Thursday, October 01, 2009

Accepting Providence

Daniel 3:16-18
(16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
(17) If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
(18) But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

This is one of those stories that even folks who couldn't find Psalms in their Bible have probably heard of. These faithful Jews refused to bow to the idol that Nebuchadnezzar set up and were sentenced to death in the fiery furnace. Here they show their unwavering faith in God. I am always impressed by verse 18 when I read this. They accept the possibility of "but if not."

This is a vital lesson for us here in America. This is the land of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. It is the land where God is supposed to give us what we want if we are faithful. I can't help but wonder what a Word of Faith person would do with this verse. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a faith that went beyond what God would do for them. They were ready to face an excruciating death for their faith. They knew that God could deliver them, but they were under no assurance that God would deliver them. Yet they remained faithful.

This is great comfort to me in times of trial. The goal cannot simply be the resolution of the trial in the manner I think best. The goal must be resolution in a way that glorifies God. That's the focus that these young men had. Is that the focus you have or do you expect God to serve you?

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