Following our God who is able, no matter what!
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|Mon, 11-08-2010 - 3:18pm|
For the last few months, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to have faith. I've found myself thinking a lot about the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were commanded to to bow down and worship a statue or to face the consequences of being thrown into a blazing furnace. Their response was to say:
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your majesty. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, Your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18.
For me their response is a perfect example of faith. They knew their God and they knew what he was able to do and they believed that he would rescue them but at the same time they made it very clear that even if God didn't rescue them, the were still going to serve him. There are a couple of things that challenge me about their example.
1.We need to know (to really know) the God who is able. We need to read His word and examples of who He is and how He is. We also need to share testimonies with others and build each other up in our faith of what our mighty God can do. We need to do these things to be prepared for whatever “fiery furnace” we may be faced with.
2.Unless the Bible specifically says that something will happen, or unless we've received a clear promise from God, it's not a lack of faith to acknowledge that things may not turn out the way we would like them to. Hebrews chapter 11 is full of examples of people who showed great faith. Many were saved from death or even received people back from the dead, but many others were tortured, beaten, chained and killed in the most awful ways (see particularly v33-38) All of them showed faith and are held up as great examples.
3.Our challenge is to seek God's face more than his hands (to seek relationship with him over and above whatever blessings he may give or whatever crisis he may save us from) It is the decision to serve him no matter what the cost.
4.Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were taken into exile in Babylon against their will. They had no choice about the situation that they were facing. They could even have tried to argue that they had no choice but to bow down before the statue, since they were being commanded to do so. But these three young men understood that although we often don't have any choice as to the situations that we have to go through, we do have a choice as to how to respond to them. They chose to respond by depending totally on God and by putting their faith in him no matter what.
As we go through the pain (especially for those of us that have been trying a long time) of trying to conceive, I'm challenged to keep believing in the God who can, to build myself up in His word to prepare for whatever may come my way. I'm also challenged by the need to keep seeking relationship with Him over and above my desire for a child. God is always good, He's no less good while I'm going through infertility than He will be if I get pregnant (more on that another time!) This journey is a tough place to be and I'm going through a really rocky patch in the journey right now. I don't want to be here, I didn't choose this place! But I know that I can choose and have to choose how I'm going to respond to being here, I have to make that choice so many times. The good choice doesn't mean I don't cry or that it doesn't hurt, but it means to depend on God and on His strength to respond in a Godly way (when sometimes I don't feel like doing that!) It means making the decision that no matter what, I'm following God and even if I have to do it through tears at times, I'm seeking to go through this journey with God. There were four people in that furnace (v.25) because God was there too. And no matter what “furnaces” we have to go through, God will always be there with us.