Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Smoke Free in the Fire Zone

Daniel 26-30
"Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon."

This is the word God gave me this morning as I was struggling. Today held for me the possibility of my life changing in a very drastic, very sad way. I went to bed in prayer, thanking God for every second I have been able to spend in this. I woke this morning again in prayer before I even opened my eyes. I asked God to please speak something to me, show something to me, that would just fill me with peace. I leaned over and grabbed my Bible and opened it and this is what He delivered.
You see, I had been playing scenes out in my mind, different ways that this situation could go. I was praying, but I wasn't relying on God and I wasn't really thankful for the situation, either. I mean, don't you sometimes find it hard to be thankful for the struggles of this world? I know I do. And I really like to just hold on to them and try to determine what to do alone, in my own power and then tend to go to Him after I mess it up. But there it was......I picked up the Bible....I closed my eyes, opened it, laid my finger down and BAM!
The fire (my struggle) had no power over those men (me)!! Not a hair was singed, not a stitch of clothing marred or burned, there was no harm over them! Why? BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO WORSHIP ANY OTHER GOD!!!
I realized that in a sense, I was worshipping this situation. I was allowing the situation, not God, to control me, my thoughts, my actions. In that moment, I laid it at the cross. I apologized to God and I gave it to Him....I mean really gave it to Him. I thanked Him for whatever the outcome should look like, and I determined that I would still glorify His name, I would still love Him and I would still cling to Him no matter the outcome. I would still be thankful, even in this storm.
Do you know that God showed up in such a mighty way that even I was shocked. I stepped out of the situation and allowed Him room to do His thing and oh how He delivered! Not only did I get put in my place about the worshipping of idols, but also reminded that His grace is always sufficient and it isn't just for me! He is in the business of forgiveness and second chances and if I am to serve Him and love Him and honor Him, well I had better be about His business!
So today....a new beginning has bloomed. A new season that I can only hope I can to walk in the way to bring glory and honor to His name.
Lord I just thank You so much for Your always perfect arrival. You arrive on time and You always provide in just the right way, even when it looks nothing like I had envisioned, or even thought about. Father I love You and I am so very thankful that You have such patience with me, that You remind me so gently, yet so powerfully, Who is always, always in control. Nothing surprises You. Therefore, nothing should worry me. I love You Father and I just stand in awe of You. Please help me run this race strong and with integrity and that You keep before me Your gentle ways that I may grow to be more like You. Jesus I thank You!