And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6
I read in the faith chapter this morning. I love the stories of people like me who believed in God and did what He asked by faith. I am pretty sure Abraham thought it was a bit crazy to leave everything he knew to go to a place he had never been before. (I bet there were strangers there, too.) But by faith, he went and God blessed him tremendously. I think about Esther when she faced the king to save her people, David facing that giant. Noah building the ark, and Rahab who hid the spies. My favorite story though would have to be about three fellas who didn’t let a mean king and the fate of a furnace get in their way of serving their God. Ok yes, I will tell you the story. So, hold on to your britches, because here we go.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (I know. You do not have to say it) lived back in the day where a king named Nebuchadnezzar built this golden image. He told all of the people they had to bow down and worship the image or whoever did not would be thrown in the fiery furnace. When the king got word that these three Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not fall down and worship his golden image he got his underwear all in a wad (I believe that is what it means when it says furious with rage) and called for them. He gave them another chance to worship his image, but made sure to tell them the consequence if they failed to do so. And then he says in Daniel 3:15, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
Here comes my favorite part. I wonder what it was like for these three in the moment they said, “do what you gotta do- we know God is able and He will deliver us from the fire. And even if He does not we ain’t movin”. I paraphrased for you. Look at that faith. Do you know what happens next? I can tell you that they did not get off the hook. (I also have no idea why we say that) Ole Neb throws them in the furnace and orders it to be seven times hotter. And here are these fellas bound thrown into the fire, and all of a sudden the king sees four people walking around unbound and unharmed! God showed up in that fire that day, all because three men with funny names knew that faith was bigger than any fire could ever be. I just love that story, and what it meant to take a stand. They stood on the very promise that God is able, and they only did that by faith.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 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 3:16-18
These past couple of weeks have been hard. Lots of loss, and a whole lot of change, and I am not a fan of either. I keep taking one step in front of the other believing God has this. Actually I know He has this because He always does. It is me that does not, and I continue to prove myself right on that one. I think mostly because of my lack of faith in all areas of my life. I say I believe until believing is all I have, and then that choice of faith or fear comes in the mix. Today, I choose faith.
So, by faith I will take another bite.
By faith I will take another step.
By faith I will forgive.
By faith I will trust.
By faith I will love.
By faith I will hold on to hope.
By faith I will choose joy.
By faith I will walk blindly.
By faith I will let go.
By faith I will rest knowing I do not have to figure it all out.
I want to ask you today what do you stand on? What do you hold on to when life throws you pumpkins instead of lemons? I was asked just the other day how big is God to me. He is bigger than anything I face, and I will believe that today. And by faith, I will take a step out of the boat.
Besides, we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7