Daniel Week Two, Day Three Read Daniel 2:24-35 The peak of my athletic life happened when I was in the 8th grade. I was a couple of inches taller than most of the kids I played against, and, not to brag, but I was pretty good at all three of the sports I played. Unfortunately, by High School, the size advantage disappeared, and I was never quite as good as I was when playing against a bunch of Junior Highers. But, even in middle school, there was a moment when I realized I maybe wasn’t all that important. We had been having a really good basketball in 8th grade. One game, though, I came down with a stomach bug and couldn’t play. The team we were playing was pretty tough, so I thought for sure we would drop the game without me on the floor. Instead, the other guys carried the team and won the game by 12 points. I didn’t learn how important I was to the team during that game. Instead, I learned that I was replaceable, so I should enjoy the opportunity that I got to be a part of the team. After hearing about the king’s plan to kill all the wise men of Babylon, Daniel convinces the king to hold off on execution until he has a chance to speak to the king. Daniel tells the king that he can interpret the king’s dream. The king then challenges him to tell him what his dream was since he hadn’t told anyone. Instead of pointing toward himself, Daniel says that no person could know the mystery of the king’s dream. But, Daniel said, God could. He proceeded to tell the king what his dream was and what it meant. It was a picture of the king’s great kingdom being destroyed by a rock that would turn into a great mountain. Both the king’s dream and the way Daniel gave glory to God throughout the whole situation pointed straight to how powerful God is. Daniel knew that he was valuable to God, but he also knew that, compared to God, neither he nor the king were all that important. The pressure Daniel was facing caused him to rely on God instead of his own ability. When we rely on ourselves instead of God, we are relying on an imperfect and limited source of power. God is in control, and He will sometimes allow pressure in our life to break us of our self-reliance. He wants us to point to Him as our source of power instead of ourselves. One of the healthiest things we can learn throughout our life is that God doesn’t need us, but He does want us. We are incredibly valuable to God, but, in comparison, we aren’t all that important. This shouldn’t discourage us or make us feel bad for ourselves. Instead, it should motivate and excite us. If left on our own, we would have a very bleak future like the king saw for himself in his dream. But, because we have the King of Kings on our side, there is no limit to what God can do in our lives both now and in eternity. REFLECT: Why do you think God still wants and chooses to use us when He doesn’t really need us? What do you think causes us to have such a hard time understanding the principle that, even though we are incredibly valuable, we aren’t that big of a deal in comparison to God? PRAY: During your prayer time today, talk to God about the situations you feel pretty important in when it comes to your life. Ask God to help you rely on Him instead of relying on your own power, not just in tough situations in your life, but even in the areas that you feel adequate. // TWO-A-DAYS // GO A LITTLE FARTHER WITH YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS // Go through these questions with your spouse, kids, or friend, or you can even journal about the answers to these questions:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the toughest part of your day?
- Where did you mess up today?
- Where did you see God today?