As we walk through our days, it’s important to keep in mind that the Lord has a purpose for us all, and if we submit to Him, He will be able to use all that happens to us for His glory. God will create a need for His purposes, and He will humble us if we don’t humble ourselves. Our Sovereign Lord is able to change our minds and hearts. When King Nebuchadnezzar “raised [his] eyes toward heaven” (Dan. 4:34-35), he humbled himself before God and acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty. He admitted that God can give and take away anything as He pleases for His purposes. He admitted that God has dominion over all, and only God’s kingdom endures forever.
So what was God’s purpose in humbling the king until he acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty? The Lord was able to use the personal testimony of the king to reach others for His glory. Not only did Nebuchadnezzar share his testimony of how he was changed, he glorified the Lord by praising that all that He does is right and all His ways are just (Dan. 4:37). What an amazing testimony from a fallen king who was driven insane and lived like a wild animal for seven years-He admitted that the Lord is righteous and just in His ways to bring about our acceptance of His righteousness, and our conversion from sinners to believers.
How is God working in your life or the life of your own “Nebuchadnezzar” to create an awareness of a need for Him? To change thinking and bring you or them to repentance? The ultimate purpose of our conversion is to glorify God. Practically, it is to use us as His hands and feet to share His good news with others, beginning with the change noticed in our lives. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)
We want to walk in the steps He has for each of us because of our thankfulness for what He has done for us as we “were bought at a price, therefore honor God” (1 Cor. 6:20). And the price was great indeed. When we spend time in prayer and in His Word, we become more and more aware of the pain Jesus endured for us as a gift of His grace. If thankfulness isn’t yet an automatic response to the Lord, humble yourself and ask Him to give you His wisdom and revelation of what He has done for you.
Yesterday a friend told me about the message she heard in church. The pastor talked about people going from one church to another looking for what the church can do for them. I thought about that message this morning during my Bible study, and have thought of the number of times that I have focused more on me and what my needs are, instead of first asking, “God how would you like to use me today?”. That is ultimately why we continue living here on earth after we have received God’s gift of grace–to glorify Him and to share His love with others. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39)
If we are focused on the Lord and His kingdom instead of our own perceived needs, how different would our lives look to others? The Lord wants the best for us, and He knows the best for us is to love Him with our whole hearts, seek Him and His will for our lives, and to share His love with others. He knows that when we align the focus of our lives properly, everything else will fall into place. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)
I encourage you to take a few minutes and thank the Lord for people He put in your path that shared His good news with you, that you eventually accepted by faith. Think about what your own personal testimony is, and how He is refining you to become more and more Christlike. Then ask Him “God how would you like to use me today?” And then walk in the steps He provides joyfully. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 15:5-6)