What Will You Leave in the Fire?
Daniel 3:25King James Version (KJV)
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
This passage out of Daniel is very familiar to those who study the Word. The three captives of Israel who refused to worship the idol that King Nebuchanezzar made of himself, are faced with capital punishment for their convictions. They accept with grace and praise and find themselves tossed into a fire expecting death. Instead, they find life and testimony.
When their sentence was carried out, they were bound, fully clothed. They were not able to defend themselves in any way other than their faith. But, the king himself had to testify that when they were in the midst of the fire, they were free. And, when they came out, not only were they free, but they didn't even have the smell of the fire on them.
What stands out to me today, on this penultimate day of 2015 isn't their escape, but what they left behind. Trials can seem unforgiving and sometimes it's hard to remember that this too shall pass. Sometimes the trial that was designed to destroy us was just the tool to remove our bindings and set us free to worship.
But, when you're a child of the Most High King...when you've been born again, even bad things can be liberating. When we accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, we were given a promise that He would never leave us or forsake us and that the Father would not leave us comfortless. We can face the fires, the lions, the storms and everything else life throws at us with these guarantees. Further, we can expect not only the comfort and company of God Himself, but we can also expect that no matter the situation, it will be to our good (Romans 8:28).
If 2015 has been a trial, rejoice. Even what was lost is for your good. If it was stolen, it will be replaced, many fold. That's a promise from the Father. But if it was taken, don't go back looking for it. It may have been what was holding you back from entering into true worship.
We are about to enter a new year, but today is the new day we've all been given. Make the most of who you are and who you can be in Christ today. If you haven't accepted Him, stop fighting and yield. God loves you too much to give up, so you're going to keep meeting Him, no matter how hard you try to avoid Him.
If you've accepted Christ but haven't fully given yourself over, stop fighting and yield. There is so much more available in being sold out in Christ than what you find sitting on the fence being lukewarm.
If you've accepted Christ, are walking in obedience and faith, but still feel like there's something in the way, it's you. Stop fighting and yield. God is looking for those who will worship in spirit and in truth...not just in words and deeds. Quit trying to hold on to the very things that are keeping your worship tied up. Trust God enough to burn away what's unnecessary so you can dance with Him in the midst of the fire.
Philippians 4:4-13King James Version (KJV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
New Year's Eve service at Fellowship will be at 8:00 PM on Thursday with breakfast following. Come join us as we celebrate the goodness of God and thank Him for what He consumed in the fire and for how He polished us up for another year.
God's choicest blessings on you and your family in this new year.
Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.