Tuesday, February 21, 2006

But Even If He Does Not....

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego make a tremendous statement of faith in Daniel 3. They affirm that the God we serve is able to do amazing things -- beyond anything we can ask or imagine.

But what they say next is arguably one of the greatest statements in the Bible. It reveals a depth of trust that I wish I had and hope to achieve one day. Here's what they say:

"But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:18).

Even if he does not. We know he can; that's not even a question. Of course he can. He has before. But even if he does not....

We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations. There are things about which we've all said to God, "Okay, God, I'm stuck here. You've got to help me. I know you can, so anytime you're ready...."

But what if he doesn't?

Is my devotion to God tied to what he will do for me?

If he doesn't deliver the way I thought he would, will my devotion to him dry up?

Have you ever thought through THAT situation -- you know the one -- and said to God, "I know you can do this, but even if you don't, I want you to know that I'm not going to leave this faith, I'm not going to bow my knee to something else"?

Can you say with Job, "Even if he kills me, I'll still trust him"?

Wow, that's a hard call. I want to focus on his ability to do great things for me. I don't want to think that it might serve some higher purpose for him not to come to my rescue.

Several hundred years after Daniel and his friends, another man found himself in a life-or-death situation. And he, like Daniel and his friends, prayed to God. He said, "Surely, there's got to be a way out of this. There's got to be another way, an easier way."

He prayed that prayer so fervently that his sweat came like blood.

But he finished that prayer by saying, "God, I know you're able to come up with another way, but even if you don't -- I won't walk away from you or my commitment to do your will."

And later that day, he joined with Job in saying, "Even if he kills me, I'll still trust him."

I know God is able. I think most people reading this blog believe God is able. That's not the question.

The question is: Have you ever thought through your worst case scenario and said, "Even if he doesn't..."?