by Pastor Tim Burt
Did you know that people often pray to God to help them but then ignore the direction and help He leads them in? It’s true. And the result is that they get stuck in life! God is always trying to bring us to a better place that causes us to be a greater blessing to the world around us. And that brings greater and greater blessings into our lives.
If you are familiar with the book of Daniel, you know that Daniel, along with three other wise young Jewish men, had been taken to Babylon after King Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem and initiated the Babylonian captivity prophesied by Jeremiah and others. Daniel and his three friends rose to the roles of great leadership in Babylon. Daniel became one of his chief advisors. One day, King Nebuchadnezzar had a horrible dream that only Daniel could interpret, and the interpretation was not good news! But Daniel was not afraid or intimidated, knowing God was with Him. In interpreting the King’s dream, Daniel told him this:
Daniel 4:32 (NIV) “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
This came to pass shortly after Daniel revealed it to Him. King Nebuchadnezzar lived like an animal for seven years. And then, one day, he looked up toward Heaven and said these words to God and was instantly restored.
Daniel 4:34-36 (NIV) “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.”
What did God want us to learn from this story? That’s a good question to ponder. God had been speaking to Nebuchadnezzar for a long time. Daniel was a chief advisor to him. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to learn from Daniel. If Nebuchadnezzar had let down his pride and opened his heart to God, he would have known that Daniel was a gift to help him learn and get on course and to put the power given to him to good use. But that wasn’t the case. Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and didn’t listen. And so, he learned a difficult lesson losing his sanity for seven years.
Have you noticed the unsettledness of the world today? Have you noticed the insanity, depression, and suicide increase? What I want to impart to you today is that God is always trying to speak into our hearts. He gives us His Word to hear from. He also often has us surrounded by people who know Him. He uses them to speak into our lives. And what they say to us that comes from God’s word helps increase our faith and brings direction, hope, and so much more… if we will listen!
So here’s today’s point. People put off or ignore God daily! They don’t stop and read God’s word. They spend little or no time praying. And consequently, they are not on track with the life God wants for them. And so they can go for months, even years, wandering and not liking their life! That is such a sad truth! There are changes He wants to lead you in that will transform your life. Some of them are amazingly small changes and not difficult to make, except that they demand changes in the daily habits of your life. But those small changes will lead to amazing transformations that will bring so much more joy, purpose, and direction to your life! And most importantly, they are God’s leading and necessary. They will save your mind, your health, your emotions, and your relationships. They will lead to God directing your life and you loving Him more than ever before. And you’ll be spilling over with thanksgiving.
And so today and in the days and weeks ahead, pray something like this daily: “Dear Lord, I want you on the throne of my heart, and I want to rid my life of things that infect areas of my life and pull me away from you. Please speak into my life through your Word and those you’ve placed in my life to help me. Prepare my heart to have the courage and strength to make small changes that I know you are leading me in. Help me to be steadfast and disciplined in executing them, knowing that you are bringing me into your perfect will. I pray this sincerely and with thanks, in Jesus’ name.”
Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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