Oh, God. I thank you today for the power to turn situations around. Won’t you journey with me…to the fourth chapter of Daniel? I love this chapter for two reasons. It displays the true heart of man and the unconditional love of God. It tells of King Nebuchadnezzar and his journey as he came into the full knowledge of God. He had heard a lot about the God of Daniel, he knew of his power and his wisdom yet he refused to bow down and serve him. Oh mighty King Neb came to know God the hard way.
Truth be told, O King was no stranger to God (he knew of his wisdom and his power.) He had experienced it first hand over the years as he had dealt with and come into a closer relationship with Daniel. He knew who was causing him to dream and what each dream had meant. He knew just what and who was warning him yet he was too proud to change. He was a selfish king, he thought only of himself and the other nobles. He gave no care to the poor and needy. He knew of the goodness and power of the God of Daniel verses that of the wise men and yet he refused to change…dream after dream…interpretation after interpretation. Oh, what a journey he was about to discover. He was about to encounter the true and living God in all his majesty. For you see…O King has been blessed. He was victorious in all the land. He was experiencing a time of peace and prosperity. And most of all, he felt good! Real Good! Too Good! He forgot that it was not about him but all about God. He had been warned through dreams and visions of his lifestyle and changes that needed to be made. He had been told what he would need to do to live a life pleasing to God. Yet he rebelled. He had been so warned and God had given him ample time to turn from his wicked ways. So as chapter 4 goes…one fine day O King was walking about “his” palace and admiring “his” kingdom and talking to himself about all of “his” accomplishments; he was ever so bold as to part “his” lips and began to take credit for the goodness of God. While the words of self praise and pride were still upon his lips…God intervened and pronounced it was time for O King to recognize the true and living God. (The dreams and visions were fulfilled.) O King traded in his glorious robe for animal skin – literally. His total presence was given over to that of a beast- a lowly beast- body, mind and soul. He stayed in this state for 7 whole years. At the end of the 7 years, as promised, God being who he is… loving, forgiving, and all powerful… touched O King. At that moment, O King looked up to the heavens and began to openly praise the name of the Most High. He now knew God for himself. (You see, we must have our own awakening so that we make see God and praise him.) God restored O King – body, mind and soul – to the throne. This time he was humbled and praised God before all the people.
Oh, what a story of provision, warning, rebellion, pride, correction, and then ultimate restoration. God is. God is. God is. He is all that he says he is and even more than we will ever be able to comprehend. God is so wise and powerful that he allows us to make decisions (to obey or disobey) and yet his purpose will be manifest in either our obedience or our disobedience. It’s left up to us, do we take the high road of O King or will we take the humble road as Daniel did. Submitting to God does not make us weak or less than, it does make us wise and strong in the eyes of the Lord. Obeying God is the key. He is our protector, our armor, he is all we need. And he will, as in the story of O King, do all he can to keep us in his care. God will never bring us to a place that we cannot handle; he will show us that we need him in all things.
As I journey…I love this story because it keeps me humble. It keeps me from lusting after things of the world. And surely as I am blessed with some “things” I will praise God for them and use them for his glory and purpose. I pray today that I never forget the reason for the season and the one who has made it all possible. Lest, I ever forget…O King. I love this story also because it tells of an awesome and loving God. I am reminded of what my elders used to say before they beat you down, …”it’s going to hurt me more that it hurts you.” (I never got that one). But as I come to know God, I know that he cares for me. I know that it pains him to chastise me; yet he continues to love and correct me according to his will so that I may live in his purpose. I serve a sovereign God. I serve a God of wisdom, a God of love, a God of forgiveness, a God of correction, and more importantly a God of restoration.
As you reflect on the life and trials of O King…where do you find yourself…seeing visions or dreams…being warned of misbehavior…being prideful…or are you just beastly. My message to you is…accept God today. You will be one step away from restoration. Complete restoration as it can only be found in the Lord. Be blessed in the Lord.
It was not so long ago that my journey in the Lord led me by the power of the Holy Spirit to write these words of inspiration:
Oh, Bless the Lord, for you are so worthy of all the praise.
Father, you are the great I AM, the great Peace Maker, the Awesome Restorer!
Oh, Lord, how I bless your name.
You capture all my fears and wipe away all my tears.
You replace the woes of the world with the joy of your salvation.
Father, you have delivered me from every situation and crowned my head with peace and understanding.
Grant me a continued heart of praise and thanksgiving. Lest, I ever forget.