Daniel 4

Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own accomplishments, that we forget to recognize who gave us the abilities or who set up the circumstances for us to complete those accomplishments.

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Daniel 4

Pride.  A simple five letter word, but a word that is very dangerous to people, even Christians.  Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own accomplishments, that we forget to recognize who gave us the abilities or who set up the circumstances for us to complete those accomplishments.  And that is a great folly.

Just look at what happened to Nebuchadnezzar in this chapter.  In his second dream, he received a message from God with regard to his accomplishments.  Now, to take a small step back, we have to remember Nebuchadnezzar, in chapter two of Daniel, recognized God’s power.  He even states it when he calls Daniel to him in this chapter.  But he did not yield to what God wanted and remained prideful.  So God did what God always does in those situations; He gave Nebuchadnezzar grace to turn from his ways and when the king didn’t, He humbled him.

Daniel 4:28-33

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 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?”  31 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! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
Now, let’s get some things clear here.  Before this, our friend Daniel faced certain execution.  How so?  Well the king asked Daniel to interpret the dream he’d had and if the king didn’t like what Daniel said…well he was the king.  However, Daniel’s faith was in God, not the king, so he told the king the truth regardless of the fact that it could have cost him his life.
Getting back to the main point of being prideful, Nebuchadnezzar had recognized God’s power in chapter two.  He saw what God could do.  Now I don’t know if Nebuchadnezzar simply chose to ignore the warning or thought he had plenty of time to right his wrongs, but he did receive fair warning from Daniel.
Daniel 4:27
27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.  Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
You see, brothers and sisters, when we sin and screw up, God always gives us a set length of time to get us to turn away from the wrong we are doing.  He’ll give us warnings through His word, through fellow believers who care for us and, if all else fails, non-believers who even recognize that what we are doing does not jive with what we say we believe.
So let’s take the time to examine our lives.  Is there an area in our lives that we are saying we know better than God?  Are we not heeding the warnings from our brothers and sisters or even non-believers He has but in our path?  If there is, you still have time to drop to your knees, pray to Him, ask His forgiveness and ask for His help to give you humility.  As it says in Isaiah 57:15, 15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Until tomorrow, be blessed

Admitting You Are Wrong

 I would rather have a humble spirit and receive grace, than be right and have God resisting me.

I have learned over the course of my life that there are people who like to be right.  They make it their goal in life to always prove an opposite opinion or behavior wrong.  And when they are wrong, they hate to admit the other person may actually be right.  But being wrong, and admitting it, is an act of humility and God actually prefers humility.

1 Peter 5:5 – 7

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
You know there are people in life who may have gone through more than what you have and while the circumstances may be similar, they are still your “elders” with regard to certain situations.  And you may very well have more experience than someone else with regard to certain situations, which makes you the “elder” with regard to those.  My point is to give an understanding the word “elder,” as used above, does not necessarily denote age.
I started out this entry with regard to people who are wrong not admitting they are wrong.  That is what is known as being prideful.  Not wanting to admit someone else may be right and always trying to prove your own case and why you are right and the other person is wrong, even when someone who has been in a similar situation and has more experience with it may be telling you are wrong, is indeed prideful.  I, myself, have been guilty of being prideful on more than one occasion in my life.  Yeah, big surprise there.
I, unfortunately, have a 126 I.Q.  That’s the consistent number that has shown up over the years whenever I take I.Q. tests.  That’s borderline genius.  My point in telling you this is most of the time, I am right when it comes to certain things…and I hate it.  I hate it because when I am right too often, I do become prideful, don’t realize it and the Lord smacks me down.  I prefer being wrong.
When I am wrong, it gives me a sense of calm and peace and I can get down on my knees and thank the Lord.  One of the things I pray for every day is a humble spirit.  I would rather have a humble spirit and receive grace, than be right and have God resisting me.

Staying Humble

But it’s better to be an outward Christian and be limited, than a closet Christian and be successful.

Every once in a while I will hear about a great sports star or celebrity being interviewed and during the course of the interview, they thank the Lord for giving them the ability to do the remarkable and sometimes miraculous things they do.  It’s refreshing in today’s self-centered world.  It’s also, more often than not, an active career killer.  But it’s better to be an outward Christian and be limited, than a closet Christian and be successful.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

As many of you know, I have a normal nine to five job as an HR assistant/payroll person.  What all of you, except for my Catherine who reads this regularly, may not know, is that it is an assignment from a temp agency.  I will not bore you with the rigamarole of how I ended up there, but I thank God for it every single day, not just for it allowing me to pay my bills, but because it reminds me to stay humble.

I am not trying to boast here, but I am good at working with computers.  I am an idiot-savant in that way.  My boss and I actually discussed how quickly I learned not only the payroll program, but the inventory program as well.  Then she remarked, but you can’t seem to get your own time in and out right.  It was quite humorous.  With this weird knack I have been gifted with, you’d think they’d make me permanent since I have been there since November, but they haven’t.

You see this temp assignment, for me, is a lot like the thorn in Paul’s side.  He prayed for God to remove it, but God used the thorn to keep Paul humble and not boastful about who He was or how good of a Christian he was.  More importantly, it drew Paul closer to Him.  Now history never tells us whether or not God removed the thorn from Paul, but Paul was thankful for and grateful for it and continued on his course for the Lord.

I can honestly tell you that I have many people praying for me to get permanency, and I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for those prayers.  I pray for it myself.  Everyone from the COO of the company to one of the owners has told me already that it will happen, it’s just a matter of determining my duties under the new inventory control and timekeeping system.  But I don’t trust in them, I trust in the Lord.  His grace is sufficient, and right now His grace has provided a job with which I can make ends meet and take care of what I have to take care of.  So I will boast in the fact for my nine to five job, I am a temp. But my real job is a lot like Paul’s, I write for the Lord.