God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Disease, pride, cure, humility. Opposes the proud, gives grace to the humble. God has no place for the proud in His kingdom, so we must ruthlessly rid ourselves of a prideful attitude. And today on Connect with Skip Heideck, Skip shows you the only cure for the disease of pride, humility. Then at the end of today's program, Skip and his wife Lenya share ways you can be watchful for pride creeping into your heart. You just intentionally humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time.
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That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're in Daniel 4 as we join Skip for today's program. Jesus confronted scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, even his own disciples. Paul the Apostle confronted false prophets.
He confronted legalists. He even confronted Peter the Apostle and Barnabas and even the churches he wrote to. But though it is the obligation of every Christian, make sure you meet the qualifications. Qualifications are mentioned in that verse I just pulled out of Galatians chapter 6 verse 1. If a man be overtaken by any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. There's four qualifications in that verse.
Number one, you need the right basis. You who are spiritual needs to be a saved, spirit-filled, spirit-directed individual and approach. Number two, it needs the right motive. You who are spiritual restore such a one. Doesn't say punish such a one or condemn such a one or make that person really feel bad. Restore.
Number three, you need the right attitude. Restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness. You are not the gospel Gestapo.
There is no such role in the body of Christ. In the spirit of gentleness and then it says this, and then it says this, the right precaution, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. You approach with the humility of a forgiven sinner. You're approaching someone who's overtaken in a sin, in a fault, but you approach with the humility of a forgiven sinner, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
I think a good example of this approach is the Lord Jesus Christ when his disciples came to supper one night. It was the last supper and they had dirty feet and what did Jesus do with their dirty feet? He washed them. He didn't chop them off. Dirty feet, whack. He didn't take out a pocket knife and scrape the dirt off their feet.
He gently and thoroughly washed their feet. The right combination of compassion and confrontation can be powerful. A great story over a century old of a Swiss evangelist, rather famous one at that time, by the name of Cesar Milan. And he approached a woman on a train, a young woman, very forthrightly but gently, and he just said, I hope that you're a saved woman.
I hope that you're going to heaven. She took umbrage to the conversation. She bristled at it.
She didn't want to discuss it. And then he said, again, very gently but forthrightly, I mean you no offense. I just want to make sure you're going to heaven. Three weeks later, that young lady found that evangelist and said, I could not get that conversation out of my mind. And ever since I've been trying to get to Christ, what must I do?
And he said to her, you have nothing of merit. You must come as you are. Out of that experience, that young lady by the name of Charlotte Elliott wrote a song, just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bits me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come.
It became the hallmark and still is of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association used in their Ultra Call song. Revelation and compassionate confrontation. Question, will that change a person? If you approach with revelation, truth, and compassionate confrontation, will that change a person? Maybe. Sometimes it will.
Sometimes it will not. But you've done your job. You've delivered the goods and you leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit and let the hound of heaven get tougher if he needs to.
It's his job. Speaking of that, let's see how tough he can get. We now go from the revelation to a powerful king and the confrontation to a vulnerable king to the humiliation of a prideful king. Verse 28.
All this, that is all that Daniel said, came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of 12 months, he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. Twelve months, a whole year passes. You can forget a lot of what happened in a year.
The impression that whatever happened made on you 12 months ago can fade very quickly and you can become desensitized after 12 months. So here's my question. Why the delay? Why didn't God fulfill this dream immediately on Nebuchadnezzar? Why would God wait 12 months? I'll spell it for you.
M-E-R-C-Y. Mercy. God was being merciful. God gave 12 months time, an entire year, for this guy to heed the warning that Daniel gave to him in verse 27. It's the same reason God waited 400 years before he judged the Amorites by bringing the children of Israel into their land. It's the same reason God waited 120 years after Noah preached to that antediluvian civilization before the flood. It's the same reason the message God gave to Jonah for Nineveh was, yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown.
I'm giving you a month and a half to think about this before judgment comes. And it's the same reason God is patient with some of you. Second Peter chapter 3, he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So after 12 months, he's walking, verse 29, about the royal palace of Babylon.
Look at verse 30. The king spoke, saying, is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? What a proud peacock is King Nebuchadnezzar?
I will say from a human perspective that he was correct. Babylon was magnificent. It was perhaps the most magnificent and the largest city in the world at that time. Historians tell us that the walls of Babylon, get this, 355 feet high, 60 miles in circumference. There were guard stations, towers posted every 45 or 46 feet along the entire circumference of the wall. The Greek historian Herodotus tells us the walls were 85 feet thick.
