Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Being Roasted Alive For Risking Romance

Suggested Reading: Daniel 3:1-18 (or read the whole story here)

In the 90's television series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, a driving force for the show was the question of when Lois and Clark would finally get together. As the moment approached and Lois and Clark began emerging as a couple, Lois got very scared and considered pulling out because she didn't want to risk losing Clark as her best friend if their relationship didn't work out. As they talked, Clark admitted that he was also scared, but the possibility of what they could be together motivated him to move forward. Eventually Lois agreed and they continued with their romantic relationship.

But the idea of deciding between the possibility of pain or the potential of adventure and its rewards is not a new one. In the book of Daniel three young men faced that choice themselves when Nebuchadnezzar ordered everyone to bow down and worship the idol he had set up or be tossed into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to choose between being guided by the possibility of pain and death if they obeyed God's law or the potential adventure and rewards if they were faithful and God chose to rescue them. When given one final chance to choose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up" (Daniel 3:16-18, NLT).

In very clear terms, these men stated the choice between the "certainty" of death and the possibility of rescue. Knowing God could deliver them was enough to motivate them, but they acknowledged the real possibility that God might not choose to do so. For these three men, fear of pain and death could not keep them from obeying God's commands because the potential to see God rescue them was worth any risk.

What about you? When facing a decision, especially when obeying God might cost you, are you motivated by potential or held back by fear? Is knowing that God can do the miraculous good enough for you or does the possibility that God might not hold you back? God is able to deliver. Will you give God the chance or will you miss out because of fear?

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