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March 29, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”—Daniel 4:18 (NKJV)
You have the power of influence and it’s greater than you think. Your life affects your family members, friends, co-workers, and your neighbors. God has placed you strategically in this world to make a difference for His kingdom and glory.
Daniel was a man of great influence because King Nebuchadnezzar trusted him. Pastor Chuck Smith once said, “It’s interesting that Nebuchadnezzar described Daniel as one whom ‘the Spirit of the holy God’ is in.” We tend to take for granted that God is holy, but to pagans this is a unique claim.
The pagan gods were never seen as holy. They were selfish and vengeful. But you have to ask yourself, “How did Nebuchadnezzar get the idea that Daniel’s God was holy?” No doubt, the holy God was manifested in the holiness of Daniel. He lived such a pure, clean life—a life that was holy, a life of prayer, a life of commitment to the Lord. That’s a challenge to me.
Just as God purposed, placed, and used Spirit-led Daniel, He has also sovereignly placed you where you are for His work. You may be an educator, a business owner, an employee, a first responder, a dad, a mom, or a student. Whatever your place and position, people in your life need your godly influence.
Because God cared for the king, the Lord was about to reveal that He is the true King and will always be the most important figure in the story. The Most High rules over all things. He created us to honor Him and place Him first in everything we do.
In Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream, the tree refers to the king’s powerful reign. Herbert Lockyer said, “The tree reached to heaven and was seen by the world as representing significant prominence, strength, beauty, and fruit. His power led to pride.”
King David presents a sobering picture of the vainly powerful in Psalm 37:35-36 (NKJV) as he writes, “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; indeed, I sought him, but he could not be found.” This is a powerful lesson for us.
Friends, whether you’re the most powerful person on earth, a wealthy and prominent business person, or someone working at the bottom of the totem pole, I pray you never allow yourself to be filled with pride. There is no more dangerous place to be. So, commit to humility before God and others. Remember, the Word says that the proud will be humbled and the humble will be lifted up by the Lord (Psalm 138:6; Proverbs 3:34, 29:23)!
DIG: Take 30 seconds and think of those who have had a positive influence in your life.
DISCOVER: How has God strategically placed you to make a difference where you work or live? Go tell others how they have influenced you.
DO: As the king’s response to Daniel’s godly character, would people say complimentary things about you as a Christian? Proverbs 22:1 (NKJV) states, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” Can people see the holiness of God in how you live?