Doing Life Together

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf ear.” C.S. Lewis

It’s sometimes hard to understand. Why do bad leaders rule and boast in their own power, ignoring the fact that their rule is subject to God?  They may admire God, but don’t know Him.

It is God who allows bad leaders to lead. Since God is in control of all things, he could remove bad leaders, but He often doesn’t as evidenced multiple times in the Bible. Daniel 4 provides insight into this process. As C.S. Lewis reminds, God shouts in our pain to help us acknowledge His presence but also His control.

In Daniel 4, Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream–a dream about the king losing his kingdom due to his remarkable personal arrogance and refusal to bow to God as the ruler of all things and all people. The King acknowledged Daniel’s God but he refused to know Him and bow to His authority. This refusal, the king was warned, caused him to lose everything, be humiliated and graze like a beast in the field until he acknowledged that God rules all. God was shouting in the King’s pain and prideful spirit.

How applicable to today. There are many who admire God, but don’t know Him or subject themselves to His rule. Yet, God acts according to His pleasure and will. Sometimes that means that in His great love for us, we are subject to such leaders as Daniel was for years. He was ruled by a leader who willfully said he didn’t need God and lived his life in his own power. This is dangerous. Pride says, look at me, my accomplishments, my power. It eventually leads to destruction.

In difficult times, with difficult rulers, leaders, bosses, or family, remember God gives positions of authority and power to whom he wills. And when we live with or under such difficulty, He comforts us in our suffering, draws near to us when we become weary and keeps the enemy on His leash–only as far as the Lord allows. God is in control, not the bad leader.

But God is patient with prideful leaders. He gives ample opportunity for a prideful leader to repent and acknowledge His rule. But at some point, God acts. Pride is exposed and this is when many are humiliated and may be driven to God. In Nebuchadnezzar’s case, it took years for his humbling to lead to repentance. Finally, he acknowledged that God was in control and he was subject to that rule.

Yes, the Lord often shouts to us through our pain. His message to all of us is  humble yourself and acknowledge me, the one who truly rules and reigns. Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). If you are full of pride, boast in your own accomplishments, admire God but don’t know Him, humble yourself today.

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