He does as he pleases. . . . No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Dan. 4:35)
Expanded Passage: Daniel 4:35
Our thirteen-year-old daughter is coming into her own. Naturally, she desires autonomy over her life. Like teenagers, it is hard for any of us to see submission to God as a pathway to freedom. Too often, we sound like a teenager grumbling against our Father’s will.
Nebuchadnezzar had fallen prey to pride’s desire for autonomy. Sitting on the throne or commanding his royal subjects didn’t mean that Nebuchadnezzar knew what was best. Instead, it brought him face-to-face with God’s ultimate will. God’s permissive will allows us room to exercise authority, even when misplaced. But his grace tethers us to the reality of his ultimate will. You may want to color outside the lines, but freedom is found in submitting to the boundaries of his will. Babylon looked to Nebuchadnezzar like a masterpiece of his glory, but at best, it reflected his coloring outside the lines.
Humility counters the falsehood of pride by aligning us with God’s will. Humility opens us to freedom as we submit to God’s guidelines in his world. If we only desire autonomy as a means of challenge, then captivity awaits us outside the protection of our Father's will. The Lord’s will is being accomplished. No matter how far we run from home, he will always be calling us back into submission to himself.
Submit to the Lord because he is faithful and trustworthy!
Aaron Golden is a church planter in North Carolina, husband to Leneé, and father to four amazing kids. You can find Aaron most often hanging with family, smoking on his Traeger grill, and boating or paddle surfing.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.