Dance in the Fire!

IMG_1025I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 of the Bible. These three men made a decision that had enormous consequences.

They were ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to worship a golden statue he had set up. If they refused to bow and worship his idol, they would die for their disobedience.

They chose to disobey the king.  The backlash to their decision was that they were immediately ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to be thrown into a fiery furnace. The king was so angry that he even instructed the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.

When they were thrown into the flames, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saved them.  The King jumped to his feet because he could clearly see four men walking around in the fire. That was as I would say, “Unreal!”. How could there be four men walking around in the fire when only three tied up men were thrown into it?

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be in that fire! To be thrown into the fire, to be alive and not burning, to have your chains fall off, and then for God to join you – that would make any person dance for joy in the fire!  I would look at my hands and feet and laugh and dance! Even more incredible would be that my God joined me in the fire!

Here is what the Bible said King Nebuchadnezzar’s response was:

Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out!  Servants of the Most High God, come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When they came out, the governors, assistant governors, captains of the soldiers, and royal advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies. Their hair was not burned, their robes were not burned, and they didn’t even smell like smoke!

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire!  These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own.

So I now give this command: Anyone from any nation or language who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn apart and have his house turned into a pile of stones.  NO OTHER GOD CAN SAVE HIS PEOPLE LIKE THIS.”  (Daniel 3: 26-29 NCV)

The God of the Bible has not changed.  He is the still the same God.  No matter what fire you are thrown into God will immediately free you and join you in the fire – you can dance in the fire!  You will dance in the fire!

There is always a battle in our minds – fear, doubt, and uncertainties try and rule us. Those thoughts are lies!  The truth is God’s Word! The real truth is that God will join you in any fire you are thrown in and you will dance in the fire!

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ReCaLcuLaTing


GPS“Recalculating … recalculating … recalculating … recalculating … recalculating … recalculating!”
 

The voice of my GPS kept reminding me over and over and over again that I did not take the street it had planned for me to take.

On a visit to Moncton, New Brunswick, I arrived earlier than I had anticipated so I decided to drive around and explore. I drove wherever I wanted to with no destination in mind.  

I left my GPS on and after about the tenth time it said, “Recalculating!”, I told it to be quiet. Sometimes I talk to my GPS. I then laughed because even though the GPS voice was annoying, I love my GPS! It keeps me on track and gets me to where I need to go without the major headache of trying to follow a paper map while driving. 

Just as I was thinking about loving my GPS, I had another thought speak loudly and directly into my heart leaving one of those impressions I will never forget. 

The thought was that no matter how many times I take a wrong path, God is like my GPS. When I go the wrong direction, He instantly recalculates and creates the plan for my life to still lead me to where He planned for me to go – to the destiny He created me for.

I can stray one kilometer or 500 kilometers off the path; it doesn’t matter how far. God will never give up on me and continues to recalculate and point the way.

Sometimes I have purposely chosen to disobey God and have strayed miles off course; He still led me back. Other times pain or hurt have caused me to be afraid, and I steered off course to try and avoid the pain because of my lack of trust in God’s ability to give me the strength to persevere in spite of pain and hardship.

Many times I have strayed from the path for just a short little distance only to quickly take the next street when I hear “recalculating” and veer back into the right direction. There have been times I didn’t quite understand where I was supposed to go and never purposely or intentionally strayed from the path but inadvertently got a little lost.  God still lovingly smiles and grabs my hand saying, “Recalculating.” 

I can see God’s smile; it is the most awesome smile you will ever see with love beaming from eyes that love you more than you can ever imagine. My Heavenly Father knows me intimately and knows how desperately I need Him to hold my hand and show me the way. My Heavenly Father knows without Him I am so lost.

Other times when driving my car, the GPS recalculates because of construction on the highway or I ask it to recalculate because of an accident. Events occur that are not in my hands to resolve that take me down a different path. I wonder if that happens in the spiritual too? Other people’s decisions to not go where God tells them to go may mean that God recalculates my path. What an amazing mind God has! 

” ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)

I have also noticed when using my GPS that when I am by myself, I rarely make a mistake in where I am going. I clearly hear the directions and focus on going where the voice is leading me. However, when I have someone else in the car with me and we get talking and laughing, I often hear the words “recalculating”. 

You can have clear directions being told to you but because of being inattentive to the voice you can still miss a turn in the road.

God is so very faithful and loves me so much! He always over and over and over and over again recalculates my path so that I am continually being drawn to Him, His plan, His purpose and His destiny for my life. 

I am thankful for my GPS but so much more thankful for God. He is an awesome God who never gives up and teaches me and loves me when I just don’t get it right. He always cheers me on and says, “Esther, you will get there! Just trust me. Listen to my voice. I know the plans I have for you, and I love you!” 

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