“You have the heart of a tired man.” Those were the words of my heart doctor when I was diagnosed with Stress Related Disorder. At the time, I was bent on growing the church that I was pastoring. I had a radio Bible-teaching program. I was teaching seminars left and right. And did I mention I was also studying at IGSL at that time? I was under a delusion that I’m on the way to become one of the most famous pastors here in the Philippines. But I was slowly killing myself. I was pushing people to fulfill my agenda. It was not just the heart of a tired man. It was the heart of a proud man. God was obviously teaching me something and I had to learn it fast.
In Daniel 4, King Nebuchadnezzar also had something to learn, and he learned it the hard way. He was so proud of what he had done in building the great Babylon. He boasted of his great power, and declared that he did all those things for the glory of his majesty.
God’s judgment was swift. He was still bragging when judgment fell on him. He lost everything—his kingdom, his reputation, his honor, his dignity, and his mind. God struck him with insanity. For seven years, King Nebuchadnezzar ate grass like a cow. He cast aside his kingly robe and crown, and he must have roamed around naked. Behold, the great king became a demented person.
Brothers and sisters, defiance is insanity. Depending on your own strength and wisdom is defiance. And defiance is insanity. To become so proud that you don’t depend on his grace—that is insane. You may be thinking, “Oh I would not do something like that.” I thought the same thing. When we boast as if we accomplished things without the help of God, we are thinking and acting like Nebuchadnezzar. We are called to be dependent on His grace. And if we are not depending on Him, we are actually defiant. We’re saying that we can do it on our own.
Don’t wait for God to humble you before you learn to honor him and to depend on His grace. Because I’ve been there and it is not a happy place to be in. Keep in mind that Nebuchadnezzar was disciplined so that he would know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
After seven years, as the Lord prophesied, King Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity was restored. But even after his kingdom was restored to him, Nebuchadnezzar remained humble before the Lord. (See Daniel 4:37) He learned that defiance is insanity but dependence is humility. Wise people depend on God. Fools defy him. Are you dependent or are you defiant?
Brothers and sisters, I don’t want to have the heart of a tired man anymore. I want to have the heart of a man who trusts in the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way, and I pray that we won’t learn it the hard way also. Depend on his grace; don’t defy him.