the day to step into the fire.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!’ Then, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the midst of the fire.” Daniel 3:26 NASB
We will be tempted, taunted, and teased as followers of Christ. Unless we live in total isolation, in a bubble, or in a box – which few of us do – our faith in God will come under pressure on a daily basis.
Most of us will insist that our faith is strong enough to withstand the toughest test. But what if we were confronted with the same situation that Nebuchadnezzar put in front of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
When Nebuchadnezzar ordered that everyone should bow down and worship the 90 foot tall gold statue he had set up in the province of Babylon, those three men refused. It is safe to say that Nebuchadnezzar was incensed and gave them one more opportunity to do as he ordered. Their refusal would result in the three of them being bound and thrown into a furnace. When that final refusal came, “Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.” (Daniel 3:19 NLT).
The furnace was so hot that the soldiers who had been commanded to throw the three bound men into it were killed by the heat as they did so.
Nebuchadnezzar looked on as the three men walked around in the furnace, unfazed and unaffected by its heat. After he called them out, everyone who was watching noted that they had not been touched by the fire. “Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.’” (Daniel 3:28 NIV).
Throughout history, many people have chosen death, or the prospect of death, rather than cave in to the pressures brought to bear as followers of Christ, and in some parts of the world, people still die because of their faith in Christ and their refusal to worship or serve any god other than God.
It takes complete trust in God to face what all of these brave men and women face with no fear. Those three men were confident that God would save them from the furnace “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18 NASB).
Let us all pray for a faith so strong, and a trust so great that we, too, can face whatever challenges to our faith may come before us. Let us pray that we would be willing, and that we would be able, to step into the fire. You will find that God will keep you safe so you can step back out again.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson