Daniel said: “Praise God forever and ever, because he has wisdom and power. He changes the times and seasons of the year. He takes away the power of kings and gives their power to new kings. He gives wisdom to those who are wise and knowledge to those who understand. He makes known secrets that are deep and hidden; he knows what is hidden in darkness, and light is all around him.” Daniel 2:20-22
What’s God doing in your life?
Perhaps you’re not positive, but you can be certain he’s working. Daniel needed God’s guidance as he revealed the meaning of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel was declaring who God is. He was recognizing and praising God, placing himself in submission to God so he would be able to receive the provision God had for him.
How intentionally engaged are you in what God is doing in your life? If you had to rank your involvement with God’s will and presence in your life right now, what number from 1 to 10 would you assign your involvement?
We often look for our own explanations. If someone asks what a dream means, what steps they should take next, or how to run a meeting, deal with a conflict, or dig into Scripture more, the knee-jerk response is usually to explain something in a way that personally makes sense. We make sense out of what might not otherwise make sense. We start with the issue, add ourselves into the equation, and respond. We pool our experiences, emotions, and lessons, and we pull together the answers that make the most sense. The problem with that approach is that God’s way doesn’t always make sense. We’re limited in our understanding; he is not. What makes perfect sense to him is not going to make sense to us at times.
Consider Daniel’s life. He was one of many taken to Babylon in captivity. He then was asked to interpret the king’s dream, which he obviously had a gift of doing, but it still doesn’t make much sense that he, a captive, would be trusted to interpret a king’s dream. His friends, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, survived a fiery furnace against all odds. Daniel interpreted writing on a wall, had many complex prophetic visions, survived a night in the lions’ den. He was commended for his prophetic ability but chastised for his faith. Does Daniel’s life – and many separate components of it – make sense? Not really! But it makes sense to God.
Daniel didn’t always respond the way that would make sense to you and me. Being asked to do some of the things he did and getting involved in some of the relationships he had doesn’t make sense to you and me. Yet Daniel’s faith was strong. God honored him. God led him. God provided for and guided him. In order to be used by God, we cannot expect everything to be as we expect. We can only expect for God to keep his promises. In order to trust God for his promises, we have to know his promises. To rely on God means to know God. Familiarity and faith are inseparably braided.
We often don’t give credit for what God is doing in our lives. We don’t pay attention. We get into habits of repeating what’s familiar day to day and forget to recognize where and how God is working – until something goes wrong and we decide we need him. The truth is we need him in every situation at all times.
Consider the past month of your life and look for ways God was working that you didn’t easily recognize at the time.
For example, despite the electronics, appliances and vehicles you’ve had to fix or maintain, consider all the other ones that have continued running. We get frustrated when something doesn’t last as long as we expect it to, but do you spend at least equal time being thankful for those things that last longer than you expected or even that the things that didn’t last as long as you would have liked lasted as long as they did instead of half the time?
Have you considered the timing of avoiding an accident you didn’t even know was a possibility, running into a friend or acquaintance in need or able to meet your need, hearing a consistent message from God through a variety of people, books, and other sources within a concentrated time for emphasis?
We are blessed even when we’re not looking for blessings. How much more we will fully experience such blessings when we are attentive! As you watch for God working in your daily life, you’ll notice his presence more. As you acknowledge his provision and presence, you’ll praise him more. As you praise him more, you’ll watch for him in your life more. As you are attentive, you will attribute more of the details of your life to him guidance, and you’ll rely on him with ever-growing confidence. Sadly, the converse is true as well. The less you look for God, the less you will notice and appreciate him. It’s not that he is less present in your life. It’s that you’re less present in your relationship with God. Relationships take effort. No relationship – including your relationship with God – will grow without intentionality.
God longs to pour into and through you. How will you be vulnerable to his leading today?
I went because God showed me I should go. I met with the believers there, and in private I told their leaders the Good News that I preach to the non-Jewish people. I did not want my past work and the work I am now doing to be wasted. (Galatians 2:2)