We are about to come to some of my most cherished words of Scripture. These words are both inspiring and incredibly challenging.
Honestly, they are flat-out hard.
Nebuchadnezzar has gone from praising the God of Daniel to building a giant golden image and demanding everyone fall to the ground and worship it when they hear the music he orders played. (Dan 3)
This is a problem for the captive Jews who worship God alone.
Upon hearing of Daniel’s friend’s refusal to worship the golden image, Nebuchadnezzar is enraged, and has a fiery furnace prepared for them.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego tell Nebuchadnezzar that God is able to save from them from his fiery furnace, but even if He chooses not to do so, they still won’t worship his false gods.
Most of us have known this story since childhood. Some of us remember the felt boards in Sunday School.
But this account is true and so much more than a children’s story.
For to hold on and worship God, when you know He can easily do what you desperately want Him to do, BUT chooses not to do so…. is the mark of mature Christians who trust God more than they trust themselves.
So many, choose to walk away when God does things they don’t expect, they don’t like, or they don’t understand.
But the more we daily hold on to God in real relationship, the more we trust Him to work all things to good…even hard things.
Even gut-wrenching things.
The more we draw near to God through His Word and prayer, the less we demand He explain Himself to us and the more we realize His presence is enough to sustain us when all else seems to fail us.
For God is not a vending machine. He can’t be controlled or manipulated or even predicted.
And, honestly, would He be worthy of our worship if He could be?
He is God. Our human minds can’t begin to even define all that means.
And He is good.
The more we know that, the more we trust that, the more peace we will have.
Yes, Lord, YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done on earth as it is in a Heaven. (Matt 6:10)