have been lingering issues that will not be dealt with until Jesus returns. I can say that I have gotten stronger in the restoration and have little desire to wander to the degree that I once did.
Believers, there is nothing in this world, that compares with what God offers. Know also, that whatever you think you have accomplished, God gave you the strength and the opportunity to do it. You are not self-made.
Awaken each day, knowing that He holds your next breath, your next heartbeat, that He is holding your world together. Approach the future with that same understanding. The story of Nebuchadnezzer brings me much peace. Even as he was stripped of his kingdom, he was going to be restored. Even as I have been stripped of my health, I know that I will soon be made new, better than ever before.
As our world appears to be crumbling, let us go forth and tell of the our great God, of our great Savior Jesus, who went to the cross for our sins, died a sinners death, was buried and rose again.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.”
I Corinthians 15:1-5 NKJV
Like everything else in our lives, the Lord has done it for us. He provided the payment for our sins against Him. Such grace!
Give glory to God today, and thank Him for all the great things He has done. Give Him glory for the small things as well. In the life that I live, I cherish everything He has provided, from my cup of coffee, the air I breath. I glory in the time that He spends with me. I marvel how the Creator of the Universe would even bother with a wretch like me. Yet He loves me.
Jesus loves me!
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong.
Jesus loves me!
Loves me still,
Tho I’m very weak and ill,
That I might from sin be free,
Bled and died upon the tree.
Jesus loves me!
He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Jesus loves me!
He will stay
Close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me;
I will henceforth live for Thee.
-Anna B. Warner
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