Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome! Get Your Shoes On!

I’m so glad you have joined me for Bible Study! This will be a 5 day a week study, you'll have weekends "off" so to speak.

I know, that phrase, Bible Study, can conjure up some feelings, so let me just tell you what I mean when I say Bible Study. Just this: you have your Bible open, either a real paper one, or you can use the YouVersion Bible online (see right column), I write some insight I believe God has for us, and then you can comment or not. It’s that easy. No homework. No videos (well, maybe, you know me, I like a good video), and no grading.

So open up your Bible and turn to Daniel. “DANIEL!” We’re jumping right in, aren’t we?

Just to calm you a bit, I’m not going to go verse by verse and line by line in Daniel. I just want to pull out some really fascinating things about this book and apply them to every day life. That’s really what we’re here for, isn’t it? Something we can chew on and apply in the everyday events of snotty noses, dirty dishes, paychecks, and laundry? I know I want God to meet me right where I am and then push me to find where He is at the same time.

I’m glad you’re here. Get your Stiletto’s on and let’s wield the Sword together!

If you have your Bible, go ahead and open it to the first chapter in Daniel. Or, again, you can use the online Bible from YouVersion. Click on the icon to the right. You can sign up with a free account. I suggest you go take a look-see at all it can do. Quite impressive! A note, if I give a different portion of Scripture, I'll always highlight it in green and it will link you to YouVersion if you want a look-see. Okay, on with the show...

Brief, and I mean brief history of Daniel. Ready?

Daniel wrote Daniel.
Daniel was alive about 1500 years after Abraham and 400 years before Jesus.
Daniel was a captive with the Hebrews. They were taken by the Babylonians in 605 BC.
He was about 15-20 years old at the time of captivity.

Okay, that’s done.

Let me give you the summed up version of Chapter 1. You can read it on your own right now if you want, I’ll wait. For those not reading, here’s what happens.

Daniel and his buddies are taken captive by the big, bad Babylonians. STOP!

We’re not going to get past verse two today. I know, I know, I said we weren’t going to go verse by verse, and we’re not, but there’s something here I want you to see because this will set the stage for the rest of this blog. Yes, that’s a sweeping statement, but you’ll see why I say it.

When I first started studying this in 2003, the very first verse caught my attention. Why were they in captivity in the first place? Weren’t they a huge nation? What happened?

Glad you asked.

Jehoiakim was king, and let’s just say, he wasn’t that good at it. It says in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8 that he did evil and detestable things. I don’t really want to know what those things were, but it sure got him in a lot of trouble. Let’s see, like, captivity! He even lost power. Old King Nebuchadnezzar (which will hence forth be called King Nebby because it’s easier to type), made Jehoiakim’s uncle, Zedekiah, King at the ripe old age of 21. That’s good news for any country. (said sarcastically and with a roll of the eyes)

Here’s the thing about him. The Bible says, “He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the LORD.”

It goes on to say that God sent messenger after messenger and the people did not listen. Therefore, they ended up in a heap of hurt in the not so nice country of Babylon.

Captivity. Bondage. Prison.

I wonder how many times have I heard the word of the Lord, ignored it and ended up in captivity? I’m not saying God put me there. No, I’ve walked myself into my own pits. What I want us to understand is that now is the time for us to humble ourselves before the Word of the Lord, be strong in His word, be obedient to it, and stay out of the way of our captor, our enemy, Satan.

Through humility to God and His Word we will not be thrust out of His presence as they were through captivity, no we will be ushered in to His presence!

James 1:21, “…humbly accept the word planted in you…

Humbly, meaning not like a timid and walked on kind of way, but as a great warrior bent to his King. Humbly receive all Christ has to offer through His Spirit. Accept it. Ingest it. Feed on it. And let it rule you. It says in Colossians 2 that Jesus holds all wisdom and knowledge. He is the Word we humble ourselves to.

Before we go on together, wielding the Sword in our snappy shoes, we must take them off, bend our knees, in both reality and in spirit, and humbly accept the Living Word of God, Christ’s Spirit living in us, and His written word for us.

The more we yield to Him, the more we will be filled with Him. Remember that phrase. Let it be one that becomes somehing you think about often. "The more I yeild to you God, the more I will be filled with you." In other words, the more we get out of the way, the more room He has to be God in us. And He will, my fellow comrades, He will fill you with wisdom, power, peace, assurance, knowledge, discernment and a fa-fillion other things you desire.

It begins and ends in humility.

Father, we begin our journey of wielding this Sword together. We will laugh with You, probably cry with You, and enjoy watching each other get stronger! Lord Jesus, I pray that each and every one who comes to study here will be bent in their spirit to Your authority and love. You will fill those who have emptied themselves to You, and in that filling we will be taught by You, lead by You, changed by You, and used by You.

May you raise up a mighty Stiletto Army!

Thank you Lord Jesus. I ask this of You in Your Name,

Be here tomorrow for more Daniel. We'll get past verse 1, I promise.


Kim Heinecke said...

Excellent Nat. Looking forward to more!

deleise said...

Very good, Natalie.

Robin Meadows said...

Great stuff!!

Allyson said...

I love the phrase! I move so fast in my life that I forget to yield. It's all about me getting stuff done, moving, making it happen! I can't stand that! Jesus, thank you for being patient with me! I want to yield to You!

Lauren said...

Natalie your great! I look forward to what's ahead!

Amy said...

Very nice. I really am excited to get in to Daniel. I'm going to read up before tomorrow. Thank you so much for doing this!

Natalie Witcher said...

My pleasure!

Naomi said...

Wow! I think God may be wanting me learn something more from Daniel. We have been studing for the past 6mths in homegroup. Here you are guiding up through this amazing book. Thanks, I'm Looking forward to learning even more.

Chelsey said...

Good stuff Nat! :)

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I'm lurking! ;-)

And reading. Barefoot.

Anonymous said...

i'm here. i don't own any sassy shoes, but i'll persevere!! can't wait for more.

Shelly said...

Great! I look forward to reading tomorrows.

Christi B said...

I am just so thrilled about this!!! Ok and I have sassy running shoes does that count?