Change, as they say, is here to stay. We change our clothes, our hair, cars, homes, jobs etc. Not everything changes, but change is part of our culture and our lives; it is possible.
In Daniel Chapter 4, Daniel is uncompromising in his challenge to King Nebuchadnezzar that he needed to change; to renounce his sins, to turn from wickedness and treat the oppressed with kindness. Or else! However, King Nebuchadnezzar, at least initially, did nothing about it. 12 months passed and he was still admiring ‘his’ kingdom in all its glory when the true King of glory put a stop to it; and humbled the great king.
There will be times in our lives when, like King Nebuchadnezzar, we find ourselves confronted by the challenge to change. To make a change to the way we live either through the ‘wounds’ of a friend’ (Proverbs 27:6) or the message in church, or the Holy Spirit gently whispering to our spirit that something needs to change. May we be a people who know what it is to check the source; to listen in, to lean in to what God is saying.
May we also be a people of ACTION and do something when confronted with the challenge to change. So many of us are full of good intentions. But the power of procrastination takes hold and we put off positive change. The consequences to our lives can be dramatic. May God help us to move from intention to action.
And may we keep our change all about Jesus. King Nebuchadnezzar eventually came round. But he didn’t choose humility. It was chosen for him. Here’s a word of advice about humility; don’t leave it to God to humble you, or ask Him to do it. Do it yourself. Walk humbly before God – it’s the place of grace (See James 4:6).
So King Nebuchadnezzar didn’t listen. He didn’t choose humility. But he got there in the end; he finished strong. The Bible tells us that, after seeing the error of his ways, ‘he lifted his eyes to heaven’ (Daniel 4:34). His sanity was restored, his honor and splendor returned to him. You see, God is gracious; ‘…a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise’ (Psalm 51:17).
He’s never turned a broken heart away yet, and He’s not about to start. Offer Him yours today and ask Him to help you change – from glory to glory.
Questions for application:
- What do you need to change in your life? Why?
- What are you going to do, specifically, today to become more like Jesus? What is that going to look like?