The most powerful man on earth is no match for the God of heaven…who is in control? God rescues the boys from the king’s arrogance and wrath, and the king in turn acknowledges the greatness of their God and promotes them within the kingdom…
God can save…God will save…but even if He doesn’t. This story hits the can and will, but what about the “but even if He doesn’t”? Would you still trust Him? There seems to be two pit falls to avoid…on the one side, making it about the power of your faith. In other words, if you believe enough or have enough people praying for you then you will be healed or rescued from your current circumstances or whatever. The contra is also thought to be true…if you are not healed then something’s failed in regards to faith. We end up putting faith in faith. This pit fall fails to recognize that God in His sovereignty may choose not to act according to our definition of what’s best. He’s still God and He’s still good.
On the other side, interpreting the “but even if He doesn’t” as His inability to heal or rescue or whatever. This pit fall fails to recognize God’s power to do the impossible.
One other option…He just doesn’t care. I hope that if you’ve been with us through the Genesis series, you know that’s not true. He’s been pursuing us from the time we rebelled against Him in the garden. He’s gone to incredible lengths to demonstrate His love for you. “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Any one of these pitfalls can be disastrous to our walk. In the movie, God is not Dead, the professor makes the revealing statement that the most ardent atheists were once Christians who somehow disappointed by God. A sad commentary because it reveals that their god was different that Nebuchadnezzar…powerless, dependent on their whims and subject to their wills. That’s not the God of the Bible.
Hebrews 11, the hall of faith, paints a different picture. There are of course the folks who have accomplished the remarkable…closed the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, put foreign armies to flight, women received back their dead by resurrection. But then there are those who were persecuted, sawn in two, put to death with the sword, etc. dying in faith without having received the promises.
Peter, Paul and the rest of the apostles, as well as countless other saints throughout church history are testimonies to the “but even if He doesn’t”. In the book of Revelation, the hero is the martyr who does not love his life even unto death. And of course our greatest example is our Savior Himself who went to a cross. All trusted God and were unwavering in their faith, despite their current circumstances. Knowing the future of the earthly kingdoms, gave them the confidence to follow God under the rule of these earthly kings.
Jim Elliott famously said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
A reminder that we are talking about life here on planet earth…life in the physical realm this side of eternity…life in a broken, fallen world where pain and suffering and death are a reality. But if we have trusted in Jesus, we’ve already been rescued and reclaimed. We are citizens of the eternal kingdom, sons and daughters of the King of the universe. Spiritually speaking then, our God can and will because He has…Jesus has already defeated sin and death, He has already crushed the head of the serpent. We long for the day when we see that fully played out, when heaven and earth are reunited, when faith becomes sight, when the Rock becomes the mountain that fills the earth, when all is on earth as it is in heaven.
So where are you today? Are you taking bold risks for God, trusting that He can and will save you? But even if He doesn’t, are you still willing to follow Him, knowing that He is working out His good purpose for you? Who is that Nebuchadnezzar in your life that is waiting to see whether or not God is real based on your faithfulness to Him in impossible circumstances?
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Daniel series entitled Reclaimed. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster