November 28, 2017
In the Book of Daniel, Chapters 4-5, there are back to back stories that are there to straighten the spine of every arrogant leader. It is a warning to those who think they are great and have somehow forgotten that God is the One who ""lifts up one and puts down another.""
""NEBUCHADNEZZAR, REDUCED TO A BEAST""
This could have been the headline in the daily news. The king of the Babylonian empire became so arrogant that he stood one day, surveyed his kingdom and said, ""It this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty"" (Daniel 4:31).
The Bible says that ""while the words were in his mouth,"" God's judgment came, removing him from power. Immediately God's prophetic words were fulfilled and the world's most powerful king was reduced to ""eating straw like a cow.""
He finally came to his senses and acknowledged God as the King of all the earth and that ""He is able to humble those who walk in pride"" (Daniel 4:37)
""KING'S UNLEARNING SON KILLED BY PRIDE""
... was the next headline. Belshazzar, old Neb's son, was raised up to be king. He was so arrogant that he ""gave orders"" to bring the utensils brought from God's temple in Jerusalem so he and his friends could mock God and ""praise the gods of gold and silver"" (5:1-4). While they were having their godless party, God's literal hand wrote on the wall—a stunning message of judgment on his pride.
This pipsqueak king went knock-kneed in fear (true story, Daniel 5:6), and finally had to call Daniel the prophet out of retirement.
The judgment delivered in the message? ""You ... have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this"" (i.e. what happened to your father because of his pride).
The direct meaning of the four-word message on the wall? You've been weighed in the balance and you are a lightweight (found wanting); your kingdom is going to be given to another.
That same night he was killed and the kingdom was given to another. In an instant. Case closed. Old news. The Pipsqueak of Pride eliminated.
... of this true account? God is the same--yesterday, today, and forever. You don't play god with Him. God will not be mocked. He can take the most powerful man in the world and reduce him to nothingness in an instant.
God is God, and there is no other. Don’t ever try to take His place.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020