Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendago? They were three men committed to following God. The commitment was not met without resistance. In fact, their commitment was literally tested by fire. Their faith was challenged. Do you really want to sacrifice your very life for “this God”? So you really think your “God” can save you?
Can you imagine the thoughts passing through the minds of these young men? Were they asking themselves the same questions being thrown at them? Do we really want to commit this much to God? Do we really believe He is able to save us? Wouldn’t it be easier (even make more sense) to just go along with everyone else?
These heroes of the faith surely carried some of their own questions. Why is God asking so much of us? Why do we have to be under the rule of such a egotistical king? Surely, God doesn’t really expect us to go in that fire?
I can’t say with certainty that these men struggled with questions or doubt. The Bible doesn’t actually give us those details. What I can say with certainty is that despite whatever doubts these men may have had, they made a choice. They chose absolute surrender to a God whom they trusted. Their obedience was without boundaries or limits.
They refused to bow down to anyone besides the one true God. As a result the king threw them into the fiery furnace.
Just before their time in the furnace, we read these words directed to the king:
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
“But even if he doesn’t…” Do you trust God even if he doesn’t_____________? Is your obedience dependent on your life events lining up with your expectations?
If He Wants Me To
I was on the phone with one of my dearest friends discussing the difficult season she is walking through. I was both inspired and challenged as she reminded me of a song by Ginny Owens entitled “If You Want Me To.” One of the lyrics in the song says, “I will walk through the fire, if you want me to.”
My friend said to me, “Bobi Ann, I have to surrender my will to God’s over and over. I commit to walking through this fire if He wants me to.”
Is the path you’ve found yourself on not the one you would have chosen? Is your marriage not what you expected? Is parenting harder than you imagined? Was the doctor’s report disappointing? Are you walking through a fire?
When we find ourselves doubting God’s goodness because life isn’t happening on our terms, we may need to redefine “good.”
Elizabeth Elliot said,
“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”
Trusting God means trusting Him with the plan, the circumstance and even the fire. Choose to allow God to redefine for you what is good and surrender to His plan.
Commit to walk through whatever storm or fire if He wants you to.