Turning Towards God
12Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. [The little horn] prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. [NIV]
Sometimes I work with clients who feel that they have done something unforgivably bad. Maybe it was the sex, or the drugs, or the crime, or the unfaithfulness, or even just a slow slide away from the intimate love that we ‘used’ to feel. Sometimes when I am very low, I feel the same way.
Maybe it’s that we feel we must have done something bad because there is no way that God would hurt us so much, or give us so much pain in our lives unless we had done something to deserve it. Maybe no one has ever loved us. If we couldn’t rely on our parents to love us, how can we rely on God? When we have been hurt, it’s only natural to ask questions like this:
“Why does God let bad things happen to us when we are good people?”
“Why doesn’t God love us?”
In Daniel’s vision he sees an evil man who is allowed to hold-back the army of God and overthrow God’s holy sanctuary. For me, those haunting words are some of the scariest in the whole Bible. The truth was overthrown and evil was allowed to succeed in everything it did. That is terrifying to me! Why would God allow evil to have its way with His people? How bad must they have totally messed up for God to say, “I’m outta here! They’re on their own!” We don’t have to guess because it’s all right there in Daniel Chapter 8. The people forgot about God, they stopped turning to Him for guidance. They stopped loving Him and making Him their #1 priority. They placed other gods in that space in their lives and hearts that God demands for Himself.
But the truth is that God never forgot them. He never left them. He allowed them to suffer so that they could be purified. To remember that He is the Lord. It’s a recurring theme throughout the Bible: God will let us experience the consequences of our poor decision-making until we are driven to our knees and remember to look up. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are not God and that close to God is the safest and best place to dwell.
What was God waiting for in Daniel 8? For his people to remember him, to cry out to him, to reach out their hands and say, “We love you and we’re listening.” EVERY time that they did this, God swept in and saved the day. Every. Time. Happily for us, He still does.
——————— Prayer ———————
Lord, please keep me close to you. Remind me when my pride threatens to separate me from you and gently bring me back into your loving arms. Thank you for your heavenly armies and your willingness to stand for me and fight for me – nothing can stand against me when you are on my side and I am close to you. Amen.
——————— Ponder ———————
Where are you not reaching out? Where are you hardening your heart against God? Where are you insisting on doing it YOUR way instead of God’s way? How can you begin to shift that today? Remember, Jesus paid for our sins with his sacrifice and you can never be cast out from our Father’s grace. Claim your inheritance and return to the loving embrace of God today.
Key line: Lord, nothing can stand against me when you are on my side.