Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

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Daniel 3:17-18

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.

Behind the Scenes

Three men with strange and hard to pronounce names find themselves standing before a 90-foot-tall golden statue of their boss and are being commanded to worship it or die. There seems to be a pretty large cultural disconnect between this story and ours, but the more I think of it, maybe not… job performance for job security and provision for our families is a typical pressure many deal with daily.

The response from the men is remarkable. It demonstrates complete trust in God’s ability to save them from danger and a stable belief in Him, even if He does not. In defending their faith, they even provide a wicked burn (pun intended) to the king - your idol isn’t even good enough for second place! Even if our God fails to save us, we’re sticking with him! Even then, we won’t worship you! They wouldn’t bow to what was false, only who was true.  

If you’ve not read the whole story, please do. It is all of Daniel 3.

Make it Real

I witnessed something uncommon this weekend. A man found $20 in a quiet area of a public place. He walked around for several minutes asking people if they had lost money, folded in this particular way. Amazingly, no one claimed it.

The interesting principle they all displayed was this: I don’t know whose money this is, but I know it isn’t mine. What integrity by all involved! This is essentially what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to Nebuchadnezzar, “I know my God, and that’s not Him.” It would have been easy to bow in public but pray to God instead of the idol. You know, give the appearance of compliance but secretly use it for their own prayer time. But they didn’t budge.

These men were facing the question of whether God should be followed even if the result didn’t seem to be in their favor. Why would a person give up $20? Why would one risk the furnace? The answer has to be that God is worthy. Much like God’s answer to Job (38:4), “Were you there when I laid the foundations to the earth?” – God is so much greater than we are, has so much more power, so much more knowledge of the world – who am I to argue? As believers, we don’t do what we think we might get away with, we do what’s right. We don’t bow to what is false, but the One who is true.

As a result, they walked with God in the fire (not a metaphor). That is what prayer can be for us (metaphorically) when we face our own statues of our boss (again, metaphorical). Trust in God to receive our worship, commune with him, and trust that, regardless of the outcome, we will be safe with Him. Claim Who is ours, reject what is not. Do what’s righteous, not what’s easy. Our powerful God can handle the worst part for us when we’re faithful to meet him there.

End in Prayer

Father, prayer is how I walk through fire with you. May I be so confident in your presence that even if you don’t intervene the way I desire, I am aware of your goodness. Use prayer to keep my eyes focused on you, the only object of my worship. Call me to yourself, remind me of your character. Give me courage to act according to the faith I have in You. Amen.

Written by

Drew Ames

ACF Devo Team