Dear Saddleback Family,
Use the Message Action Plan below to help put the things you learned this weekend into practice. If you missed last weekend's message, click here to watch it online.
WHEN GOD TESTS YOU WITH SUCCESS
UNSHAKABLE! Thriving In the Tests of Life — Part 6
September 17-18, 2016
DANIEL 4:1-37 WHAT GETS US INTO TROUBLE
- We get comfortable and complacent with success
"I, Nebuchadnezzar, was enjoying a time of peace and prosperity in my kingdom and palace. I was taking it easy, without a care in the world!" Daniel 4:4
"I said to myself 'Just look at this great city of Babylon that I have created! I, by my own mighty power, have built this beautiful city for my glory. I built it to show my power, my might, my majesty, and my glory!'" Daniel 4:30
"The Lord despises pride; You can be sure that the proud will be punished." Proverbs 16:5
- We don't pay attention to the warning signs
Because you've been arrogant and you've ignored God, you're about to lose your kingdom & your sanity. (See Daniel 4:24-25)
"'Here's what you should do: Repent of your sins and start doing what is right. Then begin to show merciful kindness to the poor and oppressed. Then perhaps God will allow you to keep prospering." Daniel 4:27
- We put off doing what we know is right
"Twelve months later, all of what King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed did actually happen to him. He was taking a walk on the flat roof of his royal palace in Babylon. As he looked out across the city, he boasted to himself . . . As the words were still on his lips, a voice came from heaven, 'This is what God decrees for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your power is being taken away and you are no longer the ruler of this kingdom! You'll be deposed from the palace, ostracized by everyone, and forced to live with the wild animals. Immediately it all happened.'" Daniel 4:28-33a
STEPS TO RECOVERY
- Look up to God
"After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven and my sanity returned." Daniel 4:34a (NLT)
ACTION PLAN: Choose a time this week to go for a walk. Use this opportunity to look at the beauty around you and recognize the wonder and sovereignty of God. Talk to God about things you are thankful for and give him the glory and praise.
- Wake up and start worshipping
"My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High andhonored The One who lives forever." Daniel 4:34b (NLT)
We get better when we replace pride with praise
"Remember how God led you through the wilderness these past forty years . . . He humbled you by letting you go hungry . . . and he tested you with hardships many times . . . to test your character and to see if you will obey whatever he commands you to do . . . Now God is bringing you into a good land — a land with plenty of water . . . with bountiful crops . . . orchards full of fruit . . . abundant copper and iron in the ground. and you will lack nothing! So when you are full and satisfied and prospering PRAISE the Lord with gratitude for all he has given you!
"BUT BE CAREFUL that you do not forget the Lord and that you continue to always obey every command of God! Otherwise when you have built your fine houses and your gold and silver have multiplied,your heart will become PROUD and you will forget that it was God who saved and delivered you out of your slavery and gave all this to you!
"And when you become successful. do not think 'I did all this by my own strength and I became rich by my own power.' Instead remember that it is God, your Lord, who gives you the ability and strength to produce wealth!
"I warn you: If you ever forget God and begin turning things into idols that you worship, God will destroy it all and your nation, just as he has destroyed other nations before you who forgot God." Deuteronomy 8:2-20
ACTION PLAN: Try to get into the habit of a daily quiet time with God. Start even with 10 or 15 minutes every day. Look at your daily schedule and see where your current priorities are with your time. Schedule your quiet time into your day and try to do it consistently this week.
TRUTHS ABOUT GOD THAT STABILIZE MY LIFE
- God's kingdom will outlast everything I do
"God's rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal!" Daniel 4:34c (NLT)
- God is greater than everyone
"All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him." Daniel 4:35a (NLT)
- God has more power than all of us together
"He has the power to do whatever he pleases — among the angels of heaven and with those who live on earth. No one can stop him or challenge him, or even question what he does . . . And those who walk in pride he is able to humble" Daniel 4:35b, 37
"When God restored my sanity, he also gave me back my honor and
kingdom. All my leaders returned to me, and my kingdom became greater than ever! So now I praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven because everything he does is always right and true and fair." Daniel 4:36
- God never makes any mistakes
- Tell others how God has saved and changed me
"King Nebuchadnezzar sent a letter to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: May you prosper! I want to tell you all about the wonderful miracles that God has done for me!" Daniel 4:1-2
ACTION PLAN: If you've never done so, take time to write down your testimony - how you came to know Christ and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Even if you've done this in the past, think through it again and see if there's anything new you can add. With your small group, practice giving your testimony so you are comfortable sharing.