Others Devotional, volume 21

The Writing on the Wall by Connie Branderhorst

Scripture:  “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom. The wise men and enchanters were brought before me to read this writing and tell me what it means, but they could not explain it. Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it mean.” Daniel 5:13-17

My child never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. Tie them around your neck as a reminder, and write them deep within your heart. “ Proverbs 3:1-3

King Nebuchadnezzar called to others to interpret his dreams, but no one could interpret them because they didn’t know God. The hand that wrote on the wall came from heaven so the person that could interpret the dream HAD to have a connection with God.

Reputation: What other people say about us – good character or bad character
The Spirit of God rested on Daniel – it was more than knowledge – but a good reputation. We need to be light as well.

Long after you graduate from here at CVC, you will be remembered, but how? People might not remember your name . . . but they will see the hand of God writing through you . . . as the writing on the wall. Allow God to hold on to the pen.

Daniel had already learned that his treasure would be in heaven. It was more important for Him that people would see God, not that they would see Daniel because of his humility in answering the King’s question. The key to a good reputation is to obey God and let your words and actions be the same! You can’t separate them!

Others: It’s not about us.
Sometimes our deeds, what we do, are more important! Not what we say, but what we DO – so that others can see Christ in us. We are held to a higher standard. We think we are entitled, but God says no! God does not owe us anything. We are entitled to nothing. Our sole purpose on earth is to bring God glory. When my son Connor, was a little boy, I overheard him say to a neighbor friend at Christmas time, “J.O.Y. means Joy! Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.”

We often misplace ourselves at the top of that list, or put ourselves in the place of others.

Others: It’s not about us. There are times in life that our shift changes, and we lose our perspective. A good friend told me once, “If being a Christian is easy, you’re doing it wrong.” A few years ago, while I was in Guatemala, a few days before I returned home, my mom passed away. Why? I was serving Him while I was there, and in exchange, my mom dies? By far that moment was the worst I have ever had to experience.

My closest brother, Sam, has a son who has struggled in life due to outside influences and now finds himself locked up in prison here in California. That’s hard for my brother to face for my and hard to understand when his only son is not around. It seems like God punishes, and we question whether it is fair? But if life was fair, we’d all be going to hell because we’re all falling short of the glory of God…

People may say you need to be self-reliant, depending on your resources, your abilities. The problem comes when we depend only on our own abilities, rather than God. It’s hard to not be independent, to depend on others to make a decision for us.

Patience…we need to wait…not be in such a hurry. In the book of Daniel, what did Daniel do when King Nebuchadnezzar asked for his help? He asked for time. Many times we make errors because we decide it’s easier in such a short time to just do it ourselves — Sometimes if we had just waited for a half hour or an hour, things would have ended differently. It’s not about Daniel, but it’s about God and glorifying Him.

We live in a world where: 1. God needs to be glorified 2. People may know where the light is, but they just haven’t ever seen Him: It’s up to us to show them. 3. People know already who Jesus is; they just need to see Him through us

Today, the Church needs radical Christians. We need to be like Daniel in this crazy world where people are being judged. We need to be different – radical in our Christianity!

It’s easy to make it so we receive the glory, and it might make us feel good, but we need to lower ourselves, so he is lifted higher. Stand firm and be a Daniel! Write His words in your heart and tie them on your neck as a reminder. Who is it that needs to be glorified in every decision that you make? It should be God. God can reveal things to us that the world can’t. What is your gift?

Prayer: Father, we praise you for being our protector and our guide. We thank you that the handprints, and the writing in our life is only by your hand. We pray that we can allow you to hold the pen, and not rely on our own human efforts.

About the Author: Connie Branderhorst is a graduate of Dordt College, teaches Spanish in the high school at Central Valley Christian, and involves students each year in missions in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Her better half, Mr. “B”, teaches 6th grade at CVC.

Originally published on February 24, 2017.

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