Today on this brisk morning I was reading through Daniel and something struck me. The first time that Daniel revealed Nebs dream he was so happy to get the answer and he acknowledged God however right away he made this huge image of himself. Then fast forward- he throws Daniels pals in the furnace and once again sees God - this time a bit closer but still somewhat ‘separate’ from Him.
Fast forward: Neb is still quite at ease flourishing and has a dream of both fantasies and horror. Then finally, Neb is all by himself; no distractions, and he is driven away to a wilderness. Only then in this intimate place did he really experience who was King and Lord. I realized such a danger that I can hear so much, I can see the experience of others so powerfully and say, "Wow," and somehow still be deceived into thinking that I intimately know God. But as I look back, those things are not my markers of knowing God. The time and times are when I am brought low, taken to a wilderness, taken out of the places of flourish that I recognize in my own heart - God.
For me, it is never through the crowds - it is through the ‘alone’ places, the terribly uncomfortable, the unpredictable, the wanting places, that He reveals Himself. It took Neb a long time to get to this place with many personal warnings that were clear as crystal. My own prayer is that I heed the signs, I heed the warnings and drive hard to know the intimate and personal Christ. Without that there will be no strength to stand when the really tough times hit- I personally think what we have experienced since March 12th is sort of like the first bad dream. And my hope and desire is that I don’t need a ton more bad dreams to really make Christ all and all at my core!