Have you ever admired someone so much that you would follow them anywhere? I’m talking about someone here on this earth that has a charismatic personality and leadership ability that draws you into their life and passion. I had a pastoral leader who was like that in Boston, Massachusetts. I would have given my life for this man. He was a wonderful preacher and man of God. I would have followed him anywhere. But somewhere along the way he got off track and made some poor decisions for his life that altered the rest of his life.
As I was reading this morning in the book of Daniel, I saw a similar relationship that Daniel had with King Nebuchadnezzar. He had been taken from Israel as a slave to Babylonia to serve the King. Over the years he had various encounters with King Neb and was put into service as one of the King’s top advisors. He interpreted dreams for the king, gave him advice and lead all the wise men of the day. One day the king asked David to interpret a dream that bothered him. It was a dream about a tree that was large and provided shade for all those around. The tree was chopped down but the stump remained. Daniel was distraught when he realized that the dream was about his friend King Neb. He was going to be removed from his kingdom as we read, “But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.” Daniel 5:20-21 NIV
Pride and arrogance were King Neb’s downfall. He looked on his kingdom and took credit for the things that God had done. Arrogance and Pride begin with the word “I” and spells out all of our accomplishments and successes. I is a word that takes God off the throne and places us on the throne. The primary way of cutting arrogance and pride out of our life is humbling experiences. For King Neb, he “was deposed from his royal than and stripped of his glory. ” He experienced life with the lowest forms of creation and ate with the dumbest of all animals. It was during this humbling process that King Neb began to acknowledge the One who truly is the all-powerful and sovereign King.
On this journey, it is easy to begin to own the successes and accomplishments as coming from our energy and insights which take us down a very destructive path of arrogance and pride. Today on this journey recognize what God has done and is doing in your present life and humbly submit to His path for your life.