Prophesies of Jesus foretold… mysteries of Yahweh retold to generation after generation… Here unfolding is the beauty of God’s thoughts, God’s stories, God’s glories He wrote through His people by the Holy Spirit. Read it and you amplify your vision, intuition, discernment, intelligence.
Daniel experienced the benefits of reading God’s Word. And following God’s Word, as he was chosen to study in the King’s palace among promising youth. We read about this in Daniel chapter 1.
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
God gives Daniel and the other youth the opportunity to learn and advance themselves in literature and education, which will in turn advance the kingdom they are placed in right now: Babylon. At this point, Israel is in their captivity. Yet we find this story of Daniel revealing God’s involvment in their story, using them to show Babylon God’s power.
As Daniel learns in this study cohort, this gives Daniel the access to reach the ones leading in the palace with the truth of who Yahweh is. Because Daniel stands strong in his faith in God, not yielding to the rules of the Babyonian empire. Daniel even goes so far as to not eat the King’s food because it defiles His Jewish faith, and in doing so asks to eat vegetables for 10 days to prove he will look even more healthy in appearance than the rest (verses 8-16). And he does. He looks healthier and more vibrant than the ones who were eating the Babylonian King’s food. So Daniel gains even more credibility with the King’s palace because of the miracles they see on account of the God whom He believes in. This will continue through Daniel’s entire duration in Babylon, revealing miraculous encounters with God.
Daniel grows in knowledge and prophetic power in the process of this particular education as God gives him favor from those in the palace.
“God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official.”
God supernaturally empowers Daniel and these 3 other friends (who are actually Meschach, Shadrach and Abednego whom refuse to bow and get thrown into the fiery furnace and experience a miraculous appearance of Jesus) to understand everything He read with His Spirit’s perception.
Daniel’s prophetic insight increases. From reading.
Don’t be the one who cannot read. Your destiny depends on it… your directional compass contingent on it lest you find yourself in Albania when you meant to be in Albany.
Reading is important.
It’s the minute difference between a tad and a ton… between getting a cupcake and a pupcrate. Between a glass of Champagne and a goblet from Charlemagne. Which kind of strip do you want? We’ve got a New York Strip and the Las Vegas Strip. Read closely…
Reading determines your path.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
God wants you to read what He wrote.
What you read impacts you.
Daniel’s prophetic insight amplifies because He follows God first. Then he develops his intellect through literacy in order to understand God’s Word. What you read determines where you traverse. How you think. What you see. Whom you believe. Reading is essential.
“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.”
1 Thessalonians 5:27
Reading stimulates your foresight.
Gives you secrets of what is to come.
If you neglect to read you cannot understand the depths of God’s instruction given.
Reading opens the gateway of your ears and mind to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Spend more time reading than consuming entertainment. Literature and text thrills your senses exponentially higher, developing you intellectually and spiritually. The inability to understand spiritual realities and prophesies as written stems from a lack of reading. I’m reminded when Jesus confronts the Pharisees in the gospels saying, “Have you not read” when referring to the Old Testament. They hadn’t read. That was the problem. When you neglect to read you neglect your mind.
Wisdom, wit, wonder… it overflows when you sharpen your mind with the written word.
Your heart connects with what your read.
Read God’s Words and your heart falls in love…
Fail to read it and your heart drifts distant.
“And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13
God does not want a relationship with you that is based on someone else’s “commandment taught by men” as verse 13 says here. It must be based on the Lord’s own words to you alone, between you and Him. God wants your heart committed to Him because of what He spoke to you and what you vow to Him. It’s one-on-one. No middle man. No coercion. No forced arranged marriage. This is a love relationship. So it must be based only on God’s words.
Don’t listen first to what people instruct.
Listen to what God instructs.
Read His Words.
Keep God’s words in front of you and His heart washes into you.
Then you can read other writings with His eyesight.
It’s important to note that it’s good, and beneficial, to read a plethora of writings other than the Bible.
We learn from one another and we learn from literary art. This is precisely what Daniel did in the palace of Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. He read all genres of literature of the time.
Reading many texts blossoms your mind like a voluptuous garden. But it’s because Daniel regarded God and His Word as His primary text, that every other text could be enjoyed and regarded as beneficial for him.
God’s Word needs to be the first and fundamental Word you read and live by. Then you can read everything else through that lens of God’s standard and heart, even letting other texts speak to you by His Holy Spirit in a way that supplements life with Him.
“Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” Psalm 119:97
Your heart connects with what you read.
Fall in love with the Author and you read it how it was intended to be read.
Read God’s Words and you fall in love with God…
This begins with knowing you are already loved. A vision of the Lord comes to Daniel in chapter 10 reminding Daniel of this truth, where the Lord says, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved…” Daniel 10:7
Remember you are God’s Beloved. It stirs a desire to learn more about Him.
Daniel is loved by God.
Daniel dedicates Himself to knowing God and learning from God.
Daniel is given intense and recurring visions from God.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
God’s mouth speaks gold. What you speak about reveals what you love and what you believe. Love Jesus and speak about Jesus. Speak about what you love. Speak about what God has revealed to you. Speak about what God is teaching you.
