4 May 2017

But even if He doesn't



I've had much to learn in life
 but if I had to pick one that was most profound 
it has to be this line found in the book of 
 Daniel 3:18,
"but even if He doesn't"
In reading this line what strikes me the most is the resilient faith that was demonstrated by these boys in this teaching and even more mind blowing, how unconditional it was.
I grew up in a Christian home "doing church" and my parents were very involved in ministry. However my understanding of the faith itself is one that I have had to personally develop and grow over the last couple of years. There is still a vast majority of stuff that I don't know but then again that is the beauty found in this journey we are on, I am on, to keep on learning.
For many years, I conducted my relationship with God on the basis of conditions.
I thought once I was His child all I had to do was be good and He would give me good gifts (like Santa Clause) and ultimately I praised Him only if He got me out of the fire.
If He didn't, I questioned if He was still good?
Obviously growing as that is part of the faith journey I've come to learn that,

... He gives me good gifts because He loves me and that's who He is and I don't have to strive for a single thing ...

but before coming to this revelation I had lived out a length of my life with the ideology that it was a 'tit for tat' kind of relationship.
In July 2015 I graduated from University and began my hunt for the "perfect job".
Not long after, God spoke to me about what I ought to have been doing in that particular season (September 2015 onwards) and I took the leap of faith and was obedient to his call (completed Audacious School of Ministry in August 2016).
Responding to the call initially was not immediate but obedience for me was not an option.
However, if I'm honest in the back of my mind I thought surely my obedience is also going to pay off, somehow. Much like a child who is exceptionally GOOD before Christmas in the hope of getting their checklist ticked off by Santa Clause, that was me.
I basically thought since I've been obedient this is going to be a smooth sail and whilst I'm on this ride I'm sure God is going to throw in a few favours, like the dream job etc.
F O U R months in and the road started to looked hazy.
This is not what I had signed up for!
 Oh I can tell you even up to this day I still think that was the toughest season I ever had to go through in my life thus far and I wish I could say with each passing day it got better, it did not!
Ironically this was the very same season I had been called into so you would think it would come without any suffering but it did.
I felt like the boys, remember the boys in the fire, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
They were exactly were God had purposed them to be yet even so faced a fiery furnace and their words in Daniel 3:18,

"If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. But even if he doesn't, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.”

so inspiring yet I can only wish that was how I too declared my faith.
Instead I mourned and asked God where He was, what rescue plan He had sort in place and when He was planning on executing it. Like, hello.
Yet I don't think a big rescue plan was the kind of deliverance that would save me because what I needed was a complete renewing of my mind and unless God had changed my way of thinking towards my relationship with Him, He could have delivered me from the blazing furnace but like a dog that goes back to its vomit so would I.
I would have never known what it is to have the kind of faith that says,
because remember for many years of my life I had lived out with the ideology that God was my Santa Clause.
With that said, I am mindful that as we go through everyday life it is so easy to box God into the parameters of our thinking, time frames and ideologies but then;
if He doesn't heal our dying relative, is He still God?
if we don't get the job in our timing, is He is still good?
Say he doesn't come in the shape or form that we imagined, will we recognise him?
 Daniel 3:24-25 goes on to read,

"Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, “Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?”

They answered, “Yes, we did, Your Majesty.”
“Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?” he asked. “They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt—and the fourth one looks like an angel."

I would have thought it would have been more ideal had God turned up before the boys jumped into the fiery furnace yet He was with them the entire time just not how human nature would have normally perceived.
Besides, whether God had turned up before or after the boys had already decided that this would not change their faith. Their hope was in the finished work of Jesus Christ (whatever that looked like).
Shall this be the same hope we have.
Thank you for your readership.
Be blessed.

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