That's a six-lane freeway. And chariot races took place several abreast on top of the walls of that city. Besides that, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, was right in the middle of the town and people could see that even from outside the city at a far distance. It was because Nebuchadnezzar married a wife by the name of Amitus who lived in the mountains previously and he brings her to Babylon, this alluvial plane, and she missed her mountain home. So he basically built a mountain in the middle of the city, the Hanging Gardens, the terraced, verdant gardens of Babylon. So impressive that 200 years later, Alexander the Great planned to move the center of his empire and relocate it in Babylon.
So he's walking a year later on top of his home and walking in pride. And you'll notice the next verse, the clock of God's judgment strikes midnight. Verse 31, while the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven.
Talk about all of a sudden. 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 will make you egress like oxen, seven times shall pass over you until you know that the most high rules in the kingdom of man and gives it to whomever he chooses. That very hour, God was so patient and long suffering. But when God's judgment comes, it comes and it came. That very hour, the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from men and ate grass like oxen. His body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagle's feathers and his nails like bird's claws. Wow. God will not share his glory with another. He said that. Now he's showing that.
Here, Nebuchadnezzar is reduced to the level of an animal. You know, there are physical laws in our universe. They're just there. Gravity is one of them. Let something go out of your hand, it drops to the ground. Jump off of a building, you may want to fly, but there's gravity. Unless you have the right apparatus, the law of gravity is going to bring you down. You may not like that law.
That's the way it is. But there are also spiritual laws that are just as powerful in their cause and effect as physical laws. And one of them is God hates pride and will eventually deal with it either in this life or in the future or in the future judgment.
God opposes the proud. And so we see here, as we mentioned last week, this bizarre form of psychotic hysteria known in medical terminology as Insania Zoanthropica, or more precisely, Boanthropy, where a man believes he's an ox. When I read this, my mind inevitably goes back to my early medical radiology training. Part of the internship that I was going through at San Bernardino County Medical Center was in Ward B, it was called. It was the metal ward. And it was the severe of the severe. It was patients who were kept in these little cages, rooms-like, and exhibited all forms of odd, bizarre behavior. And it just, it tore me up.
It broke my heart. It was a very difficult period of my life. One patient I remember was tied to a gurney, restrained. The reason he was restrained is that if he got any members of his body close to his mouth, he would bite and chew and swallow his own flesh. He'd been reduced to an animal.
Nebuchadnezzar's case is not singular. A few years ago, in modern times, R.K. Harrison, a medical doctor, reported a similar affliction in a British institution. Let me just give you one of his writings. Quote, the patient was in his early 20s. His daily routine consisted of wandering around the magnificent lawns of the Institute of Medicine. He was in the around the magnificent lawns of the institution. His custom was to pluck up and eat handfuls of grass as he went along.
The only physical abnormality noted consisted of the lengthening of his hair and a coarse thickening condition of the fingernails. Without institutional care, the patient would have manifested precisely the same physical conditions as those mentioned in Daniel 4.33, close quote. A modern example of what Nebuchadnezzar went through. But now we take you to the best part of the story, and we find this a lot in the book of Daniel. It's like it plunges deeply, and then it gets good at the very end of the chapter.
Here's the best part. It's the restoration of a humbled king. Verse 34, Nebuchadnezzar writing, first person.
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. Notice, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, not mine. His kingdom is from generation to generation, not mine.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. That would include this king. He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, what have You done? At the same time, my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me.
Up to this point, they wouldn't have anything to do with them. The only way they could treat mental illness in those days is just to put the guy out. I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride, He is able to put down.
Let the last part of that verse just sink in. All who walk in pride, He is able to put down. You remember what Jesus said?
You'll remember it when I start quoting it. In Luke chapter 18, He said, everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.
We see that here. Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself, he was humbled. Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself when he looked up to heaven, submitted himself in faith to God, and now he is exalted. There is one attitude that will make God your enemy, and that is pride. And the only cure is repentant humility.
Three times this verse is mentioned in Scripture, I guess it must be important. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Disease, pride, cure, humility.
Opposes the proud, gives grace to the humble. Two brothers grew up on a farm. One stayed on the farm, one left the farm, got educated, became prominent in politics, known in his community, and he was a great community. The prominent brother went back to the farm to visit his farmer brother one day, and the prominent, educated brother said to his farmer friend, brother, you know, you ought to leave the farm. You ought to make a name for yourself and hold your head high in this world. They were outside when he said it, and so the farmer brother put his arm around and pointed to his brother, said, see those fields of grain, look very, very closely and notice only the empty heads stand up.
Only the empty heads stand up. Those that are well filled always bow low. Humility.
