I AIN'T DONE - Believe for the suddenly, prepare for the process
As we face challenges in life - we should always be ready to “STAND” fast and believe God for His sudden intervention - yet, we should also “STAY” prepared for His strategic involvement.
Here’s what I'm getting at...
Believe for the suddenly, prepare for the process.
By the suddenly I mean: Something immediate.
By the process I mean: Something strategic, or what otherwise might be looked at as something delayed - or a journey.
Does that make sense enough?
We are going to dig into this some.
I believe that by having a healthy understanding of both, “the suddenly” and “the process” we will experience with God an increase in faith, trust and wisdom.
As we progress together in this post, we are going to take a look at a very popular story from the Bible and we are going to examine the display of these 2 key points at work...“the suddenly and “the process”.
In Daniel chapter 3 we find three brave Hebrew men who defied an order to bow down and worship a huge golden statue made by King Nebuchadnezzar, despite the fact that it was declared by the king that those who refused to bow down and worship the statue - would be thrown into a blazing furnace.
King Nebuchadnezzar confronts these 3 men in Daniel 3:13-15...
"Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”
You see, when the trials we face first come to us - one thing the enemy will seek to accomplish is to cripple our faith. Just as we see King Nebuchadnezzar trying to do in the above text with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
If the enemy can cripple our faith, then he gains a foothold by which to maneuver and gain progress in his work against us.
After all, faith in the spirit says, I own something - though I may not see it yet or have physical possession of it yet.
According to Eph. 6, we see this picture of the hurling of fiery arrows from the enemy, against our shield of faith.
How’s your shield of faith holding up?
Have you taken blows against your life of fiery arrows from the enemy...maybe even recently?
If so, I speak STRENGTH to you! I declare this word to bring STRENGTH to you in Jesus Mighty Name!
Let's get back to our story...
So, the king is saying to these 3 men, I’m going to give you another chance to bow down to and worship my statue, yet if you refuse, you will be thrown into the fiery furnace!
Let’s hear what these brave souls had to say about all this...
Daniel 3:16-17, "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."
One way I look at this is as such..., Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God was able to rescue them without delay!
If anybody needed a suddenly miracle, I think these guys in their situation qualified.
Going deeper...2 things have occurred here.
The king (or in our experiences in life - the enemy) has made a threat.
Those threatened (in this case Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), were not shaken - they were not moved!
So, what happens next?!!
Let's look at verse 18.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego declare to King Nebuchadnezzar, "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.”
Here's what jumps out to me in verse 18...
"But, even if He doesn’t…"
Have you ever had such faith that you have stood in the middle of a challenge and said this very thing? “Even if God doesn’t...I’m not movin’... I Ain’t DONE!
Sometimes though - instead of acting in faith, as God would want us to during the challenges we face, I think what happens at times, is that subconsciously we want God to take pity on us. After all...the fire in the arrows from the enemy is hot! And it’s like, possibly we’re afraid sometimes like God won’t come through, or that He’s taking too long...when really it just may be that there is more for us to do, or maybe God is choosing to do something different that what we are expecting of Him! (That never happens, right? WRONG!)
Know this, God is not required to work in our situations in a given way nor by a particular timeframe. (mic drop...)
When God says to hold up your shield of faith against the fiery arrows of the devil, that’s exactly what He is asking US to do, what HE does in response is entirely up to Him.
Let's move on to verse 19 and see what King Nebuchadnezzar does next.
"Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual."
Why 7 times hotter???
Why not just simply twice as hot?
Let’s look at an interesting parallel for a moment.
Matthew 12:43-45 says, "When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”
Here’s the way I look at it, when the enemy sees that your faith in God is solid and you’re not moving...he will come on stronger.
He’ll heat up the fire seven times hotter, he’ll get seven more demons more wicked than the first...
You know, the enemy doesn’t really want to play games...he wants to steal, kill and destroy.
Let's find out how the story ends for King Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Daniel 3: 20-28, "Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke! Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."
Friends, here is your takeaway…
What do you do when YOU are threatened and challenged by the enemy?
First, you STAND and pray in faith and you believe God for the suddenly, an immediate turn around - just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did.
Yet, if the battle intensifies or continues…
You STAY / prepared for the process, even if thrown in the fire - because God is asking one thing of us - to REMAIN (John 15 says if you remain in me and I in you, you may ask what you desire using my name and I will do it!)
When the enemy brings the fight to you, you don’t run.
When the battle becomes long, you don’t quit.
We may be tempted to quit and we may feel like we are tiring out at times. But, I guarantee to you - not in my own words, but according to the Word of God, that if you REMAIN in the midst of your battles and you don’t quit or deviate from God’s direction - you WILL see the hand of the Lord move in a powerful way!
Say to the enemy…
I believe that my God is able, and even if He does something different than what I’m expecting - I will continue to stand in faith and I will stay - I'm immovable - because my God is the solid rock on which I stand, so I’m not bending or breaking - I AIN’T DONE!!!