sheeesh here it is Thursday already and I have not even posted for the Session dvd!! Seem to be falling behind a bit - must be the heat, my thermometer just hit 108!!! Phew it's HOT and me and the heat are not great friends!
Speaking of heat, how about a chat about fiery trials! Most of us know the Bible story about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and how they were thrown into the fire God saved them and they were not harmed. The entire story is in Daniel 3. But let's focus on their attitudes right before they were thrown in.
Daniel 3: 17-18 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 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."
In the video, Beth Moore used scenarios to illustrate this point. We were to imagine the we have discovered a mass or a lump and that the doctor first says that in his experience it always comes back malignant. What do you do first?
Urgently pray for deliverance - pray for a miracle. This is the attitude of Daniel's friends in verse 17. They knew that God could save them from the fire, that He could rescue them. We need to have the same faith, and when we are faced with a trial we should pray to be rescued from it until we are told we will have to face it. In the scenario described by Beth Moore, we have prayed for it to be taken away and it is. God has performed a miracle, He puts out the fire right before we are thrown in!
Endure through the trial - What if that lump is not taken away but is proven to be cancerous? Then what? Then we have received an answer from God to our urgent prayer. Much like how Paul prayed for the thorn from his side to be removed, but it wasn't. We have to endure the trial and remain faithful. By enduring the trial our faith is refined. In this scenario, we battle the cancer and survive!
1Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
To die is gain - In the final scenario, we lose our battle with cancer. This is the attitude in verse 18 - we know that God can, but He may not and they would be in heaven with Him.
The words "to die is gain" are the NIV version of the following verse, but I prefer the NLT version because it really makes the point!
Philippians 1:21 For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better.Yes, if you are a child of God then dying is better than living! Beth Moore said it beautifully in the video, "the fact that we want to stay here shows our inability to grasp what awaits us. This scenario should be what we are most anxious for." She also said something like this "I will believe in God until the last breath and then know that He must be anxious to see me!". Until that last breath we should be praying for that miracle, praying for healing and understanding.
When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire they were bound in ropes. These ropes were the only things that were consumed by the flames. When we are going through a trial there are sins that bind us. We need to pray for knowledge and understanding of the sin that binds us so that we can be free from that which binds us.
In His presence
Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.Beth Moore explained that in verse 28 the translation for the word "trusted" is the only time the word is used in scripture! The description of the word includes "to lave, to bathe self, to wash self. The connection is a servant at the temple baths waiting to cleanse. So to trust to be attended, to be cleansed". Therefore the best way to trust that you can endure a fiery trial is to literally bathe yourself in God's presence.