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March 29, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.’ Belteshazzar answered and said, ‘My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies! The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home—it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him.’”—Daniel 4:19-23 (NKJV)
Who is that someone you are praying for to come to salvation? Your spouse, your child, a sibling, or maybe a friend? Does it seem like an utter impossibility that person will ever come to know the Lord?
The life of Nebuchadnezzar gives us a hopeful insight on how God can save the most prideful and powerful people. This king’s greatness and influence came to a critical crossroads on a slippery slope toward severe devastation. Pastor Jon Courson said, “Nebuchadnezzar was a man who had attained it all. The most powerful person in the world then and perhaps even now outwardly, politically, and materially.” Seldom has a man who possessed so much fallen so far.
Scripture reveals the problem of pride. Pride began with the fall of Lucifer from heaven (Isaiah 17). Pride led to the great fall in the garden (Genesis 3). Proverbs 6:16 mentions pride as the first of the seven deadly sins. And in Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV) we read, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Leaders of nations and leaders of churches have tumbled hard due to self-centered pride.
Pastor Chuck Smith said, “God is so faithful. He always warns us when we head toward dangerous ground. When God issues a warning, you can learn the lessons in one of two ways: the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is to heed His warning. The hard way is to continue walking toward trouble.” God is very patient and He may give us more time, but eventually that time will come to an end. The Lord loves us too much to leave us where we are and let us get away with that which destroys us. He gives us warnings and uses hard lessons to keep us from trouble.
God will get your attention sooner or later. In His care and compassion, He may use someone close to you to be that tool to speak God’s truth. Ask yourself if God is speaking to you to turn and repent of self-will and prideful thinking and living (Acts 3:20)?
On the other hand, God may be preparing you to be that Daniel in someone else’s life. Be encouraged, the Lord will show His power and work beyond the impossible in His perfect time (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Matthew 19:26).
DIG: Who is that someone, like king Nebuchadnezzar, you are concerned for who needs the Lord? Take a moment and lift them up in prayer.
DISCOVER: Pray 2 Peter 3:9 over the lost: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
DO: Continue in your prayers for the lost God has placed in your life. God’s time table to bring salvation is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11).