Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I you have spent any time at all in church as a kid you probably have heard the story of the three Hebrew boys and the fiery furnace. If not, lee me recap, there are three boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (not their real names – long story for another time…) Anyway, these boys have been commanded, along with the rest of the Babylonian Empire, to boy down and worship an idol that was made by the King, Nebuchadnezzar. As you read above in The Message version of the Bible, they said “No!”. This makes the king very unhappy so he threatens to throw them all into a fire and burn them as an example to anyone else who would get the same idea.
This is where it gets good, they make a statement to him in two sentences that have absolutely revolutionized my thinking. I don’t know about you, but I have a thinking problem. Every time God promises something I start with the “What is he doesn’t?” stuff. It really drives me crazy and makes me mad all at the same time. You know what I’m talking about, God says He wants to bless you or heal you or whatever, and we believe for a minute, then we start the how, when, where questions. We know we heard from God for our lives, but we still struggle with doubt.
I have found that faith is actually the exact opposite of the natural, human reaction and thought process. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 (NIV) ”Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” In Matthew 19:29 He said, “…the last will be first and the first last.” In our world the first are first and the last are, well, last, but Jesus has come to bring a new kingdom, new thought and a new reality.
So back to the Hebrew boys and thre three things they taught me. Number one, they teach us that God can do it. v. 17a - If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it… They had no doubt as to God’s ability to perform. In order to truly walk in faith you have to know that He can do anything. You have to believe He is your source, your supply, your everything. The first thing I had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight was that God CAN. That simple.
If I do not believe He is able to that I can not make it to the next step, that I believe He will. v.17b- and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. Step one is knowing He can, step two is believing He will for you. It is easy to believe that God spoke everything in existence and that He can heal the sick, and that He can provide all you need according to His riches in glory. It is another thing entirely to make that personal and believe He will for you and for me.
The three amigos were not happy just knowing that God could do something, but they were facing a very personal need and they believed that He would do it again, FOR THEM! How much more would we accomplish, or at least attempt, if we truly believed that God would take care of us?
That brings us to the third and final lesson, v. 18- But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Even if He does not come through for us, we will still not bow, we will not stop, we will still believe and we will not worship any other God but our God.
This is the hardest thing for me personally to get my hands around. I know God has called me to do things, I believe He will, but now God is challenging me to walk with the determination that even if He does not answer the way I thought He should, I will not stop serving Him.
My prayer today for each of us is, “God let me know you can, let me believe you will, and let me trust you so much that I can say that even you don’t, I will serve you. This is the true attitude of faith and the attitude that can see God do the miraculous in our lives. It will allow us to truly walk without fear. What is the worst thing that can happen? Name it and get comfortable with it, and then get over it. God has not called us to love in fear, He has called us to walk by faith.
So what happens if he doesn’t come though as you thought He would? I think we are asking the wrong questions. The correct question should be, “What if He does?” Well in the story we read, it caused the entire nation to serve the true and living God. What about you, what would happen in your life if He really did do it? Would it turn your home, your job, your finances, your relationships upside down? What do you have to lose? Take on the attitude, “God Can, I believe that He WILL, but even if He does not, I will still walk in faith…” and watch God move in your life.
Share your stories with us today. Just go to The Bridge – Hot Springs FaceBook and go to the My Story page. Let us know what God has done in your life this year!