Thursday, November 18, 2021

Pastor's Note

How much power and control do you have? This is America; we believe in having a voice and our voice brings power, right? We have a vote or a say in who is established for a position in state, local and federal government. We can even encourage our representatives to vote for or against a presidential nominee. What if our words have sway? What if they don’t? 

How do we live with confidence if our opinion matters but is not heard? How do we inhabit space on Minnesota soil and raise our family’s with conviction if our opinion is not even considered? Will that crush us? Will that send us into despair? It could. It does not need to. 

Daniel chapter 7 presents a situation where Daniel is being prophetically informed about the establishment of crippling, grinding powers. And Daniel has no say in the matter. These are terrifying nations with brutal and unforgiving governments. Daniel is seemingly distraught. The reality is, we all are put into situations which are out of our control. Sometimes it is in politics or medicine. It might be in personal connections to our neighbors or visions of economic peril. The loss of control might wag itself silly as one appointee after another takes the stand at the head of businesses or rises to greater heights of power in government.

Where is our reprieve when times are perilous and events seize our comfort? We claim, as the psalmist says, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth(Psalm 124:8). OK, so that is where our help comes from, what is our way forward when we see such things as Daniel did in Daniel 7? 

I would first like to take Daniel’s own words from Daniel 2: 20-12. “Daniel answered and said, ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.’” This is a form of exuberant praise; Daniel was just delivered from execution by God’s divine hand. Daniel experienced firsthand how our God is always the final say when it comes to power and control. Our God sets up kings, thrones and judges. Our God takes away the powers of governors, princes and dictators. No one authority can oppose Him. Every force in nature or government or business could rise up against Him but His determinations will stand in the face of all opposition.

Daniel is in awe of this King who is over all kings, presidents, comptrollers, secretaries of state, vp's, and more. Jesus is that KING of Kings. This is where we must start. Daniel lived in very difficult times - many are convinced we will be facing times similar to his. But we must never forget who is the King over all. Jesus is governing the affairs of all nations on earth for the good of the church - His people (us)! 

Read Daniel 7 and you will see Daniel expressing anxiety about powerful authorities and governments: 

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me” (Daniel 7:15) 

And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:27-28).

This portion of Daniel reads a lot like Revelation - it is prophecy. What is the irreducible point that God is making through Daniel? The Most High IS reigning forever. Evil is on a leash and is completely controlled by Him.

Daniel was still worried and alarmed. We might also be worried and alarmed when there are political maneuvers that don’t meet our own bias. That is natural. But like Daniel, our attention must be brought back to Jesus who is the King of Kings, the Most High God. Let your thoughts and emotions rest in that truth. 

God bless you all as you rest in the King of Kings; let His peace pervade your thoughts.

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