Daily Devotional

The Most High is Sovereign

by Simon Whitton

Who or what controls our destiny? We will probably answer God, but is there more to it than that? Do education, wealth, intelligence, hard work, health, ability, giftedness, fame, genetics, good looks, or positions of power or influence have something to do with our past, present and future circumstances? Perhaps we think these things are important, but God is more powerful and able to overrule them.

The first four chapters of the book of Daniel are about the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and how God set about humbling this most powerful of kings.

God confronted Nebuchadnezzar with several miraculous events demonstrating His power and His sovereignty over the affairs of men. Each time Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the greatness of God over all other gods, even issuing a decree that no nation may say anything against the God of Daniel.

But then King Nebuchadnezzar says this:

as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said,
 "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence,
by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"

Daniel 4:29b-30 (NIV)

Although the king had seen amazing demonstrations of God's power and acknowledged Him as more powerful than all other gods, he also continued to believe in his own power. God's response was instant and drastic, condemning him to insanity for seven years. He would lose everything, "until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."  Daniel 4:32b (NIV)

Nebuchadnezzar had already acknowledged this, but only up to a point; he still believed in other less powerful gods, and perhaps the worst god of all, he still believed in himself. God was after the deepest area of his heart, and to get it God had to strip him of power, wealth and personal ability for seven years.

Is this how it is with us?  Do we acknowledge God as the God of gods, but continue to believe in ourselves, in our education, hard work, wealth and talents; believing these gods also control our destiny? Perhaps we don't allow anyone to say anything against God, but then say we have obtained or achieved things as though by our own ability?

We all recognize the real influence of these things, but God wants ALL the credit. He will not share glory with other gods. Everything we have, our education, personal influence, the drive and ability to work hard, has been given to us by God and is under His control.

God may bring difficult circumstances into our lives, even bringing us to the end of ourselves, until we acknowledge that it all belongs to God, and only He has control.

Spend some time praising God for every asset in your life, every talent, ability and resource; it is all from Him. Thank Him that all His ways are just. He may bring us low, but His desire is to restore things to even better than before.

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Daniel 4:34-37 (NIV)

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