Daniel 5:22 Not Being Humble

Kneeling on a beach

But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Daniel 5:22 

Looking back on history gives a person a perspective of what works and what does not work. Wise men will review history of what has occurred to determine the best ways to do something currently.

It is common, however, that people refuse to look back at what has happened and not learn from it. They choose to do things their own way, rather than from learning from others. It is all about self and what one wants for himself, rather than doing things the best way.

People like to feel as though they did it themselves or can do it themselves. Very few want any help or guidance from anyone else. Thus, they refuse to look back at learn from others.

God had gotten Belshazzar’s attention by writing on a wall. Daniel interprets it, but points out that Belshazzar’s father had known and followed God, after being humbled. Belshazzar never humbled himself and put himself up against God.

As soon as one refuses to humble himself and realize that he does not know what is best, but that only God knows what is best, he is set up for failure and correction. God will allow a person to do what he wants, but it will come at a price. Belshazzar was to lose his kingdom and his life.

The true believer will know that he is not in control, but that God is the one who is truly in control. He will bow down before God, humbling himself to God’s will and direction.

Believers can look back at the bible and the lives of other believers to see how God works with people and knows what is best. He will be able to see that he can trust God.

You may be one of those who likes to be in control of everything. While God may be giving you some things that you can control, you must remember that He is the one who is in absolute control. You must allow yourself to submit to His ways of doing things.

This is where humility comes in. It is bowing down to God, recognizing that He is God and you are not. It is recognizing that God is in control and you are not.

Do not allow yourself to get to a point where God has to knock you down. Humble yourself today and He will lift you up.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Master; that you will submit to God’s ways of doing things; that you will allow God to have complete control of your life; and that you will be humble before God. 

Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Ezekiel 21:13 A Coming Test

Boy testing

Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 21:13 

When a person is in school, he knows that there will always come a time of testing. It does not matter what age or what level of schooling, testing will always be a part of the schooling.

The purpose of testing is to find out where a person stands in what he was supposed to have learned. It is a process of asking whether the student has learned anything or not. If the person fails the test, he must retake the class to work on actually learning the information. If he passes the test, he is able to move on to the next level.

God told the people that there was coming a time of testing. It was a time to test their hearts to find out if they are really following Him or not. Everything was showing that they were following idols and that they were failing the testing and would be judged accordingly.

Very few people like to be tested. When people hear that a test is on the schedule, they begin to get worried and filled with high anxiety. They question whether they are ready or not. Many start to cram for information to pass it.

Just as God tested the Israelites, He will test people today. He will test whether the person is following Him or not.

It is easy to say that one believes in Jesus and God, but it is another thing to actually follow and obey God in everything as one believes in Him.

The only way a person can know if he is truly following God is by testing. God has to reveal what is in the heart to know the level of commitment to Him.

Throughout your life God will allow times of testing to help reveal where you stand with Him. These are to allow you to know if you are passing the test of being willing to obey and follow Him with all of your life.

Every time you read the bible or hear a sermon, you are being presented with something to build you more like Jesus. Ask yourself if you are learning and passing or are you failing to learn and failing.

If you fail to learn, you will begin to fall back and may be rejected. Strive to learn to obey and follow God with all your heart. Be like Jesus, not this world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will learn what God is teaching you; and that you will pass the tests God places on you. 

Jeremiah 50:5 Who Is Your Contract With?

Ark of the covenant

They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten. Jeremiah 50:5 

Contracts are drawn up every day all over the world. Some are between individuals, while others are between corporations and even nations. They are agreements that both parties will do something or not do something. Every contract is binding in some way, holding each one responsible for their part.

The purpose of the contract is to keep each other accountable for what is supposed to be done or not done. It is binding for the length of the contract, which is dependent on what has to be done.

During the time of Jeremiah, Israel and Judah had gone into exile. God tells of a time when they will return. They will seek God and bind themselves to Him in an everlasting covenant.

People bind themselves to many different things for many different reasons. Often the binding is done verbally and not written down. It is an agreement between two different people. Friends often bind themselves in this way.

Before believing in God, people are bound to the ways of this world, living in sin and rejecting God. Once they become a believer, they are bound in contract with God through belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

This contract with God is binding for eternity in two ways. One is that the believer will continue to believe in, obey and follow Jesus. The other is that God will love and save the person.

Once a person believes and follows Jesus, this is for eternity. He is to never go back to sin and break the contract with God, because it is binding and gives life, eternal life.

If you have chosen to believe in and follow Jesus, you are under contract with God. God has already done His part in removing all sin and giving you life. You must now live your life for God.

Do not allow yourself to break the contract and go back to a sinful lifestyle. Do not make a new contract with the world or the devil.

Live the full, abundant life that Jesus has promised you. God will uphold His part of the contract and will give you the strength and ability to do your part. All you have to do is choose to do it.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bind yourself to God; that God will break the bondage you have in your life to sin; and that you will choose to live for God everyday.

Jeremiah 44:6 God’s Patience Will End

Assorted wrong way signs

Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today. Jeremiah 44:6 

Warnings against things are found everywhere. In most cases there are no punishments connected with the warnings. It is just that a person may incur some serious injury or death if the warnings are not heeded. With other warnings, however, there is a consequence if they are not heeded.

Often warnings are not heeded, because there is no direct, immediate consequence of any significance. People feel as though they are safe to continue doing what they are doing.

God had sent many prophets to warn the Israelites on how to live and what not to do. Yet, the people refused to listen and continued to live in sin. As a result God destroyed Jerusalem as punishment.

Even though the church is under grace, there are still warnings against living in sin. Jesus had told different people to go and sin no more, to leave their life of sin.

That message has never changed. Yet, there are many in the church who feel as if they are free to live as they want, in sin. They, as the Israelites, refuse to listen and obey the word being spoken to them and continue to live in sin and worshipping false gods.

Many who live like this hide behind God’s grace, saying that He is merciful and understands. God does not understand sin or sinning. He is against it and gives each person the ability to turn away from all sin. It is just many do not take that way of escape from sin.

Grace is not a license to sin more, but gives strength and reason to not sin.

You may or may not ever completely overcome the temptation to sin, but you must strive for it. Turn your focus upon God and what He wants of you.

As you study the bible, take notice of all the warnings God gives from beginning to end. Heed those warnings as you live for God. Do not allow yourself to be fooled into worshipping false gods in your life. Get rid of the false gods and live for God alone.

When you heed God’s warnings in your life, you will begin to live more for Him and more like Jesus. If you ignore the warnings, you may end up desolate and destroyed as Jerusalem was.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will heed all of God’s warnings in your life; that you will lean on God to turn from all sin and false gods;  and that you will allow God’s word to guide your life.