Giving God Sovereignty Over Others’ Approval

That sinking feeling again. Like maybe I haven’t quite lived up to someone’s expectations or disappointed them somehow.

It’s an anxiety that creeps up on me sometimes when I least expect it, accompanied by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that somehow I’m not good enough.

Most High God, Fear, Approval, Rock, redeemer, Nebuchadnezzar, DanielYou ever feel that way, friend?

The healing process isn’t a linear one. For me, it’s been stops and starts, ups and downs. I’m learning more ways my past limits me, things that God wants to redeem now, so I can be free to do what He’s made me to do.

He keeps showing me in His word how I can grow and overcome impediments I didn’t even realize I had (like caring too much about what people think).

This week, as I dig into the sovereignty of God in the book of Daniel, I’m amazed at the methods the Most High God used to show His power to the most influential and powerful earthly king of that day.

A teenage young man, gifted with above-average intelligence and integrity, had the courage to tell King Nebuchadnezzar that it was God who enabled him to interpret dreams. Daniel later advised Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his pride in hopes that the despot could avoid punishment predicted in one of those visions.

Sadly, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t heed Daniel’s warning and suffered for it. He became like a cow and lived in the field eating grass, driven away by the people. His hair and nails grew long like a wild animal, and he stayed unprotected from the elements.

And just as prophesied, Nebuchadnezzar was restored after he repented. At the end of his punishment, the king declared the sovereignty of God.Most High God, Fear, Approval, Rock, redeemer, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel

But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward 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,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
(Daniel 4:34-35)

As I studied the king’s journey into insanity, I thought of my own disordered thinking.

Why do I give so much heed to what people with finite power think, and not enough to what the Most High God thinks of me?

What would happen if I moved with full confidence in His love and approval? Is there anything He couldn’t accomplish through me? Anything I couldn’t overcome?

I don’t want the ugly worries about others’ approval. I want to know the freedom of living without fear of rejection or exclusion. So, imagine my excitement when God showed me a safe place!

Psalm 78:35 talks about the time the Israelites remembered the sovereignty of God, and I need to remember it often. He is my rock and my redeemer.
Most High God, Fear, Approval, Rock, redeemer, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel
It’s a verse I can cling to again and again, until it’s a natural response to fear.

As I meditate on this and allow God’s Word to renew my mind, I’m wondering if you ever struggle with the same thing. How do you remind yourself of God’s sovereignty and give it due place in your thoughts? Please feel free to share in the comments.

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    1. Thank you, Heather! It’s becoming a vivid lesson as I study Daniel. I think we’re about to have our worlds rocked (in a good way) this fall.

  1. Such an excellent and much needed truth today, Lyneta. Lately, I feel like I’m hearing this message every time I turn around. I believe it’s because in His grace, God keeps repeating it until it sinks in. [sigh] I pray that God my rock and redeemer will redeem the many times I turn to others’ approval instead of His. It’s definitely a process, isn’t it?!

    1. I love how God speaks to us through multiple channels when He really wants us to grasp a particular truth. It happens to me so often! Glad this was able to minister to you. (And yes, quite a process!)

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