How do you view the world? How do you view yourself? Are you pleased with what you have accomplished in school, sports, music?
Are you popular? Are you liked? Are you unpopular or disliked?
How much of who you are and what you are and where you hope you are going do you think is down to you?
Most of us, if we were truly honest, have had that moment when we have said to ourselves – I am GOOD; I Did it; I am Talented; I am Cool; I am the Man!
What is presented to you by our society is that you can be what you want to be. You can achieve what you want to achieve. You can fly as high as you want.
Is that not the American dream? You have within you all that is needed to make you successful – you just need to try harder!
Also, power, authority and status (and money) are the places to crave – to aspire to. If you have power, authority and status (and money) you are strong – anything else is seen as weakness.
The point of Daniel 4 is that no matter how far you fly, how powerful you become, how good you are, how popular you become God is the ultimate source and determiner of your future and your place.
What you achieve, you do so ONLY because God has given it to you. When we stop realizing this then we are in danger.
This is why, in all we do we must do it FOR GOD and for NOBODY ELSE.
Nebuchanezzar was the ruler of the known world.
He was as powerful as you get – as important as you get. For him he had accomplished a lot. He was the ruler – he was the victor – he was the dude – everyone wanted to hang with him, to please him, to get his attention. He was the center of everything.
He was about to go through a tough lesson.
And it’s a lesson we need to learn, not just for now, but for the rest of our lives – God is Sovereign.
Sovereign means: supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right /greatest in degree; utmost or extreme /being above all others in character, importance, excellence.
Which means that there really is only one person you need to worry about, God. But for most of us we only think about God a few times a week, at church or youth group or bible study.
But God is involved in every aspect of our existence.
One of the most famous passages of scripture can easily slip by us in its meaning – Matthew 28 says ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME.
All authority is God’s and he has given that authority to the incarnate Christ.
This was the lesson Neb was going to learn.
Chp 4 is Neb’s testimony of how he came to change his worldview – how he realized that there was something more about life.
Do you have a testimony of what God has done in your life? Can you write down your testimony of how God has changed you – from the then to the now? A testimony is not just about WHEN you were converted to Christianity because for many the process was a journey which happened over time.
We should have many testimonies – some big, most small, about how God has been involved with our lives, how we have seen him move and act and help us and bless us and encourage us.
That is why I think it is so important to write down the experiences we have – whenever we say “Wow, God showed up” write it down – no matter how small the situation – so that you can look back and see how God has moved in your life.
Neb has a dream and Daniel is called to interpret it. And Daniel knows the gravity of this dream. God is going to do something to Neb which is frightening.
But the purpose of this, Daniel says, is so that Neb will know that GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE NATIONS.