How far will God go to get his message across to us?
Tonight, one of our members (Andy) led us in some thoughts on Daniel 4. He began with the quote:
“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire, and the other is to gain it.”
This is a strange thing to say. Surely the whole point of life is to get our heart’s desire? We call people successful when they have achieved what they have always wanted. But even Bill Gates said, ‘Success is a lousy teacher, it seduces smart people into thinking they can do no wrong.’
In the Bible, God consistently uses sorrow, pain or loss to get messages across to His people. This is a tough thing for us to understand. Sometimes failure can be a gift from God, a chance to acknowledge that God is God, and we are not very much at all.
Reading this chapter in Daniel is like reading the King’s Diary. It is a story of a man who reaches his human goals; he is flying high in his empire…in human terms he had everything.
And yet, at the height of his power, he was not successful in God’s terms. God decided to let him learn the hard way:
You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals. You will eat grass like cattle…UNTIL you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. (Daniel 4:25)
What had gone wrong? Well as the next verses say, King Nebuchadnezzar was walking along speaking to himself, “Isn’t this the great Babylon I have built, by MY mighty power and for the glory of ME”.
It is God who has put him into power and it is God that can take the power away. What does it take for this highly successful man to realise that none of his success is due to himself? This man went from being #1 ruler in the world to a Mogul-like creature.
None of our ‘successes’ are due to us, they are all from God. Pride is claiming credit for ourselves when it really belongs to God.
Pride is a problem for all of us. However, though our path may be full of ups and downs, God is not finished with us yet. He will continue to work with us until we realise that we can’t put our confidence in ourselves, our houses, our money, our jobs or ‘our’ anything. To God goes the glory.