Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
The Lord is speaking to me a lot right now about leaning on Him. I was wondering why (seriously), and in one of those "ah-ha" moments it became crystal clear. You see, after having a house church for nine months, the Lord has blessed us with a beautiful historic church and we have been able to open our doors to the public. Therefore, as you can imagine, the need to lean has been kicked up a notch or two.
Leaning on the Lord sounds so easy, especially since I understand the importance of being aleaning bride. Nevertheless, being totally honest with you, I have found myself leaning on my own understanding more times than I care to admit and have learned, as King Nebuchadnezzar did, the folly of doing so. Let me explain.
The Book of Daniel
The fourth chapter of the Book of Daniel opens with King Nebuchadnezzar "praising God" and wanting to tell everyone the signs and wonders that God had worked personally for him. He had seen miracles and believed the Word of the Lord, and he wanted everyone to know. Then the testing comes... The king has another dream. The dream scares him, and what does he do?
Instead of calling on Daniel and the Most High God, he pulls out the ace in his pocket and calls, once again, on the astrologers, enchanters, and magicians that he has consulted in the past, even though they had let him down before (see Daniel 2:10-12). In other words, he returns back to his own understanding, revealing that he doesn't trust God with all his heart, but leans on his own understanding instead.
Daniel's advice to the king was to break off his sin of thinking that the kingdom was somehow established by his knowledge and his power versus the hand of the Almighty God. Basically, Daniel was telling him to "know that you know that God alone rules, or else everything in your dream will happen to you" (verses 26-31, my interpretation).
Not following Daniel's advice, the king held on to his aces. He chose to trust/lean on what he knew based on past experiences. The moment he did that, the wilderness that was predicted in the dream comes upon him... (verse 31)
While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from Heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." Daniel 4:31-32
What a fantastic lesson for us all to glean from today. You see, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. We naturally spring into survival mode, into self-preservation. Being worried or distressed, we naturally formulate our "Plan B." We pray of course, and ask God to bless our plan, feeling that praying means that we are leaning, but it's not. We need to be still and know that He is God, trust Him and the plans He has for our lives, even when we don't understand them. Our "Plan B" is just another ace in the pocket.
Leaning on Him... and through the Wilderness"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). The knowing that's spoken of here is a knowing by experience, a knowing that we are acquainted with. It's not head knowledge. I know in my head that He is God, however, my actions of worrying, striving, and planning sometimes speak louder than my words.
Did God do these things to punish the king? No. Daniel predicted that the king was going to be in this state until he came to know that God rules (see verse 26). Sometimes, God reveals a plan that seems harsh to us, but it will cause us to lean on Him and Him alone. In King Nebuchadnezzar's case, this plan was the wilderness.
Everything is tested in the wilderness. Our hearts, our motives, our devotion, our faith, our relationships, even our relationship with God. In the wilderness, we will be stripped of everything we could possibly lean on, every ace that we have in our pocket. We will learn to lean on Him and Him alone.
Beloved, He desires to be GOD in all areas of our lives. The big areas where we know that we need Him as well as the small areas where we think we shouldn't bother Him and just do it ourselves. Therefore, He draws us to the wilderness where our understanding, our abilities, our skills, our gifts no longer can get the job done.
In the wilderness we will learn to let go and let God, and learn to let go of the aces in our pocket. God isn't punishing us by forcing us there; He's leading us there because He wants to be the only Ace in our pocket. The wilderness is a place where God will blow our minds. In the wilderness, we will witness the power of believing that He is more committed to us than we are to Him and learn to lean on that. (Photo viamanumohan.com)
When the king lifted his eyes to Heaven, his understanding returned to him. He knew. King Nebuchadnezzar came walking out of the wilderness praising and blessing the Most High God. "And at the end of the time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to Heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom is from generation to generation" (Daniel 4:34).
We go into the wilderness much like King Nebuchadnezzar leaning on our own understanding, or our ace in the pocket. We come out leaning on Him.
Amen and Amen.
Tiffany Ann Lewis is a prophetic worship leader and Bible teacher with a unique focus on Biblical Hebrew, and whose heart has been passionately awakened by a God who sees us in our shortcomings, loves us in spite of it all, and calls out to us so we can live (Ezekiel 16). Her vision is to create an atmosphere in worship where we can meet with God face-to-face, where the Spirit of God moves freely, releasing emotional, spiritual, and physical healing, and igniting a passion for our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus. Tiffany Ann has been ministering for over 15 years in the Body of Christ through worship and the Word. Her newest opportunity will be to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Hebrew at the Quest Bible Institute in Georgia where she is also a fully matriculated student enrolled in a graduate level Biblical/theological studies program at Quest Bible Institute and Seminary.
Tiffany and her husband Rodney have been married for more than twenty years and have one darling daughter, Ashley, a glorious granddaughter, Gloriana, and two precious pups that are also a part of their family.
Tiffany Ann Lewis' Itinerary:
Note: Events are subject to change at the ministry's discretion. We suggest you always check first with the event contact listed here and/or directly visit their website for latest updates on each event.
Sunday Mornings at 10am
Tiffany Ann speaks weekly at Crossroads Christian Church
In the historic Methodist Church
18 Main Street, Rexford, NY
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