I admire the fierce words of Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego (or Rack, Shak, and Benny thanks to Veggie Tales:), when King Nebuchadnezzar tried to make them bow down before the massive statue of himself. Their response to his decree was:
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King 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 deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 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.”
Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
These guys were seconds away from the fiery furnace, which was so hot that even the guards who were in charge of it fell dead from its heat. But The 3 hebrew children didn’t recoil or try to negotiate. They knew their fate; they understood what it meant if they publicly chose to reject the Kings’ demands. Sudden death was in front of them, burning right in their face and their resolve was unbreakable.
Some days I wish I had the same boldness; there are days that it’s super easy to declare how faithful we’ll be as a people unto the Lord. Other days it’s hard to formulate the right words to explain the very real and very difficult situations we find ourselves in.
Whether we are staring death and devastation right in the face, or whether we are feeling the licks of seemingly hellish flames at our heels- we are still given the option to choose where our allegiance lies.
We get to choose our allegiance.
Even on the days where everything seems to fall into place, or when plans and dreams that we’ve had in the deepest part of our hearts come all the way to reality, we get to choose. Not just in those moments, but ahead of time-we get to decide our response.
I love the old song by Horatio Gates Spafford entitled, “It Is Well With My Soul.” This song, though penned years ago gives us insight into how we can allow our soul to respond to even the darkest of situations that this life hands us.
“…Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well
It is well
It is well
With my soul”
Friend, can you say that with me today?
Just like the the 3 Hebrew children who were seconds from sudden death in the fiery furnace, we too can say that we will not give into fear or worship any other thing in this life. We too can declare without skipping a beat that, even if our God does not deliver us from these circumstances or trials or aches, our hearts will still beat only for Him. Our hearts and minds will be fixed on our Savior in trust because He is good, His mercy is new every morning, He is faithful, and He knows what He is doing.
That is a lot to swallow and digest.
What’s more is to live out each day, no matter what we face.
Even if your life seems as if it is getting darker before it gets lighter, He is still with you.
Even when it seems like the enemy is about to take his final blow, God is with you and will give you strength to endure.
In the middle of the fire, He is still there walking beside you. And all that gets put through the fire will always come out more refined, and even more brilliant than before.
Let’s remember that today friend.
We get to choose our response, and we get to live to tell of how Our God walked beside us through the fire every step of the way.