Have you ever made up your mind to do something, maybe something even crazy, like give up carbs? You were determined and you declared it to everyone around you. You were doing good, but then someone ask you to go out and eat where they serve the most delectable yeast rolls. At first you displayed so much willpower, but then the smell started to rise from the table, and then you saw the butter melting down the warm, golden roll. Then your friend, because she loves you so, says with passion, “these are the best rolls I have ever eaten.” Eventually you just can’t take it anymore, and you indulge in the sweet, savory roll. Just like that all your good intentions, plans down the drain. I wonder what it would have been like if there was a plan made beforehand about what to do when tempted by.... insert whatever you gave up, or weakness.
Today we look at three men that not only had a plan, but walked it out all the way through, no matter the consequences. They were be tattled on for not bowing down to a statue of King Nebuchadnezzar, which they viewed as an idol. When brought before the king they were very direct with their answer.
“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.”
Here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. They know their God is able, but they don’t know if it’s his plan. Have you ever been in this situation? Have you ever had a time in your life when you knew God was able, but you didn’t know the plan? It can be a very intimidating, scary feeling. But these guys had already resolved in their mind that no matter the outcome they would not worship a false god.
See dear friends it doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what you do. It is so easy to spout out verses, and statements like God knows best, or everything happens for a reason (which I highly suggest NOT saying to those in mourning) when you aren’t sitting in that place. But to be frank, I don’t think God is as concerned with what you say on the mountaintop, as with what you say in the valley. When things are at rock bottom do you choose to sing his praise? Wh
en your world is spinning, then is He Almighty God? When your prayers are not answered, is He still Jehovah Rapha “healer” or Yahweh-Shammah “the Lord is present”?
We have to prepare ourselves before the fire comes. These three men had spent their whole life studying God’s scripture, praying, and worshiping. When the fire threatened, they leaned into what they knew. Then problem is if you don’t fill yourself before the fire comes, it is too late, because in crisis your mind cannot take in new information. It is documented that people experiencing trauma sometimes have no recollection for days of what actually went on, or how they functioned. Their body just went into auto-pilot to essentially help them survive. I can certainly attest to the truth of this statement.
In my dad’s bible he had this written, “Do what you know to do, so you will know what to do!” My parents have always taught my sister and I the Lord’s ways since we were tiny babies. For many, many days, more like weeks after my father’s death, I could do nothing. I did not pray, sing, or read my Bible. But sometimes out of nowhere my mouth would just start singing a praise song. Honestly, I didn’t want to sing it, I didn’t feel like singing it, but there it was coming out of my mouth. What I discovered was the verse in Psalm to be true “I will
hide your word in my heart, and make it a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path, that I may not sin against you.” Because my parents and many others had spent time engraining in me the truths of the Word, when I needed them as the enemy attacked, they all came to my rescue flooding out all types of lies. I cannot imagine if I had not spent so many years in the Word, because even then I thought I might not recovery spiritually. I am still probably not where I need to be a hundred percent, but all that matters is that I know the one who can get me there.
I pray today, in the business of life,
you are taking time to store up the goodness of God’s Word. One day it will be the only thing left standing.