Now, I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all

His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

Daniel 4: 37

 

Here are the words of one of the most accomplished men to ever walk on the face of the earth. He had empire, position, and wealth. Anything that Nebuchadnezzar commanded was done without question; also, he had been able to surround himself with splendid buildings that were monuments to his leadership and power. Still, God wanted something else from him, and the Lord continued to pursue him with a relentlessness that was even greater than King Nebuchadnezzar’s desire to build monuments. God spoke to him, He provided human testimony, and compelling examples of His might and sovereignty. Yet, Nebuchadnezzar’s pride was strong, and he continued to know who God was, but he didn’t actually know the Lord.

 

So, God humbled the great man. The Lord took him quite literally to his knees, and then the Lord forced him to depend totally on the protection of others and on the grace of God. Thus, these are the words of a man who has plummeted from the peak of his own success to the depths of living in a pasture, and who has been restored totally by God’s unending love and stunning grace. This is the story of an ancient king that applies to our world as much as it did then, and it is a story of how God continues to work in the lives of everyone regardless of station, status, or rank.

 

Throughout Nebuchadnezzar’s life, God’s people continued to serve the Lord by remaining honest, faithful, and true to their calling to serve God by serving the king. We are all called to adopt the way of the Lord here by never assuming that anyone is beyond, above, or outside of the Lord’s desire to reach them with saving truth. So, we can prepare ourselves for this type of faithful service by looking at our own issues of pride, holding them out with open hands to the Lord, and trusting His truth and justice to take them from us. As we surrender our pride, God’s grace fills us with a clearer sense of His purpose for our lives, and He leads us to people who need to be served in His name. These people may be kings or they might be the objects of that king’s wrath and derision. Still, it is our service to the Lord that presents the message of the Gospel of Christ in our world and that just might bring the arrogantly lost to the knees of grace and salvation.

 

So teach us to number our days so that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90: 12

 

How many days have you had? A simple bit of math can figure this out; yet, if your life has gone anything like mine, the simple number of them is going to be a frustrating thing to consider, for I have not done nearly enough good with them and have not spent the sort of time that I could have in true worshipful service to God. This accounting would show that I have consumed many of those days in ways that were self-centered or in seeking after things that were safe, comfortable, and within easy reach rather than in trusting the Lord to take me to the heights that His Word promises me I can reach by pursuing His will. The good news in this is that God cares far more about the days that are to come than about what I have done with the ones that are past.

 

So, in preparing to go after today, it seems that the first thing that God desires for me to do is to focus on His instructions for it. When I consider the fact that God has a plan for my life, I am amazed that the Lord of the universe cares so much about something as insignificant as that, but based upon the promise of His Word and upon the things that He has already done, I know that He does care. Also, God is interested in and will be involved with the details of each day, and He already has a workable plan for this day. So, God does want me to look at my life and to count each of the days that I have remaining, but He doesn’t want me to become focused on the finish of my life as the goal. Rather, He wants me to consider each day as His and to dig deep into His Word so that I can understand the Lord’s will as it relates to today.

 

God is showing me that He wants me to count every day of my life as something to be offered to Him in worship, and like the soldier in battle who needs to make every bullet count or the teacher in a classroom who desires to make each word meaningful, the Lord desires for me to make this day one where He is at the center of all that I consider, plan, and do. This is not a matter of priorities, for the Lord doesn’t desire to be a part of a list of the things that are most important to me. It is a matter of the orientation of my entire being. Serving God and making my life one of worship of my Lord and Savior is what counts. Then, I can establish my priorities based upon the eternal wisdom that God writes on my heart.