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The Confidence to Walk Into The Fire

The Confidence to Walk into The Fire
    Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The kings command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. Daniel 3:19-23 (NKJV)
    In recent devotionals I have talked about Gods perfect path. About how we were in fact in the last days, and that God had a specific plan and path for each and every one of us, as long as we were willing to follow. I also spoke in one about how we were to pray for and serve our elected officials.
    Such was the case for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were obedient to the king and all that he asked until the King asked them to bow down to something other than the true and living God. They were devoted to God, and His calling upon their lives. They held fast to what they knew to be right, and they refused to bow down and worship images made of gold. And because of this, they were taken and bound and thrown into a burning fire.
    So here we see the principles of being a faithful Christian meeting with the circumstances of having to go against what God has commanded. The perfect storm of Satan converging on a believers faith, bringing the ultimate temptation upon them to flee from Gods commands to save their own lives.
    The story captured in the scriptures above is thousands of years old, and some would even say that they dont believe it, and that it is a fictional tale. But we can pick up our local paper today or go to the internet news and read that this sort of persecution it is still happening to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ. Just the other day, this is what was posted:
    In the Iraqi city of Mosul (ancient Nineveh), where violence and persecution has worsened dramatically in recent weeks. "More than 15,000 Iraqi Christians, or 2,500 families, have been driven out of Mosul over the past two weeks," reports the Christian Post. Officials in Mosul also reported that some 13 Iraqi Christians have been killed in the past four weeks and at least three Assyrian Christian homes were bombed on Saturday alone, according to the Assyrian International News Agency."
    Chances are, that we probably wont be faced with this in our lives here in America as a Christian believer, but we can sure learn from it. Having your life threatened is probably the worst-case scenario when deciding to follow God and being persecuted for it.
    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked into the fire confident that God would see them through this persecution by delivering them, or bringing them home to Him. We need to remember that this world is not our home, and that God has a specific plan for each of us. Being confident of this, we look at each situation knowing that God is with us and is working through us for the betterment of someone else as well as us.
    So how did the test that the three men endure help others? Well, lets take a look at how the scriptures record it.
    Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, Werent there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire? They replied, Certainly, O king. He said, Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods. Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here! So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 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 kings command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Daniel 3:24-28 (NKJV)
    Cool story huh? Hey Christian, know this, God is not just having us walk into the fires of life for His enjoyment. Others are watching and being witnessed to; theyre being saved and believing in God, and Jesus because of our tribulation. What a footnote on your life, that someone believed because of your willingness to be persecuted for your beliefs, and your willingness to be obedient to God alone.
    STUDY QUESTION: Can you see how God used Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to open King Nebuchadnezzars eyes?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to be used, even in persecution, to allow God to be seen and glorified?
    APPLICATION: Trust God in every situation that you face, even the ones where you are being persecuted. Know that He is using you as long as you are willing to be used.
    Father, I pray for all those people who are being persecuted for following You. I know that You have a plan and that You will use every situation for Your glory, and the betterment of those who need to know You for salvation. Help those who are enduring this persecution face this day, and provide for them all that is needed in their lives. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000