The Secrets to a Humble Life
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
This devotion is dated April 19, 2012 in my notebook. I'm not sure if this is the first devotion I wrote. It is at the front of my notebook. However, I can tell you it is the one I remember most to this day. God taught me many lessons through my study of Daniel.
I have only made a few changes for clarity and added the Scriptures so you wouldn't have to look them up. But, please, if you have the time, read them on your own and ask God to reveal what only He can reveal to you.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride. - Daniel 4:37 (NASB)
Such excellent words from King Nebuchadnezzar! But wouldn't they have been more excellent had they not come after seven years of insanity, living life with the wild animals and eating grass like cattle? I have a feeling King Nebuchadnezzar might have looked back and wished he would have praised, exalted, and honored God before God had to humble him.
I struggle with pride. There...I said it! It's like a bad taste in my mouth and a heavy pain in the pit of my stomach. I don't want people to know that I am prideful. It is so ugly. I used to think that pride wasn't an issue for me. But a low self-esteem does not equal humility.
Let's look at the last part of Daniel 4:37 again - He is able to humble those who walk in pride. I have a reverent fear of God and His ability to do just that.
I want to choose to humble myself under the mighty hand of God so He does not have to choose for me.
So, while reading the book of Daniel, I began to ask God what a humble life might look like. Daniel was memorable to me mostly because of his escape from the lion's den. He was an example of strong faith. But God allowed me to see Daniel in a different light. A person who knew the secrets to living a life free of pride.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind (set upon his heart) that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.
#1 Daniel desired a pure life separate from the influences of the world. The world screams of pride and all that we "deserve." Daniel also had respect for authority and acknowledged the position of someone with higher rank than him.
Daniel 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (This was after the king ordered the wise men of Babylon to be slain, and they were searching for Daniel and his friends to kill them).
#2 Daniel had same-minded godly friends, and he knew when to ask for their help.
Daniel 2:27-28, 30 Daniel answered before the king and said, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.
#3 Daniel gave glory to God for the gifts he had been given (interpreting dreams). He also knew the gifts he received from God had nothing to do with him or his benefit, but that they were for fulfilling God's purposes.
Daniel 5:17a Then Daniel answered the king, "You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else."
#4 Daniel had no desire for the gifts and rewards of man.
Daniel 9:3, 10:12 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. (Read Daniel's entire prayer on your own. It is beautiful).
Then he (Gabriel) said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words." (additions mine)
#5 Daniel set his heart on understanding and humbling himself before God in prayer.
The final words of the book of Daniel are, As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance. This was Daniel's reward for living a humble life that led to complete faith and trust in His God.
O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled; we have turned away from Your commands and laws. Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and Your people bear Your Name (Daniel 9:4-5, 17a, 18b, 19).