There is an OLD TESTAMENT story of how God gave Daniel and his companions favour in the eyes of King Nebuchadnezzar. These four young men had an unusual ability to understand every aspect of literature and wisdom. Daniel possessed the unique gift(s) from God for interpreting the meanings of visions and dreams.
God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom. Daniel 1:17-20 NLT
This is a story, not so much about Daniel and his friends, but about my own unique experiences of walking amongst kings. From the time I accepted Christ into my life in my early twenties, I have been so blessed (literally happy) by the gifts that God has placed into my life and the GREAT people he has surrounded me with. I have walked amongst kings from all walks in life – people who have the knowledge, authority, wealth, and power to change the very lives of ordinary people, for the better or worse. To befriend and influence those in authority in this life, is to seek to benefit all of humanity – one person at a time.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, my life took a turn for the worse when my parents separated and divorced. The subsequent teenage years were ones of relative poverty, anger, disrespect for authority (including a few brushes with law enforcement), and general mayhem and rebellion. When I got alone in a quiet place, often surrounded with the beauty of nature, I felt a lot of guilt and remorse. Deep down I knew that I was not the person I was created to be – it was just so hard to see anything else.
I knew and understood the presence of God as a child and learned early on that I was a little different than my peers around me. Different is not better or worse than others, but a simple recognition that God had His hand upon me concerning the direction and purpose of my life. My times were in His hands, whether I recognized or even acknowledged that reality. In hindsight, I understand what it means to be sought after by God and to experience the Hounds of Heaven when my lifestyle was wayward and crooked, almost opposite to God’s best for my life. I also comprehend what it means to be God’s chosen people, the elect of Christ. This is not something we deserve, but rather because of the love, kindness, and mercy of God.
I think all of the aforementioned was what led me to study for many years and to pursue working in Christian ministry as a pastor, a chaplain, and a leader. I know today that was merely the beginning, and that, eventually, I had to step outside that closed world and enter into the marketplace of humanity. I have lived the greater part of my life only to finally recognize that my calling was to stand in the gap between the Church (of which I did not really fit in, and was often mistreated and persecuted), and greater society (of which I also did not fit in, and was often mistreated and persecuted).
To be called to be a MEDIATOR between two very different and opposing subcultures is NOT an easy existence. Even the wife of my youth, who instinctively knows and understands me, struggles with the cost of being associated with me and my particular walk with God. I know that I am not alone, for God is with me. I am also aware that there are others, even amongst my WordPress friends and followers, that have a similar calling and gifting(s). Whether you comprehend any of this right now – you eventually will. Even if just one person hears and understands what I am saying – it will be worth it.
The road has always been rocky and treacherous, but there have been many rewards, the best is yet to come – to spend an eternity in the presence of God Almighty. I look forward to that day with all my heart. I sense that time is short, whether that be for my own life, or for the spectacular and cataclysmic events yet to occur on this planet.
For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Mark 4: 22, 23 NLT
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