Daniel: Chapter 2: Finding Identity on Our Way to Full Stature in Christ
In chapter one of Daniel we saw the relationship between the natural mind (Nebuchadnezzar) and the spiritual mind (Daniel). We learned how the spiritual mind matures, what it believes and how it relates with God. We also learned why the natural mind was immature.
Chapter two of Daniel will reveal the natural mind’s greatest dilemma…its need to know its identity in Christ. All of the action in our spiritual interpretation of Daniel is revealing how a Christian will mature and come into completion in Christ in the end times. The spirit matures first and then works in conjunction with the Spirit of God to bring the natural mind into maturity. Maturity comes as we learn who we are in Christ.
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of chapter two shows his search for identity. His maturity will come as he learns who he is in Christ. As Daniel explains to him in verse 38, “Thou art this head of gold.” The dream is about himself. The king is looking for someone to tell him who he is. This is the quest all human beings are on as we seek to know the answers to life’s deepest and most compelling questions centered in identity. “Who am I? Do I have value? Will anyone love me? Am I accepted?”
These questions can only be rightly answered for us by God himself as we enter into an ever-deepening relationship with him. When we were young we looked to our father, our mother and the prominent people in our lives to tell us who we were. Most of them were not able to answer adequately this question for us. We tried to become what we thought they wanted us to be in order to assuage the nagging questions deep in our soul.
As we tried to please others in order to get our questions answered, we began performing…doing things to get the approval of others in order to hear them tell us who we are. We unconsciously split off from our true self and formed false personas. We became hopelessly lost regarding our identity…lost and divided in our soul.
Finding our identity in Christ is a lifelong quest. As we develop in our relationship with Jesus and learn to hear him affirm us in our identity, we will learn who we are and come into rest. Let us look at the first verse in Daniel chapter two.
Dan 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Based on what I have written above, we see that the natural mind, Nebuchadnezzar, is troubled. He has a dream. This dream is about himself. He is so troubled in his quest to find out just what this dream means that it keeps him awake at night. We all dream about who we are supposed to be. We only find true rest when this question is answered for us by God.
(To be continued…)