I would say it's better to recognize this now in reading this story than to experience the tragedy that Nebuchadnezzar experienced in this story. I mean, if God hates pride, and if pride is a barrier to God's blessing, then humble yourself. Cultivate humility. You say, Skip, how do you cultivate humility? I'm going to tell you four little things that you can do in your life that will actually help you become a more humble person.
It'll cultivate humility. Number one, pray. I don't mean just pray for humility. I mean just pray. See, when you pray, what you are saying is that I can't do this alone. I depend upon God's help. The opposite of a prayerful person is a prideful person. A prideful person goes, I don't need God. I can handle this.
I was raised right. I can do this alone. That's a proud person. A prayerful person is dependent on God. So you pray. Number two, worship. Authentic worship. Because when you authentically worship, your focus is not on you, it's on Him.
It's all on Him. It's an act of humility to worship God. I'm making this Lord about you. I'm thinking about your greatness and I'm telling you how great you are. Authentic worship doesn't say, well, I don't like that song.
It's too fast. It's not about you. Sing it to Him. Prayer, worship. Here's the third, encouragement. Encouragement. Find somebody you know and encourage them.
Because when you encourage someone, it means that you've studied them, hung out with them long enough to notice things that are worth encouraging them for. And again, the focus is not on you. What do you think about me? Do you like the way I dress?
Do you like the way? Think about them. Prayer, worship, encouragement. Here's the fourth, service. Perform a task that is not in your job description. You know, we're all about the job description. We tell HR, it's not my job description. Why should I pick up that piece of paper? It's not in my job description.
I don't know, because it's there and it needs to get thrown away. Just do a task, not assign to you. Those four things, prayer, worship, encouragement, service, are ways to cultivate a humble spirit. God opposes the proud. He gives grace to the humble.
In closing, you'll notice that the restoration began when Nebuchadnezzar, verse 34, lifted his eyes up to God. That's faith, that's submission. The smartest thing you could ever do if you have not done this is to surrender your life to Christ.
The sooner you do it, the better. The smarter you are. Hear the story about the four people in a private airplane. One was the pilot.
Then there was a minister, a genius, and a boy scout. The pilot left his seat and went out to the three passengers and said, boys, the plane is going down, and there are only three parachutes, but there's four of us. Pilot strapped one on and said, I have a wife and three kids, and he jumped out. Saved himself. Two parachutes left. The genius stands up and goes, I'm the smartest guy in the world.
Everybody needs me. Strapped one on, jumped out. One parachute left.
The minister turns to the boy scout very sadly and says, there's only one parachute left. You're young. I've lived a good life. You take it.
I'll go down with the plane. Boy scout smiled and said, relax, reverend. The smartest guy in the world just jumped out of the airplane with my backpack.
Smart. Dwight L. Moody said, be humble. Be humble. Be humble or assemble. In this case, be humble or splat. Humble yourself before God and say, I need you, Lord. That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series, I Dare You.
Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now let's head into the studio with Skip and Lenya as they share some ways you can watch for pride in your own life. In Luke 18, Jesus said that anyone who humbles himself will be exalted and anyone who exalts himself will be humbled. Pride is something we as believers need to root out of our life. So Skip, can you tell us some ways we can be watchful for a prideful attitude in our hearts so that we can repent quickly?
Yeah. Um, pride is always an issue with us. And so I would say that, uh, people who are close to you, uh, if they love you and they're honest with you, they will kind of spot check you on that. And that's always helpful to have a good relationship with husband and wife, um, will let you know through them that perhaps your tone isn't right or sounding arrogant. Also, if you find yourself jealous over other people's successes, successes, I think that's an indication that you have an ongoing issue with it. Um, the Bible talks about rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn. I've always found it easier to weep with those who weep than it is to rejoice in somebody else's blessing, but that's a mark of maturity. And, um, if you find yourself with that attitude, um, then, then you take it to the Lord, but you just intentionally humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time. So that's not something that happens to you. It's something you initiate.
You make a choice, really. When I find myself at prideful moments, and I think we all know when we are, then I intentionally try and go low, bring myself down, readjust, recalibrate. And you're right. Um, Skip has taught so much to me. We drive by lots of churches on the way to our church and, um, Skip is so good about praying for them. And so when you're praying for someone that may, you know, want to provoke jealousy of any kind, just, you know, someone goes by in a car, you want pray for them, you know, that, uh, the Joneses get ahead and something happens. I find when we pray, it puts us ourselves in a position of elevating others.
That's good. Thanks, Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation inspires you to keep living for Christ. And we want to invite you to help others find this same inspiration with a gift to keep these biblical teachings on the air. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give generously and share God's love with others. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888. 800-922-1888. Thank you for changing lives. Join us tomorrow as Skip examines how God tries to wake us up in a number of ways to save our life from destruction. . Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
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