It’s So Easy, Isn’t It?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand…”

I Peter 5:6

Wow! It wasn’t even noon yet, and I’d been able to check six things off the day’s to-do list. I congratulated myself and even bragged to my husband. And then I came to the next thing: working on this blog post, and I was reminded that anything that is accomplished is accomplished through God’s generous guidance and enabling. You see, this post is about being humble, and I certainly wasn’t being humble when I boasted to myself and my hubby about my accomplishments.

It’s not surprising that the king couldn’t figure out what it all meant. Even his wise men told him that no man could tell the king the dream and interpret it: “What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods and they do not live among humans” (2:11).

Daniel agreed with them and told the king so: “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen” (2:27-28). Then Daniel described to the king what God had revealed to him and explained to the king what it all meant:

Can you just picture Nebuchadnezzar sitting up straighter, his chest puffing out more and more with each revelation as he heard these things?

  • He was king of kings!
  • He had dominion and power and might and glory!
  • He was ruler over all!
  • He was the head of gold!

I think these things must have put Nebuchadnezzar in such a cloud of bliss he couldn’t see the whole picture. He may have picked up on the fact that there were other kingdoms to come, especially since he could relish the idea that those kingdoms would be much inferior to his. But he seems to have missed a couple of important things.

First, the only reason Nebuchadnezzar had such power was because the God of heaven had given it to him. There was nothing in himself that earned him these things.

Second, Nebuchadnezzar missed the point that all those kingdoms—his included—would be destroyed. They would all be broken to pieces, and the wind would sweep them away without a trace (2:35). All that would be left was the greatest kingdom of all. A kingdom that would fill the whole earth. A kingdom that would last forever. A kingdom established by the God of heaven.

You see, when we have the wrong focus, a near-sighted focus on self, we miss the bigger picture. We fail to see that it is God who is in control and that we’re just recipients of His grace. I’d failed to see that my productive morning was not my doing but was a result of God’s grace. God had given me that free time. God had allowed me to focus. God had worked it out so that I was able to make the contacts necessary to make progress on some projects . . .

It’s easy to do, isn’t it? So easy to focus on what’s right before us and miss who is right behind us? So easy to think, “Look what I did!” instead of “See what God did!”

“I Say, ‘Thanks.'” Lisa Ann Roettger
  • Let’s work on our eyesight this week? Practice focusing on who is behind all that you are and all that you’re able to do.
  • Then take some time saying, “Thanks.”
  • What is one thing you are thanking God for this week?

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