A Prayer for Regaining “Gospel Sanity”
I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” . . . Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Dan. 4:34-37
Dear Lord Jesus, once again I find myself needing a vision of your might and mercy, your dominion and delight, your sovereignty and your goodness—just like the one captured in this remarkable passage. There are two expressions of temporary insanity, or “crazy,” to which I default at times.
Sometimes, like King Nebuchadnezzar, I arrogantly think I’m actually in control of my world. I ignore you, and act like a little sovereign over the micro-fiefdom called “self.” If things go my way, I take the credit. If life is hard, I blame others—after all, I am the point (or so, I can assume).
Other times I act like the consummate orphan. Whine and worry, scrambling and scheming, blame and shame can take over; and I charge you with not answering my prayers the way you should—for not being the god I want you to be. I can lapse into a navel-gazing negativity, being more impacted by the international and financial news, than by the good news of the gospel. Have mercy! Have mercy on me, King Jesus!
Indeed, help me to live more of my hours, days, weeks, and months in gospel sanity, Jesus. For it is your kingdom that endures from generation to generation. There has never been a time when you were not King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You’re not a cheerleader, just pulling for us from afar. You’re not a coach, just telling us what to do. You are the King of glory, beauty, compassion, mercy, and grace! You are the King who died for us, was raised for us, is praying for us, and is returning for us!
Right now, you are working all things together after the counsel of your will. Right now, you are working in all things for the good of those who love you, and we love you because you first loved us. Right now, you not only have the heart of every king in your hand, you have my heart in your hand.
Right now, you do as you please with all the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth, and with me. Right now, everything you do is right and just. Right now, you are the King who has made us your beloved bride. Right now, it is so awesome and comforting to be yours—an object of your affection and a subject in your kingdom! So very Amen I pray, in your powerful and peerless name.