God is a big God, who does big things. We are right to believe and ask for big things, “for with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27). Sometimes, I forget how big God is and I try to help Him out a bit, by making my prayers not so impossibly big. I have a feeling, however, when we find out what God is truly willing, able and wanting to do, it will be a palm-to-the forehead moment for thinking and asking so small. I’m wondering if we hold back, because we are not “convinced”; we hold back, “just in case” we go out on a limb and He doesn’t meet us there…and others will see. After all, we could look and feel foolish. Worse yet, if He doesn’t deliver in a tangible way that affirms us, it may do serious damage to our faith. These are conscious and subconscious “fears” I grapple with, and they certainly run contrary to the joy and freedom the Lord intends us to live in.
What if, however, we were able to push through our fears and recklessly, brazenly, audaciously trust God so much, that we didn’t even need to see our prayers answered? What if we were to hope in God so much, that no matter what He did or did not do, our faith in Him would not waiver?
In this week’s Pause Bible Reading Plan, we read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, and we witness that kind of faith. Knowing the king intended to throw them into the “seven-times-hotter” fiery furnace, these three men did not allow their faith to waiver, regardless of the outcome. They knew what their God was able to do, and they proclaimed it boldly; they had great faith and amazing hope.
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).
That statement proclaims audacious faith. Their hope may have “seemed,” at first, that it was in God to deliver them from their death sentence (which I’m sure was part of it). But then they said, “But if not.” This reveals that their true hope was not in what God was able to do, their hope was God! Because their hope was in the right place, they were not afraid (to go out on a limb); their faith did not waiver, and they WERE able to see one of the many big things our big God is willing, able and wanting to do!
I invite you to click on the link below and spend the next four minutes, eyes closed, listening and letting this truth sink in.
MercyMe – “EVEN IF”
Pastor Tyler Shaw