[vc_row bg_color=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]May this New Year be a blessed one for you!
This photo is of Laura blowing snow off our veranda this week. You may wonder why this is her responsibility? It is because it falls under the category of washing dishes! The veranda becomes the dish where the wild deer come to eat! (Lest you think I’m lazy, my responsibility is shoveling the driveway!)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_color=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Scripture records seven people who were given their name by God before their birth. (five in the OT and two in the NT) Can you tell me who they were? Leave a comment below and tell me!
Psychologists say that the two primary desires of individuals is to: 1) reveal who we are and 2) have someone appreciate us. I think a more basic desire than that, and hugely unknown by most folk, is to know God and be known by Him. All of us are outside the camp of the above seven. Evidence of the first statement exhibits itself in how every person’s name is very important to them. Saying and spelling it correctly is right up there in importance with reputation, introductions and obituaries. Whether we admit to it or not, what people think about us is extremely high on our list of priorities.
I was reflecting on the introduction that Daniel was given when he was presented to King Nebuchadnezzar to reveal and interpret his dream. Remember, Daniel had just recently graduated from three years at the Babylonian University with Summa Cum Laude, the highest honours of his whole graduating class. Now his life was in jeopardy because the king’s hair trigger anger was pointed at annihilating all the wisest men in the empire because of their muddle minded helplessness. In the midst of the uproar Daniel volunteered to step in with a solution. With so many wise heads being led off to the chopping block you may visualize their grasping at anything to delay their death, and how highly they would praise and uphold even the minutest chance for survival. Even if they were Daniels worst enemy they would sing high praise.
But Arioch, the guy that introduced Daniel to the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar, was a complete muff. He had no idea of how to present Daniel in a good light or to set the stage for a positive reception. All he said was: “I found a POW from Judea who thinks he can help you.” (Daniel 2:25) In other words: “Here’s a refugee who thinks he’s more clever than the locals. This foreigner thinks he’s smarter than everyone of our own advisors.” That is a decidedly awkward beginning.
I think that if I had been Daniel, I would have been wondering: “Is that the best you can do? My life is on the line and I desperately need a decent introduction.” It was at that point that he was past caring about his reputation, or even his obituary. He just needed some honest representation of who he was and to be appreciated for that.
But God was orchestrating the event in spite of the introduction. He was also providing the words for Daniel’s revelation. By the end of the chapter Nebuchadnezzar was voluntarily jumping off his throne, prostrating himself on the floor and giving honour to the God of Daniel, (Daniel 2:46) I wonder how did the media report that?
I have discovered that as I go to some cultures my resume (or CV) is extremely important. My own culture downplays titles. My attitude is: “I’ll respect you according to your character and actions.” That is an interesting clash amidst cultures which clamour to recognize ‘earned’ titles such as ‘doctor’, ‘reverend’ or ‘pastor’. I’m always left to wonder why there is a discrepancy when they don’t refer to someone who has earned the title of ‘plumber’, ‘farmer’, ‘grocer’ or ‘missionary’.
- How often does someone’s label make you feel uncomfortable?
- How often are you introduced with a label of your choice?
Is your name, or the title or reputation that you are introduced by: too big or too small; not realistic; not accurately descriptive; gives wrong connotations? What would you like your obituary to say? What name or label does God give you so that He can accomplish His desires? Most labels are typically trivia, possibly hurtful, and rarely what we would like. But in God’s hands they can be multiplied like loaves and fish to open the door to deeper spiritual things
We have a whole new year ahead of us. Start it out by inviting God to label you the way that He wants within His master-plan. Daniels desire was not to honour himself but to direct it Godward. Put your intros into God’s hands: “Show me a new facet of Your glory. A new dynamic of how You can use your power through the trivia that I am labelled by.” And then stand on tiptoe expectation to see how a mundane reputation will be multiplied beyond your creativity.
May you be blessed with the eyes of your heart being enlightened to know your Father’s incredibly great power for you, the same working of His mighty strength that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]