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. Daniel 3:17-18
I’ve had the opportunity to be both a child and parent. Typically when I approached my parents, it was not a random conversation, which seldom took place, so I could get something from them. I talked to my parents daily and they talked to me. My son and I talk each day. We talk about his life, his day, his dreams, his fears, even things that may seemingly seem small and insignificant. We have actual conversation, where I am talking to him and he is talking to me. We have developed a relationship. As his mom, I know what he has need of and many times I will take care of things prior to him asking. But if he asks me for something and I decide not to give it to him, if I choose not to give him what he wants, it does not change that he is my son. He can stomp and get mad, but he will always be my son.
God is so merciful and so kind. Often times, we select scriptures to have answers to our prayers, such as praying in Jesus’ name. Additionally, often times when we approach God, we are approaching him with a hand out and asking Him to do this and do that. When our prayer is not answered in the manner we expected after using select scriptures and believing for a short time, there is disappointment that takes place and we are tempted to think God doesn’t care about us or may even go as far as He’s not real.
We read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the book of Daniel. In the third chapter, we see the guys have run into a situation where they are again not falling in line with the Babylonian king. They were to fall down and worship the golden image. The king called the guys to him and told them at the appropriate time, fall down and worship the image and everything would be cool. If not, in that same hour, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace and then asked them, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
The guy’s response was that God had the ability and would deliver them. But even if He did not, they would still not worship the image. The guys were resolute and trusted God. The lesson I appreciate is they had made a decision to stick with God and had a made up mind that even if they were not delivered, it did not negate the fact that God was still God. Facing a fiery death, their mind was made up to stay with God.
Obviously, this did not sit well with the king and he had the furnace turned up seven times higher than it was originally. When they took the guys bound into the fire, the furnace was so hot that the men who took them to the fire, were killed. The king, looking into the furnace, saw four men, loose walking around versus the three dead bound bodies. The fire had no power over the guys – they didn’t even smell like smoke.
The miracle that took place caused the king to turn to God and worship Him.
Are you expecting God to be a genie and only approach Him when you want something? Or do you trust Him to be God our Father? When you don’t get what you want, when life doesn’t turn out how you expected, will you still trust God? Regardless of how bad it gets, will you stay with God? Will you stay with Him when you see people who do not trust Him getting further along than you? Do you have an absolute resolve that no matter what, you’re going to stay with God?
In turn, who will watch your resolve and be drawn into the Kingdom?