Daniel

Tuesday Devotional: Daniel 10

bibleRead Daniel 10

Set your mind to gain understanding.

Humble yourself.

Be weak.

What God requires from us and what we are supposed to do as Christians is relatively simple.  We often complicate our orders or commands because to take them at face value would simply hurt, demand and cost too much.  But we MUST take them at face value if our faith is to have any value whatsoever.

Set your mind to gain understanding.

You do not understand the mysteries of the world that you live in.  Most times you do not understand the mystery that is you.  We learn, we grow and we understand more, but we are always creatures of inquiry with much to ask.  The world suggests and in some ways demands that we obtain knowledge by a certain age.  The world promotes learning in childhood and becomes less and less patient with the learning process as we grow older.  If we follow the forceful encouragement of the world to profess knowledge in the things that are impossible to know confidently we find ourselves the most foolish of all.  To know God is to know that we are limited beings created by an infinite God.  Therefore, admitting that we don’t know is actually the beginning of knowing.  To admit our ignorance is the first step in gaining the wisdom of God.  It is impossible to know God if we profess knowledge that exists apart from Him.  To know that you do not need God is to openly admit that there is much you do not know.

Humble yourself.

Admitting that God exists or that there is need of God in your life is one thing.  Humbling yourself to obey what He says is totally different.  Many profess faith in God but then do what He clearly says not to do.  To follow someone requires that we trust them as the authority and we acknowledge our need to be led.  To follow someone also requires us to submit our plan for the sake of a better plan made by a more proficient planner.  Humbling ourselves is not easy, often aggressively resisted by our sin.  For some, to be humble is to be wrong or weak.  However, by humbling ourselves to God we find that while we were wrong on our own, we are now eternally right, following the commands of a perfect God.   While we were weak before God we are now eternally strong in the hands of the creator God that holds life itself in His hands.  To be humble is to admit reverence to someone, something greater than us.  To know that you do not need to submit to anyone or anything prevents God from being God and therefore makes it impossible for you to know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

Be weak.

Many people come to know God at a low point in life.  They find themselves at the bottom, all alone, completely without. They feel that while everything else has failed, perhaps God will lift them up, comfort them and provide what they truly need.  Many people who profess faith in Christ have never seen this place of weakness.  While this is an entirely different problem, there are also many who have seen this place but then have ventured far from it, never to return.  The common mistake people make is to believe that this place of weakness is to be grown out of and moved on from.  The truth is that to grow out or move on from this place of salvation is to grow out or move on from the very thing that saved them, Jesus Christ.  A Christian is eternally raised up by Jesus in the resurrection, eternally comforted by Emmanuel, God with us, and eternally fed by the Bread of Life.  Weakness is daily present in the life of a Christian, not to exhibit weakness for weakness’ sake, but to reveal and testify to the presence of the living God for Christ’s sake.

 

Tuesday Devotional: Daniel 2

bibleDaniel 2:24-49

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.”

26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:

29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.

Understanding the true nature of God requires power.  One cannot comprehend the nature of God through the acquisition of knowledge.  One will never truly accept the existence of God through habitual attendance at a church or at a Bible study.  The one and only means to being transformed by the word of God is through the power of experience, and the only way to that experience is to allow the possibility of the power to be present.

One of the primary reasons why so few people ever experience this power is because, although they attend church, read their Bible or pray, they resist the truth of the message.  Regardless of how small that opening for truth is, God will always respond to it, and when he does it becomes pointless in resisting the presence of his power.  People believe they have uncontested control of their lives, the power to dictate our own direction as we see fit.  This faith will persist until it is met by a power that overpowers it.  When we experience God’s power, the only reaction in a heart hungry for truth is to fall prostrate at the feet of the God who makes himself known not through a message, a concept or a rule, but through an undeniable encounter.

Anything short of an experience with God cannot initiate the change of character required to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.   And without a powerfully personal experience with the living God, we live without the joy and peace that come from the transformed character in this new life with God.  Any faith requires trust in things we don’t necessarily see, but is established in things that have truly been experienced.  Without the testimony of experience we would never live by that faith.  God’s message will never be real unless God’s presence has been truly experienced as real.