Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Living Out Loud

1. Law. the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court.
2. evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof.
3. open declaration or profession, as of faith.
4. Usually, testimonies. the precepts of God

Number 3 is what we read about King Nebby doing concerning God. He had be a witness to the amazing wonders of God in is own life and to make declaration of those wonders.

So, for the story, in verse 4 King Nebby backs up and tells us why he came to the conclusions he did.

“I, King Nebby, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So, I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me…FINALLY, Daniel came into my presence. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)”

Old King Nebby was snug and warm and then things got a little weird. God had sent him and dream and once again his magic dudes could't tell him anything. I love in verse eight it says, “Finally, Daniel came into my presence…” It’s almost like a sigh of relief. I tend to wonder why they didn’t get him in the first place seeing as how he saved their lives and all (see chapter 2). But, they didn’t and he was finally called in.

What’s even more interesting is in verse nine Daniel is referred to as the chief of all magicians. Maybe he didn’t want to go to the King…again. Maybe he was busy. Regardless, Daniel finally came in to save the day.

King Nebby is about to express our key verse today.

Verse 9, “I said, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods I in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream…”

What I want us all to realize, take to heart, and understand is that Daniels integrity and reputation preceded him and followed him throughout his entire time in Babylon.

He didn’t get to where he was in the country that held him captive based upon scheming, climbing the success ladder, or shoving out the little guy. He was placed in position by God and for purpose. His life, his love for God, and his integrity elevated him to a place of influence. He was trusted. He was liked (I’m guessing) and he was needed.

Three times King Nebby acknowledges that he sees something different in Daniel. King Nebby knows that Daniel has within him a spirit. He can’t define it as the Spirit of the Living God, but he knows that Daniel holds within him something other than what he is used to. Something…supernatural.

I want to live a life that those around me who do not know Jesus would give me another glance and wonder what is different about me. Do I display a life that is different enough that people would be able to notice Christ in me? Does my life speak of the Holy God inside of me?

Sometimes I wonder if I do Him justice.

If you are a Christ follower then you follow a man who stood out. Not because He could debate with the best (He didn’t) but because He lived out a life that, well, caused a ruckus. He stood for what our world so desperately wants.

They want people who…
Love the poor
Stand for peace
Show Compassion
Care for the earth
Show strength
Do kind acts
Share wisdom
Show passion

It’s interesting that although what the world wants and what Christianity has to offer should go hand in hand, it is not the case. I think I know why.

The world wants what Jesus has to offer without Jesus.

The world wants/likes feeling like they shape their own destiny. No boss. No cosmic authority, well, except the universe. No Lord. Jesus requires all of who we are and what we have. He gives us the freedom to be amazing givers, lovers of men, generous, successful people, and yet the world rejects Him.

Let’s prove them wrong. BE who Christ was to the world. He loved them. He stood out as a lover of “sinners and prostitutes.” BE like that.

What King Nebby and the world have in common was a rejection of Lordship. I want to show the world that being under the Lordship of Jesus is not something that is weak and foolish. It is the very thing that spurs me on to compassion, generosity, love, being “green,” (whole other topic) and peace.

Live like Daniel did. Live out your belief in this nation (or the one you’re in). Be different. Be one of integrity and principles. It serves the Kingdom well. It serves you well. It serves our nation well. Live your testimony!

Does your integrity and reputation precede and follow you?

1 comment:

Robin Meadows said...

Love this Natalie. The last part reminded me of a time in my life where I had that thought...of showing the world how awesome God was by my life. And then, life sent me a curve ball. Since then I have learned to be weak and foolish while still being under the Lordship of Christ...He is strong, I am not.

Keep it up! I stop here every morning!!