Is your faithfulness to God dependant on life's circumstances? Are you faithful when things don't go your way? Are you faithful when you are sick? Are you faithful when you are depressed? Are you faithful when you are busy? Are you faithful when you're low on money? Are you faithful when faithfulness is inconvenient?
Is your faithfulness to God dependant on life's circumstances? Pretty thought provoking question, huh?
The book of Daniel tells the story of God's people in a foreign, ungodly land with an ungodly king. Three specific godly men are followed in the book, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These 3 men, in the wicked land of Babylon, are commanded to worship the king instead of God, and if they do not, they are threatened to be throwin into the fiery furnace. The repsonse of these three men is absolutely fascinating to me--
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
What an incredible example of faithfulness. 'our God will deliver us.. but even if he doesn't, we will be faithful to Him.' These men were so dedicated to God, and God's expectations, that nothing, not even burning alive, was going to keep them from being faithful to the Lord.
This account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego makes me think hard about my own faithfulness, and that of the church in America today. The reality is, we are in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's shoes every day. Every day, we make the choice of what comes first-- our faithfulness, or something else. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego chose faithfulness over life. For them, faithfuness came first. Is our faithfulness first? I am afraid that all too often our faithfulness takes a back seat. Our faithfulness falls in second place our problems, our preferences, our jobs, our health, our politics, our temptations, our schedules, and our friends.
Think about Daniel 3 today. Allow these 3 men to inspire you today. If you are unfamiliar with the end of the story, God appeared in the furnace with them, and they came out unharmend. These three men knew that God could and would deliver them, but even if God chose not to, they were going to remain faithful. '
Choose faithfulness over evrything else. God promises to take care of the faithul. God can and will see you through. But even if He doesn't, choose faithfulness.