Monday, March 18, 2013

A PLACE I WANT TO BE

One of my favorite events of The Bible describes a place of maturity in my Christian walk that I desire to acquire.  The passage is Daniel 3.  The account is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the Fiery Furnace.

Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar called a meeting of all his "big-wig" officials.  Before this meeting, the King had a statue built in his likeness and a decree transcribed to convey that anyone who did not worship King Nebuchadnezzar or his image at the sound of music would be killed by being tossed into a fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - who were really Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Daniel 1:6-7) - were three Jewish administrators appointed by the King at the request of Daniel over the province of Babylon (Daniel 2:49).  They heard the decree but were not going to bow the knee.  Then some "astrologers" (interesting category of palace people) came forward and called-out these three Jews on their disobedience to King Neb.  

When the three Jews were summoned before Nebuchadnezzar, the King seemed to want to give them another chance and make sure he was clear to them on the consequences (Daniel 3:14-15).  The Jewish response is where I want my maturity level to be with all my major mental, physical, and spiritual challenges in life.

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." - Daniel 3:16-18

There are times in life when we may think we are not given a choice in a matter.  With the Jewish Three they knew where they stood with their God going into the situation.  They had a Holy Confidence about them that placed their trust and decision-making totally in the hands of their God.  It is so important to know who you are as a Believer in Christ!  There are so many additional benefits to being called a Child of God through faith in Christ Jesus!  What impresses me so much is that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not have Jesus walking with them as the Disciples did years later.  These men had a faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob via a faithful track record to rely on as their foundation.

Now-a-days, Believers in Christ have the power of the Holy Spirit available to them in their daily lives.  His power, strength, confidence and inexhaustible benefits are ours to be tapped into.  Too many times when challenges come my way I get easily flustered and distracted by the details of the problem or issue and forget that I can go into any situation just like The Jewish Three did - boldly, knowing who they were in God and leaving the decision (all the way to death) in God's hands.

I can hear Paul's words in his second letter to Timothy now.....For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7  
Now I need to remember to act on that!  Amen.