God Owns Me
“And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven . . . The God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.” (Daniel 5:23)
Belshazzar was a typical Mesopotamian king: fabulously wealthy and powerful. Or at least that’s how he thought of himself. Even as the Medes and Persians were closing in on his palace (v. 30), the king in his arrogance threw a great party for a thousand of his lords (v. 1). No one could touch him; after all, who else had the resources to put on such a magnificent performance?
But the handwriting was on the wall, and Belshazzar’s time was up (v. 5-28). The proud tyrant had only hours to live, and all his wealth and power could not save him. Too late, he learned from Daniel that the God whom he had spurned “owns all your ways,” and it was time to answer to his true Master.
God owns me, too. Whatever interests I pursue in my life, there will come a time when I must cash them in and explain to Him why I made the choices I made. However I choose to use my time, that time is borrowed from Him, and someday He will ask me how I spent it. All my assets, all my talents, all the opportunities and privileges and relationships — even the very air that I breathe — everything belongs to Him, and He can call it in at a time and manner of His choosing.
Once I understand that simple truth about my life, it should awaken a profound humility about who I am and my purpose in life. God has put me here to glorify Him, not my own selfish ego. That awareness will influence every decision I make. Life is not about me. It’s about Him, and I must bend my will to His.
God gives each one of us the freedom to use our lives any way we want. But in a sense, none of us are really autonomous. We belong to Him, and someday we will return to Him as naked and helpless as the day we were born. The question is, what are we doing with the precious few days God has given us? Are we using them to accomplish His purpose, or ours?
I can’t see it like Belshazzar did, but the handwriting is on the wall for me, too. When the time comes for God to take me away, will I be ready for it?