Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Daniel 4-6: None Can Say, What are You Doing?

Nebuchadnezzar had witnessed God's power first hand.  He watched as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were delivered from the fiery furnace.  You would think he would have developed humility.  In His mercy, God gave Nebuchadnezzar a warning dream. I think God was giving Him an opportunity to repent, to realize that God was the One Who gave him his kingdom.

Daniel 4:25
Amplified Bible (AMP)

You shall be driven from among men and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as do the oxen and you shall be wet with the dew of the heavens; and seven times [or years] shall pass over you until you learn and know and recognize that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will.

This warning dream was fulfilled and the king ate grass like a wild animal for seven years.  When his mind ("reason and understanding") was restored, he had learned his lesson in humility.  He realized that God alone is in control of the nations, and He is the one Who appoints and gives power to men.

Daniel 4:34-37
Amplified Bible (AMP)

34 And at the end of the days [seven years], I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding and the right use of my mind returned to me; and I blessed the Most High [God] and I praised and honored and glorified Him Who lives forever, Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion; and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. And He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand or say to Him, What are You doing?
36 Now at the same time my reason and understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me, and my counselors and my lords sought me out; I was reestablished in my kingdom, and still more greatness [than before] was added to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, Whose works are all faithful and right and Whose ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase and humble.
Nebuchadnezzar transitioned from worshipping Himself to worshipping and praising the One, True God!
When personally considering this story, I think about all the blessings and positions of authority in which God has placed me.  My attitude has been the opposite of Nebuchadnezzar, but still a form of pride.  I have resisted the positions in which I have been placed.  My personality is more of a "follower" than a "leader."  Yet, if God appoints those in authority than who am I to say, "What are You doing?"
Thank You, Lord, for reminding me that You work according to You will "in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth."  I ask, I require Your empowerment for any position of authority You provide.  I require Your wisdom and ability to perform excellently.  I "praise and extol and honor [You], the King of heaven, whose works are all faithful and right and Whose ways are just."  In the great and awesome name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Daniel 1-3: The Light of Grace

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down in worship to the image Nebuchadnezzar had set in place.  These men had directly defied an earthly king to avoid offending their Heavenly King.

Their conviction got them thrown into a fire furnace!

Amazing God gloriously spared these three men proving once again that the One True God has the power to accomplish the miraculous.

Nebuchadnezzar Himself comes to the realization that,

"...there is no other God who can deliver in this way." 
Daniel 3:29

I imagine myself in the situation of these three bold men.  Would I have the resolve to say "no" when faced with a fiery furnace?  

Would I stand firm and refuse to bow down?

Then I remember what it feels like with the powerful spotlight of grace empowering to stand firm in the face of persecution.  Just a few weeks ago during worship, the Lord's Presence was physically perceptible.  He allowed me to "see" myself with hands raised and a column of light from heaven shining on me like a spotlight.  Experiences like this give me courage. 

If ever placed in that kind of severe position, I will trust that the Light would empower me to stand firm.  The benefit of a personal relationship with God is grace.  His grace empowers!

In this year of "Great Grace," we are trained to access His power, the power we need to walk through life victoriously.  I require this training!  You require this training!

Holy Spirit, teach us!  We need you!!!  In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Joel: The Latter Rain is Coming

Joel 2:23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
God is giving a promise.  He is calling to memory what it was like when His Spirit was first poured out in you.  Do you remember how your heart burned with passion for Him?  Do you remember how full, how overflowing was His love through you?  Do you remember how you were compelled to speak of all He had done to all who would listen?  Do you remember how His music inspired bodily movements, because there was no other way to release what He was pouring into you? 
For the Lord is saying...
"I am with you.  I will bubble up inside of you again.  The latter rains are coming.  Look to the horizon and see the clouds are forming.  Just as Elijah's servant looked and saw the cloud the size of a man's hand, so it is now.  My child, small beginnings, do not despise.  Do not despise the season in which you find yourself.  You are being trained to hear Me, see Me and feel Me beyond your emotions.  You are learning to obey My whisper and walk in faith.  Physical sight no longer leads you, but My Spirit cultivates the spiritual sight which reveals faith's path.  Stay the course!  Walk with Me.  I will pour out the latter rain.  I will cause refreshment of soul.  Your passion is not dead.  Receive My breath, which revives.  Live again.  Love again.  Shine!"