Daniel 2:46-47 “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.”
Daniel 3:28-29 “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”
There are some absolutely amazing people in the Bible. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are those presented in my reading today. I am impressed with their presence in the face of such oppression.
They are uprooted from their own country and taken captive. Nothing around them is familiar. Different language, different culture, different government and a different religion.
God blessed these men to have such an influence on the king. He gave them wisdom to be valued above all that those around them. They stood out amongst the rest. When you and I rest in the center of God’s will, we can know His power, presence and peace. These men displayed that and more in a time when most others would fail.
Daniel’s gift of intepreting dreams was used to draw him into the presence of the king and show that only God can know the future. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were challenged in their obesience to the king as god.
Their response was impressive:
Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
These were men with character and conviction. When faced with death for choosing to oppose the king, they said basically, ‘Whether or not our God will deliver us from this trial, we aren’t going to bow!’
Of to God we would get a dose of that in our christianity today!
The world’s allure has captured our attention and time so that we are not able to do as we ought.
We are supposed to be men and women of prayer. You may say, “I pray.”
I am convicted because I know some in bondage to sin that need someone to intercede on a daily basis on their behalf.
For some of us, it’s the time – we are too busy.
For some, it is our sin that keeps us from prayer when we should be running to Him.
For others, it’s the know how – we are weak and meager in our prayer life.
For still others, it is a lack of faith – we just don’t believe we serve the God of the impossible like the Bible says He is.
Can God heal?
Can God raise from the dead?
Can God move mountains; calm the storm; bring light into dark places and save the most wicked of men?
Jesus challenges us today:
Matthew 21:21-22 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
It should be no mystery to us as to Who God is. He plainly tells us in His Word just who He is, what He can and will do and what power we have with Him as a child of God.
That step of faith that goes beyond what my hands can touch or my eyes can see is simple when it is placed and based upon His Word.
Clear the path between you and God. Remove any and all obstacles that may be in the way. It is so wonderful and marvelous that we can ask of God to reveal to us our sin to confess and forsake – and He does. He does because our God so desires us to be close; to know Him deeply and intimately.
We fight because we want to have this relationship with God on our terms and conditions – not His. Simply put – we want control.
God cannot and will not be controlled by us.
He has earned the right and has paid the price to take full possession of those who have placed their faith and trust in Him.
Today, let us let God be the God of our life… not just one of many on our mantle to which we bow down.
Forsake the god of pleasure.
Forsake the god of amusement, frivolity and reveling.
Forsake the pursuit of wealth, of love and of fame.
When we give God the preeminence in our lives, we will begin to see from His perspective and point of view. Though it may be vastly different from the world today – it truly was no different than what those men faced when a fiery furnace awaited their rebellion to the king’s command.
So far, we here in America live in such freedom that we are not killed for our beliefs. In almost every other country today, that is not so. The persecution of God’s children will come.
When it does, will we be able to stand like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?
If we let God be the God of our life, He can truly be glorified in whatever way He chooses – and that’s okay by me!