Paul spoke of Israel’s lack of recognition of Jesus as Messiah in correlation with their lack of understanding when reading. If you don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and the Lord of all, the scriptures do not make any sense. “But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” 2 Corinthians 3:15-16
Insight and perception ignites for the one who commits to Jesus in relationship.
Do you want foresight?
Read God’s Word.
Do you want to understand the Messiah’s prophecies?
Read God’s Word.
Do you want to fall in love with God?
Read God’s Word.
Reading sharpens your intellect.
Reading gifts you with insight.
Reading churns your love.
Reading enhances your vocabulary.
Reading sparks your creativity and imaginative senses.
Reading renders wisdom and you gain expertise on how to handle situations.
Reading allows your mind to workout, fleshing out its own pictures to words you are reading and letting the story of your own ingenuity play out. It’s how the mind was created. To envision, imagine, create, innovate. God’s own mind does the same… on epic, exponential levels. God’s own mind created a whole universe by His own divine design and imaginative juices fleshing out into the tangible reality we dwell in. You were made in His own image, meant to create beauty and design because you have the capability in you. Look at the earth around you. Beautiful architecture. Inventive constructions. Creative ideas and methods for living life. Whimsical artwork and stories.
I remember years ago walking through the Texas State Fair to see a sculptur at his booth and he was sculpting people’s faces on the spot. You could pay him so much money and he would sculpt you once he was finished with the last person. I watched in amazement as his hands fashioned the eyes and nose, mouth and features of the man sitting in front of him. It was effortless.
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
The way he formed the clay is a gift. This gift the man possessed is nothing less than a reflection of His divine Creator, who imparted him the ability to create as He does. By fashioning faces, people and life-like sculptures.
God gave His people the gift of creating, as a mirror of His own ability to design.
“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.” Exodus 35:31-33
You were made to create…
You were made to express your intricate intelligence…
Everything you create is beautiful… meaningful… worth absorbing and worth cherishing… worth learning and worth telling in the world created to host Your unique voice and gifts. God loves what you create.
the mind is a curious beauty
a kind of luxurious ruby
I want to place
in the middle of my necklace
close to the heart You made
Your love to me
unleash Your design in us
Your humanity is royal and wondrous. Far too beautiful and essential to be limited in its functionality. You are the apex of all living creatures besides God. The human being is His creature made higher than all others beings, because you are made in His image. You carry incredibly high potential within you for brilliance. And it starts with educating yourself so you can elevate yourself to higher expression and operating, through sharpening yourself in every area of your divine mind.
Your mind is divine and remarkable.
Use it to bless the world around you…
Find out what you are gifted to do and do that. It blesses the Lord for you to create in His footsteps.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23
Daniel and his 3 friends studied under the King of Babylon for this duration and worked at it to the best of their ability.
God delights in hard work. God gives favor to those who work hard. Dedicated to Him and dedicated to excellence. They find favor in the eyes of the King. Daniel and his friends also soar with success because God was with them. Their wisdom ends up exceeding that of all the others who attempted to operate without God.
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found Daniel and his friends ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”
We learn from Daniel that dedication to God and dedication to the work before us showcases God’s power. It also showcases God’s presence. God’s supremacy as God, and a God worth following because He is greater. We learn from Daniel’s devotion for reading and how it develops his mind to understand complexities and advanced ideas. It cultivates his mind. We also learn from Daniel that God is His first foundation, and that every other word supplemants that Word. Daniel’s zeal for learning coupled with His zeal for God’s as His King generates spiritual insights, visions and dreams. Throughout the book of Daniel, he will go on to experience many encounters with the Lord recorded.
Seize every opportunity for enhancing your skills and knowledge… for sparking your creativity and artistry.
God wants to give you every opportunity to experience Him. Make sure you are reading His words, so you can see what He wants you to see.
You see it coming…
When you know what God spoke…
Read the Old Testament to understand His prophesies foretold.
I’m reading wonder
when I read Your words
and read Your heart
tucked in the sacred
sky of art
Your Spirit’s reading eyes
that gaze upon You
in the light of love before You
may we ever more adore You
for the door Your blood rewards You
we will worship You Lord
I saw it coming… shining brightly on His dawning because You told me what would happen. A virgin birth. A baby boy. The King of the universe sent to save us. Spoken to every generation since the beginning of time when You promised Your Son would come. Your prophecies are always truthworthy.
Jesus… He is the greatest prophecy ever fulfilled.
“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, call His name Immanuel.”
Emmanuel… God with us. Still with us. Always with us. He’s coming again… His Word says He will. Just as Christmas unfurls the beauty of His approaching, another celebration will ensue to celebrate the wonder of His returning. The Old Testament spoke of His birth and ressurection. The New Testament speaks of His return and divinity as God, the God of the universe. Jesus, we wait for You… we sing for You… we worship You as the Savior You are and the Lover You came to be for us. May we read Your words and heart forever.
my heart says
it craves seeking Jesus
my soul says
it loves seeing reasons
in the seasons
and waters that teach us
in the thunder
it’s upon us
the days symphonic
with the dawning
of Your birth
outside of time
You came to find us
and make us divine
we wait for Your love
here behold Heaven’s fire
to keep us
Jesus is Messiah forever
let Your Kingdom
come to earth
so all will see
Your endless worth