Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV) – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Have you ever been in a spiritual fire so hot that you know beyond of shadow of a doubt that there is no way you could possibly survive? I’ve been placed into several furnaces, most of the time by MYSELF. Other people have thrown me in, out of sheer anger toward the behavior that I was displaying that sent everyone around me packing. Sometimes I am thrown in against my will, sometimes I jump in head first knowing full well what I am getting myself into. I would be lying to say otherwise.
Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV) – But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
WHEN…It says WHEN, not IF. Here is the thing. When we are walking in the will of God, and when opposition rears its ugly head, we are not back down. However, and here is the kicker, we must submit humbly to authority in every situation because the truth never needs defending. The TRUTH, not the silly lies we tell ourselves to get by and manipulate situations for our benefit. Hello?!?!?!
We are also called to take a stand. There are so many dead churches in the world, people filling pews and claiming to know God through their words but missing the boat completely through their actions. Who is taking a stand for God? Are you only doing it when it suits you and times are easy? Or are you taking a stand when other peoples egos and pride are causing them to lash out at your very existence? I am talking to myself here. I fight against pride and ego on a daily basis that comes from the inside of ME. Who am I to judge? I only see it because I got it but I know now what to recognize so I don’t cast other unsuspecting souls into the blazing furnace. Are you like me and react on instinct and forget to praise?
What are we afraid of? Them? Ourselves? The lady playing piano in the front of church with her judgmental stares? The pastor preaching condemnation and fear to lead those to repentance? Or are we standing boldly in reverance to our Lord and Savior? Who do YOU stand for? What is your legacy?