Daniel 11:36 The Leader Will Exalt Himself

The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Daniel 11:36

Daniel was given a vision of some future kings and battles. One of the kings had chosen to do whatever pleases himself and would set himself up to be above God and all false gods. He would be successful in everything that he does, but only for a set amount of time. In the end, he will be destroyed by another king.

Leaders all over the world come and go all the time. Some change leadership every few years, such as in America, no more than every eight years. While others don’t change until the leader dies, some of whom have lasted over 40 years or more.

Each leader leads in their own way and some people like what they do and others do not. Christians often get very upset with various leaders in position. The leader makes rules that go against God’s word and promote sinful activities.

While it is understandable why someone might be upset with the leader, one must understand also that God has placed that leader in that position for a reason. The king that Daniel saw in his vision was placed there by God, and that king set himself up as greater than God. God did it for a purpose. In this case it was for punishment to a nation.

Every leader that God puts in place, He does so for a purpose and for a set amount of time. As a believer, you must keep this in mind. First you must pray for that leader to know and serve God. Then  you must pray that every believer will be strong and true to God, regardless of what is going on around them. Finally you must know that the leader is only there for a time, not for eternity.

Do your part in this world by being a witness of who Jesus is and the love of God. Work to bring all to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Trust God in leading this world that it needs to be led. And know that in the end God will be the ultimate King for all eternity.

I pray that you will be a witness for God; that God will remove your fear of leaders in this world; that you will trust God’s placement of leaders in this world; and that all leaders will know and serve God.

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Daniel 4:37 All That God Does Is Right

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 4:37

After seeing the three young men survive the fiery furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar chose to follow God and lead his nation to follow God. God gave the King a vision that his kingdom would prosper, but there would be a time when he would be crushed. Later, the king stood up and claimed that he was God and he built his own kingdom. Immediately God took his sanity and he lived for several years as an animal in the wild. Later the king looked up to the heavens and declared that God was God and honored him. His sanity and kingdom were restored.

Going through life it is easy for a person to think that he has done all that he has done by his own power. Hard work appears to pay off and no one can see God, so it must be by his own hands that all has happened. Some believers are even guilty of thinking this way and putting God on the side.

When a person puts God on the side, He will often do something to get his attention. His goal is to get the person’s heart back in the right condition.

Many believers also get angry with God when He knocks them down, so that they will look up to Him. The pain of the knock down causes many to give up on God, rather than see that it was for their benefit in the end.

Looking up to God and allowing Him to be in absolute control is the best thing you can do. Everything that God does is the best thing for your life. Had not God knocked King Nebuchadnezzar down, he would never have turned his heart back to God. He would have died living in the sin of believing he was God.

If you are already following God, keep your eyes on Him and allow Him to be in control. Do not take that control away from Him. He knows what is best for your life.

If you have fallen away and God is knocking you down, look up to Him. There is forgiveness available. God has great things in store for you, if you trust Him.

I pray today that you will allow God to be in control; that you will trust all of God’s actions; that you praise God for all that you have and are; and that you will be humble before God.

 

Daniel 3:17-18 Even If God Does Not Help

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18

King Nebuchadnezzar had set up a large statue of gold of himself and wanted every person in the nation to bow down to it. Three young men, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, known more as Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, had refused to bow down to the statue. The king gave them several chances to change their minds, warning them that they would be thrown into a hot, fiery furnace if they did not do it. The men stated that God would deliver them, but even if He did not, they still would not bow down to that statue. They would obey and follow God, no matter what happened.

It is common to hear of a person who had believed in God for a time, but chose to walk away from God because God did not deliver them from something. One of the more common reasons is that the person prayed for either healing for a loved one and God did not heal the person. The person prayed for died in without healing. The one praying gives up on God and walks away.

Acting like that does not give God absolute authority or control. God is the one in control and knows what is best for each and every person.

In the Old Testament, God made the rule not to bow down to idols. The young men chose to do that regardless of what God does. They did not set any stipulations on obeying God.

You have to set it in your heart that you will follow God, no matter what the cost is or what He will or will not do. You have to trust that He is doing everything that is the best for you.

Make the choice to not bow down to any idols in this world. Worship God and God alone. In reality, the worst that can happen is death, which then will allow you to step into heaven for eternity.

Who are you going to bow down and worship today?

I pray today that God will reveal His power to you; that God will strengthen you to not bow to sin; that you will turn from all sin to God; and that you will not fear this world or anyone in it. 

Daniel 1:8 Choosing To Not Be Defiled

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

When King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had taken over Jerusalem and all Judah, he carried many people into captivity. Out of these people, he chose some who were the best and brightest to work for him. They were brought into the palace courts to work and given the best food and drink, along with all other needed provisions. Daniel was among those given that favor.

The food being provided was food that the Israelites were not supposed to eat according to God’s law. Daniel set it in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food being offered. Regardless of what may happen, he refused to eat that food. He asked the officials to not eat it. He was given favor, because God was on his side.

In this world there are many things that are out there that can defile a believer. No matter what store or location a person walks into things are available to cause one to sin. Pictures, thoughts, and actions are everywhere being done that are filled with sin and can lead a believer down the wrong path. Even other people can lead a person wrong.

