Most of us at one point or another will experience a challenge or temptation that puts a demand on our resolve and commitment to our values. It will bring the focus of our worship and spiritual direction to a pinnacle.
At the core of that crossroads tension is not only whether we have decided what is worth living for but what is worth dying for. What will we lay our self down for?
Three boys in the Bible teach us a lot about faith, about facing worse case scenarios and about real worship.
Their story is found in the book of Daniel, chapter 3. They are sentenced to being burnt alive in a furnace for making a stand and not changing the affection of their worship.
They made a courageous decision that even in the very worst-case scenario, death by being burnt alive, they would not give into the King’s demand to reject their faith in God.
When these three boys made a commitment not to bow down to the King, they believed God would save them, but even if He didn’t, they would not bow down.
They were ultimately committed to their God through faith.
You see, happy endings are easy to put our faith in, but what if God requires a higher faith, faith in Him regardless of the outcome.
For me, I absolutely believe in God’s ability to heal me, but ultimate faith begs the questions, “even if He doesn’t, will I believe and follow Him until the end?”
These three boys have taught us that we can live with the dichotomy of full assurance in God’s goodness and full commitment no matter the outcome: ultimate faith.
Not only that, but these three boys decided that staying true to themselves and the God they served was worth dying for.
How practical is this in our everyday life?
Well, when you have learned to die to self, you can then live for others.
Die to the demand to succeed at any cost and live with a desire for the best for others.
Die to the demand of temptation to adultery and live with a fresh commitment to your spouse.
Die to the desire to hit back and live with an ability to turn the other cheek.
Die to the insatiable demand for more and live with a seeking for opportunity to give.
Die to personal freedom and live to emancipate others.
Die to judging and live with a heart to accept and forgive.
It is only in facing death head on that we can begin to live life full on. This is where death, literally and figuratively speaking truly looses its sting, it’s power, it’s dread, it’s fear.
I wonder what fiery furnace is challenging your core beliefs today?
Maybe it’s time to put more faith in your God than in the immediate threat, maybe it’s time to accept that only as we refuse to bow down, refuse to change the object of our worship, God alone, that we will see breakthrough.
Only when we can come to terms with worst case scenario can we be assured that He will be with us through the fire, through the pain and gives us rest and peace in the face of death.
Live fully today! Live by faith.