Are You Listening Closely?

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)”—Daniel 4:4-8 (NIV)

Have you ever had a dream that seemed like utter nonsense? Research studies show we dream nightly. Dreams are often based on our emotions or experiences, and relate to our recent awake experiences. The Lord uses dreams to speak to us. In Hebrews 1:1 (NKJV) the writer says, ”God, who spoke at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.”

Nebuchadnezzar was a successful, self-consumed man living in the lap of luxury, proudly taking personal credit for everything. In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus tells us a story about an ungodly, rich man who, like Nebuchadnezzar, planned to bask in the abundance of his possessions. He thought to himself how we could just sit back and pat himself on his back for his accomplishments. Yet, almost immediately after this thought, the Lord spoke saying, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you. . . . So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21 NKJV).

In Proverbs 30:7-9, we see the wise Agur realize that life is empty without God. In the end, he asks God to grant him only what he needs; not to grant him riches or poverty, but only the portion he needs so he can remain focused on the Lord.

God was doing a similar, deep work in Nebuchadnezzar as He orchestrated challenging, life-changing events in his life. The Lord had important lessons for the king to learn, the most important being his relationship with Him.

Daniel, one of God’s spokesmen, was full of the Spirit of God. So was Stephen (Acts 6). The apostle Paul witnessed a young Stephen speaking to the Jewish religious leaders. It was evident that Stephen’s life was full of the Holy Spirit; he was full of grace, power, light, and the Word. His Spirit-led life was a major influence on the apostle Paul.

As believers, the Holy Spirit lives within us. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we become empowered (Acts 1:8). To live the abundant Christian life, we cannot live without the power of the Holy Spirit upon us. I pray that, as those who are filled with the Spirit, those whom God has commissioned like Daniel to be His voice and His messengers to the lost, that they would be used to reveal mysteries to those who seek breakthrough and reveal the glory and grace of God to those who don’t yet know Him. I pray God would use us to speak truth and life into the Nebuchadnezzar’s all around us.

DIG: God speaks clearly in His Word and by His Spirit. How has He been speaking to you?

DISCOVER: How has the Lord used someone like Daniel in your life to speak truth to you? Perhaps you, like Daniel, are to speak truth to someone?

DO: Read Ephesians 5:18. If you have not asked the Lord Jesus to come into your heart, ask Him. He will come in, forgive you of your sins, and fill you with His Spirit. Ask the Lord daily to fill you afresh with the Holy Spirit. When you do, you will experience Him working in you.