As a believer, you must make a commitment to the Lord prior to walking into any place. You must commit to not allowing yourself to be led into sin. You have to choose not to walk down certain paths that the world offers.

In the process of doing this, there will be many times that you will go against the flow of society, even some in the church. Some may be doing it in good will, not meaning to harm you, but still be against God’s ways. It may also be painful. As with Daniel choosing not to eat certain foods, it runs the risk of creating severe pain and suffering. God is with you, and if you choose to follow Him and His ways, He will take care of you.

Before you walk out of your house today, or even your bedroom, resolve in your heart to not allow yourself to be defiled by sin. Refuse to walk down that path as you walk in this world.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will choose to follow God alone; that you will choose to not walk in sin against God; and that you will not allow yourself to be defiled by this world.

Ezekiel 39:27-28 Know The Lord God

When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. Ezekiel 39:27-28

Israel had chosen, for a time, to sin against God by rejecting Him and following idols and other nations. Because of their sin, God sent them into exile to punish them. While in exile the Israelites would realize their great sin and turn back to God. He would bring them back to their homeland in Israel. At that point, they and all the nations, would realize that God is God. The nations of the world would see that God is holy and just.

It is common for people to think of the judgments of God to be harsh and cruel. They do not see the judgments, while living on this earth, are methods to get a person to look towards Him and turn from his sinful ways. Until the final judgment at the end of time, God is not judging with the intent of total destruction, but is judging to get a person to turn towards Him.

People who choose to walk away from Him may go through a time of punishment. God may exile them into a difficult situation to get them to turn their eyes back on Him. The exile today is not always being sent to another nation, but one that still displaces them from the familiar or comfortable.

If you are going through a time of feeling exiled from God, take a look at your life. Are you following God or are you following your own ways? If you are serving God with all of your heart, then it is probably an attack from the enemy.

If you are not serving God, it may be God trying to get your attention back on Him. God may be trying to restore you to where you should be. Allow Him to move you and know that He is God and He is holy and just in all that He does.

I pray today that you will know that God is God; that you will know the holiness of God; that you will serve God with all of your heart; and that you will know that God will not leave you behind as you serve Him.

Ezekiel 9:6 Slaughter Begins In The Church

“Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple. Ezekiel 9:6

God was calling for judgment upon Jerusalem because of the sins of the people. A group of men were set to fulfill the judgment upon the people. Before they began, they went through and marked people who were grieving over the sins that the people were committing. Those people were not to be touched. The beginning point for the judgment was in the sanctuary and then they were to go out from there into all the city killing everyone without the mark.

People are very quick to place judgment upon those who do not follow God in any way. Those in the church like to quickly point out to non-believers that they are heading to hell because of their sins.

Although people like to cast this type of judgment, God looks at things differently. His harshest judgment is focused on those who claim to be believers. Jesus saved His harshest words for the leaders of the temple. Those who did not claim to know God, He showed love and compassion, because they knew who they were.

Just as with Ezekiel, there are many who go to church and claim to be a believer in Jesus, but do not live the life. Those who do not go to church are just living life the only way they know how to live. Those who go to church, have heard how to live their lives for God. There is no reason not to be living for God, yet many do not.

Although God is being patient right now and is holding off judgment of the people, there will come a day when judgment will come. It will start in the church, with those who claim to know Him.

You have to take a look at your own life and see how you are living for God. Are you striving to follow the commands God has given?

Are you living up to what you know God’s Word says?

Or are you living your life in your own way, going against God’s Word?

God is watching and there will come a day of judgment. Live for God and be ready for that day.

I pray today that you will know how God wants you to live; that God will strengthen you to live for Him; that God will see no reason to judge you harshly; and that you will be His witness on this earth.

Ezekiel 8:10-11 Idols In The Church

So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising. Ezekiel 8:10-11

God was giving Ezekiel a vision of inside the temple. He was seeing idol worship being done. It was showing the condition of the hearts of the people and the leaders of Israel. They were worshipping false gods inside the temple.

Looking at many churches around the nation, they can look very beautiful on the outside. Large beautiful churches with great looking landscapes, beautiful platforms, and great looking foyers are seen everywhere. As one looks at the surface of these churches it often looks as though everything is done for the worship of God.

One has to look at things with the eyes of God, who sees into the heart of what is shown, to see what is really happening. Churches, in the name of outreach, have often chosen to do things without God at the center. It is often the thought of do whatever it takes to get someone to come into church, but do not preach Christ and Christ crucified.

The message of the cross is one that is detestable to the world and to every person, until he sees what it has done for him. It cannot be left behind or forgotten.

Churches are made up of people and it is the people who have chosen to do things without God as though they are doing God’s will. Sins are being done in secret, as though God does not see them. These very sins are brought into the church. Sins of jealousy, pride, anger, idol worship, and selfishness are being allowed into the church with no thought of giving them up. These are the things that brought judgment against Israel and will bring judgment against everyone today.

Do not allow yourself to let idols into your life. When you step into a church to worship, get rid of all sin and follow God. Make God the center of His temple, your body, so that the church building will also be a temple of God to worship Him in.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to get rid of idols in your life; that you will put God first in every area of your life; that every church will be followers of God; and that God will be honored in every church.