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March 29, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”—Daniel 4:36–37 (NIV)
Restoration is a sweet thing. The recovery of what was once lost is a feeling like nothing else. Sometimes; however, the process is a little messier than we would hope for. Only an hour ago, I found myself standing in my condo's dumpster. I had lost my wallet, but was able to find it and hold it up in victory. I stood in a place that was never designed for me, but I needed to go there to retrieve what was lost. I’m sure you’ve found yourself in similar situations. The mess is worth the restoration, and it leads to a greater appreciation for that thing we hold dear.
Case in point: King Nebuchadnezzar’s grand awakening. After seven years of insanity, the Lord restored his senses and Nebuchadnezzar blessed the name of the Lord. The Lord gave back his authority, honor, and understanding—and Nebuchadnezzar led the kingdom with a newfound appreciation for what God entrusted him with.
Let's learn how to carry what He gives us the right way, so we can avoid those dumpster moments a little more often.
Lay down your reputation. Nebuchadnezzar needed his subjects to see him as perfect, and the Lord humbled him with the sweet reminder that only He is. How much does your reputation mean to you? Self-obsession and Christ-exaltation cannot live in the same heart. Love Him well, and let Him be the upholder of your reputation.
Lay down your control. Nebuchadnezzar gloried in his vast authority and prided himself in the power he wielded. It was only after that power was stripped that he realized who it truly belongs to. The power of God at work in you will never be fully realized if you try to run the world on your own. How can Jesus rule from the throne of your heart if you’ve already claimed that seat? There's only room for one. Get up, fall on your face, and welcome Him to His rightful place.
Lay down the need to know. Nebuchadnezzar had acquired the greatest knowledge on the earth at that time—the greatest strategies of war, the most beautiful expressions of art, and everything in between. And in an instant, his brilliance was degraded to that of a goat; his words of wisdom transformed into bleats and grunts. This reminds me that good things become idols when put on the wrong shelf. Lay down the need to know it all, and let Jesus be your teacher. Trust me, He has a lot to show you.
The Lord wants to restore you today and give you more than before, but He also wants to make you ready to hold it rightly before Him. Let Him burn the idols away, choose to embrace the mess, and run to Jesus. He is always better.
DIG: What areas in your life are in need of some restoration?
DISCOVER: What steps can you take to seek out the restoration of the Lord?
DO: Offer up the areas in your life that need restoration in prayer to the Lord and trust in faith that He can restore you!