Daniel 2:46-49 (Part 1) – That April 2008 Decision & God’s Guiding Hand

Posted: May 25, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 2:46-49 (Part 1)

Nebuchadnezzar Rewards Daniel

A while back, I wrote about the fact that where I am today can be traced back to a decision in April 2008 to accept a request to go to California to continue my consulting gig at America Fujikura, Ltd. (AFL). Otherwise, my consulting work there would have ended and I would have had to wait for the consulting firm that I was attached to at the time to find me another consulting project. It was a tough choice but one that was between continuing the consistent stream of income or waiting days or weeks or months until my next consulting assignment. That decision more than any other has determined the course of my life over the last 8 years. To some this might be just a fork in the road. To some this might me a simple decision tree branch. To some this just shows you the randomness of life where one decision made with only 24 hours of thought controls your destiny. However, to me, I give all the credit to God. It was his guiding hand. Even though I had been a Christian since accepting Christ as my Savior in December 2001, I was a spiritual baby, not really wanting to know Jesus in a deeper way and certainly not growing. Even then, God was guiding my life. He knew what He had in store for me with that decision. It was His Holy Spirit influence that led me to accept the continuation of my consulting project with AFL by heading out to California in 2008. That decision changed my life forever.

 

It was while I was in California that I learned about that relationships that last are more about friendship than they are about sex. Because of the continent between us, my girlfriend Elena (who later became my wife) and I had to learn to be friends and it deepened that part of our relationship and made us see the value of one another to each other far beyond the bedroom. Previously, in my life, I had always made sex the measuring stick of a relationship and well that turned into two failed marriages. It was while in California that my job became permanent. It was then that Elena joined me there and we thought we were randomly choosing a town to live in called Livermore, CA. It was there that a couple randomly left a door hanger on our apartment door about an event at their church. They had one more door hanger and were drawn up to the third floor of our building where we lived instead of leaving the door hanger on a first floor apartment. It was there where we used that hanger to find what would be our church home. It was there that we met Luke Brower, pastor of that church, and his wife, Felisha. These guys were so instrumental in challenging me to be more than a pew-sitting Sunday morning baby Christian and guided Elena to the cross. It was there that we were challenged to trust God and do things God’s way. Two people burned by divorce probably would have never trusted the Lord enough to make the marriage leap had we not encountered Luke & Felisha Brower. It was there that we were nurtured into being on-fire followers of Jesus Christ. It was there that we were prepared for our return to South Carolina to where we became part of our current church and where we have been molded in leaders and more mature Christians under the leadership of our senior pastor, Jeff Hickman, and the other elders on staff there. It has been under the LifeSong leadership that my desire to pursue pastoral ministry has been nurtured. It has been here that we have learned that ministry takes many forms. It has been here that we have learned that our lives are our ministry and that we are on-mission every moment of our lives. It is here that we have learned that we are missionaries where we live, work, and play. All of it can be traced back to that decision in April 2008 to go to California.

 

I would like to take credit for all these things myself, but when you sit back and look at what has happened since that April 2008 decision to go to California, there is no doubt in my mind that it was God’s providential hand in it all. I share my story here as often as I can because it is clearly evident that God was behind it all. We have pivotal moments in life that we can see the Holy Spirit and His influence on our lives. What God had in store for us was based on that April 2008 decision. I was overwhelmed that night that I had to mull over that decision with the feeling that I needed to go. I had never made my home anywhere outside South Carolina prior to that decision. I had turned down opportunities in other states previously because of fear of being away from everything that I know here. However, that night, there was something (think Holy Spirit) that made me feel OK at that point in my life about saying yes to the idea. It was God’s action in my soul through the Holy Spirit. He knew what He had in store for me. He knew that He was going to change me forever by the events that would follow.

 

Giving God the credit for these things, these wonderful things (though there have tough times since) that have happened because of that decision. I have been blessed in so many ways by that decision and all that followed that one decision. To say that it was me would be so wrong. It was God’s providential hand. No doubt in my mind. So, to Him, I give the glory not myself. To Him, I look and say wow! To Him, I am in awe.

 

My own life experiences and how I now give God the glory for the way He has guided my life is what I thought of this morning when I read how Nebuchadnezzar honored Daniel’s God in his response to Daniel’s interpretation of his dream in the previous passage. In the previous passage, Daniel gave God all the credit for giving Him the ability to know and interpret the emperor’s dream. Daniel could have easily given all the credit to himself before the emperor, but he did not. He gave the glory to God and it was through doing so that Nebuchadnezzar learned of the one true God. It is through my own life experience that I can speak loudly of the one true God. Let us then read what Nebuchadnezzar has to say about our God in Daniel 2:46-49:

 

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

 

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.

 

Nebuchadnezzar honored Daniel and Daniel’s God. If Daniel had taken the full credit for himself, the king would have honored Daniel only. Because Daniel gave credit to God for his abilities, the king honored both of them. Part of our mission in this world is to show non-believers what God is like. We can that by acts of love and compassion and by pointing out we trust God with the history and future of our lives, they will want to know more about this God we talk about. When you point out God’s guiding hand in your life instead of viewing it as random, unrelated activities, we take the focus off ourselves and put it on the one true God, the Maker of all Things, the Creator, the Loving God who is so vast and mighty but yet cares about each one of His creations, you and me. So, let us give God the glory for the things that He does in and through us so that the world can see and know of this mighty and glorious God that we serve.

 

Amen and amen.

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