Whether you’re thirteen or nineteen, or somewhere in between, you are probably aware of options.
It becomes overwhelming. Take it from someone that overthinks and over-dreams.
There have been many moments where I come before God with a hand full of dreams and a hart full of faith. I think something needs to happen. I want it to happen.
If life can just go the way I have planned, I will be okay.
The other half of these moments is God removing certain dreams out of my head. The moments of Him redirecting my focus. Sometimes I might be fighting it.
It’s what I have always wanted. I thought I wanted it because it’s what God wanted.
My mind tends to reel as I try to rationalize my motives…because there’s part of me that might be scared of what God is doing.
Ultimately, God has a plan, and sometimes what I want to happen is not what He’s going to allow to happen. And that’s when we get disappointed.
I am afraid to give Him my dreams sometimes because I feel as though they won’t happen.
In the midst of the seasons of not wanting to give things up to God my mind has drifted off to pondering a verse and a story that puts things into perspective.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite characters in the bible, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
These guys are legends. Just from Daniel 3, I have so many things I want to talk about.
But I am going to focus on Daniel 3:16-18 and try to stay on track. 😉
So the story goes, that King Nebuchadnezzar built an idol and commanded for everyone to bow down and worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused.
And because of that the King was going to have them thrown into the furnace.
They give the most brave and faith-filled speech I have ever heard.
People have summed it up into this:
“And if not…GOD is still good.”
They’re about to be thrown into a fire. It’s the worst possible circumstance you could be facing. And they say this? What?
The key to trusting God, is choosing faith over fear.
“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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
I draw out three points from this…
1). Sometimes when you make choices, people will question them. When you are in God’s favor and living out His plan and are established in God: You don’t have to defend it.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, boldly told the king that they had no need to defend themselves. When you’re doing what’s right, the chances are the rest of the world, or the enemy himself is going to lie to you. The lies sometimes are disguised to sound like it’s yourself. Doubt keeps you from trust. Be bold in knowing who you are in Christ.
Being young, whether middle school high school or college, sometimes your focus shifts and changes. Sometimes people will persuade you from what you are feeling God is calling you to do. Stay firm in God’s peace.
2). Believe what you say. Verse 17: “…the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand…”
Technically, if they died they were still delivered from the Majesty’s hand. But, I think they all knew that God has a plan. Instead of freaking out and bargaining, they knew what could happen.
This scenario could have gone two ways. The first one is the way it went down.
The second way is how I think I would handle it…freaking out, knowing that God could maybe possibly do something to save me. But maybe *I* can figure my way out of this.
Because for all I know, God might actually have them kill me. So let *me* figure this out so that doesn’t happen. (Because that wouldn’t be cool.)
See the problem? Stop relying on yourself. This is difficult, because you don’t know the outcome. This is where the “even when you don’t want to” comes into play.
We have a track record of God being faithful. The bible says many times that God is faithful. Stories like this should be enough to let us know, “hey, it’s going to be okay.”
1st Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Where God has called you, He will not forsake you. We are in good company and fellowship. 🙂
In order to build trust, you have to trust. It’s where faith comes into action. It’s difficult because we don’t know if we’ll be thrown into a furnace. We have to trust that God will be faithful to those that are faithful to Him and those that are willing to be bold.
And my final point on Daniel 3, is this…
“And if not, God is faithful.”
Often times, we think God has let us down. The reality is, is that we sometimes are knocking at the wrong doors or seeking the wrong things. It’s not that they are bad, but it’s not where God wants us.
No matter how many plans we make, whether we make it or not: GOD IS STILL FAITHFUL.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego decided on God.
You’re either all in or not. Cold or you’re hot. There’s no in-between.
The verse before they boldly say that God will save them. The next verses leave me thinking, “did they actually believe it?”
And yes. Because they knew God, the same God that we know.
They knew that God is faithful, and no matter the outcome, God is still good.
Sometimes we are in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes we know what we want to happen but are afraid to give it to God because we are uncertain of the outcome.
But faith brings hope, hope brings reassurance, and where there’s reassurance, there is no room for fear.
Do not fear you future. It might look dim. But God is faithful.
Even if things don’t go the way we have planned, God is still good.