Sermons

← back to list

Aug 08, 2021

A Dependent Faith

A Dependent Faith

Passage: Daniel 3:1-18

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Ignite

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: sermon, ignite, bible study, gods will, fiery furnace, what is faith, what do i do, king nebuchadnezzar, how to be saved, grow faith, daniel chapter 3, gods promises, shadrach meshach and abednego, fiery furnace in bible, how to have faith, gods ability, in the fire, dealing with difficulties in life, prayer for deliverance

As we explore places in scripture that contain fire, we come across the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace. God never asks us to put faith in our ability, and it’s not focused on our desires or outcome when dealing with difficulties in life. He reminds us in Philippians and James that our faith is placed in His ability and His promises. We too often try to treat God like a genie, who’ll grant our wishes, and we see in this bible study that God works according to His will. Conversely our trust in Him is not dependent on God granting every request we make, but it’s founded in His eternal steadfastness and truth. Let’s face it, when life is tough, God will not always prevent us from being in the fire, but He will preserve and grow us through the fire. Are you going through a fire right now in your life? Does it seem that you are stranded and alone? Then reach out, we’d love to pray with you and help you see that God is with you in the midst. BurntHickory.com/next

Some walk up music and a song like that and there's no telling where we're going to go this morning. I mean, come on, things are hopping, and classic service and modern and man, God is so, so good. Well, hey, last week, we started a new series that we've been titled Ignite. And what we're doing is we're looking at some moments in the Bible that God uses fire to ignite a passion, a love to direct or to move or to judge or just to show himself in an incredible way and what we've been doing and what we're going to continue to do, is to ask God to ignite some things in our heart, because there's nothing worse than just a cold Christian that just calls themselves nothing that doesn't want to live anything and doesn't want to move anywhere, or just to be on fire for the Lord. So, what we're going to do over these next weeks, we're looking at some of the most epic stories in the whole Bible, if you grew up like me, a child of the 80s, amen. If you grew up like me on the flannel boards of life, these are the ones right, that had the pictures, you could slap up on that magical thing and you knew what was going on. Last week, we started with Moses. And we looked at Moses in Exodus chapter 3, and we watched God show up in this burning bush to direct him, to direct his faith, to call him into this relationship to depend on him to lead God's kids. Well, this morning, we're going to jump later in the Bible to one of probably the best-known accounts in it all of the Old Testament, and we're going to look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Alright? Or if you grew up in veggie tale land, Rack, Shack and Bennie, right? We're going to look at the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, out of Daniel chapter 3. So, if you got a Bible, if you got a copy of Scripture, you're going to want to get there today, we're going to read a ton of text. Alright? And I want you to be able to follow. As you're getting there, let me give you some context. In Daniel 3, we find ourselves in Babylon. Now Babylon don't get confused, like where's Babylon? Babylon doesn't exist anymore, physically, but it kind of does, in metaphorical language. Babylon is what is now modern-day Iraq. It is the country, that is the place, the geography of where Babylon is present. Now Babylon, anytime you read it in the Bible, you can kind of associate it with evil, you can associate it with worldliness of culture, that is not of God. And so, when you begin to think about Babylon, you can think of it like this Babylon is kind of the place we live as sojourners on this earth in the land that is not ultimately our land. Because I got news for you believer, we're just passing through this place, Amen. This is not home. This is not what we were created for, for eternity. We're literally just exiles in Babylon. Well, Babylon during this time was taking over the world, pretty much. King Nebuchadnezzar, we're going to jump into the story in just a minute was overtaking people and God's children, the Hebrews, the Israelites, whichever one you want to call them, had been overtaken by Babylon. And we're in about the year 600 BC for those of you that are history buffs give or take a couple years. God's people had been taken into captivity for one reason and one reason only. During this time, not only did you want to conquer a place, but you also wanted to bring the best of the best into your place, into your city, into your country, train them and indoctrinate them, basically break them down over time, and then send them back to the peasants or the lower classes of their peoples to retrain them how to be good Babylonians.

Well, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. That's exactly what had happened to them. They were part of the group that were brought into Babylon, they were brought there to be indoctrinated in the ways to be taught in the ways and they were the advisors to the king to learn the language, to learn the religion. And obviously, God's people live in an incredibly different way than this pagan Society of Babylon. And so, there were so many things that were kind of pressed into these guys that they didn't grow up knowing or realizing or recognizing because they worship the true God, but now they were living in a context of people that did not. You see, Babylon’s goal was to really crush these guys, and to make them bow down to them. But I got news for you. They didn't. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, along with their friend Daniel, he's not in this story, but he's in a lot of the other ones. They never wavered. They never gave up, they never gave in, they never gave into pressure, and they always knew as being exiles in this country, they always knew who they were in the Lord. They always knew how to worship the Lord, how to give God the honor and catch this just like he will you and me, God blessed that. He blessed them standing up in these times. Daniel chapter 1, they chose to follow the dietary laws of the Jews and the king said, "Okay, if you think you can do that." And what did God do? God blessed them, made them stronger than the rest, more adept than the rest. Daniel chapter two, God bless them in the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar has this crazy dream, you can read it on your own, and none of his magi, none of his Chaldeans or astrologers or wiseman could interpret this dream. In fact, they couldn't even tell him what the dream was, and King Nebuchadnezzar has them all killed because of that, but God gave Daniel the dream and gave him the interpretation, and God blessed it. Nebuchadnezzar rose these guys to power. And by God's grace, I want you to see something in chapter 2, before we get to chapter 3, verse 47 in chapter 2, it says this about the king. "The king said to Daniel, 'Surely your God is the God of the gods and the Lord of the kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.'" Now look, that doesn't mean a lot to us. But you are watching a pagan king recognize in this moment that there is a God, but I want you to pay close attention. And you know this, but I want you to know, there is an incredibly big difference than just recognizing that there's a God and surrendering to God. There's a really, really big difference of in our, in our lives, and in all of our lives, especially in the Bible Belt, right? Just knowing that there is a God, and then is surrendering to God.

You see, Nebuchadnezzar at this point, he just said, hey, there is a God out there, just like a lot of us do when we're on an airplane, right? Oh, God save us, right? Or maybe you've had a little dry spell in your dating world? Oh, God, would you help me, right? Or maybe God, would you give me this promotion, that's, that's a little bit of a difference than saying, hey, God, whatever it is, whatever you've got, I am yours. And so, there's an incredibly big difference here. And as time pass, the recognition of Nebuchadnezzar passed as well. In between chapters two, and three, there's about a 15-year time difference in exile. And so, we're checking in now to Nebuchadnezzar that has not recognized God in a long time. In fact, now he's looking at himself as God and we're about to see this. Why? He builds a statue. He didn't just build any statue, like a good one that you might see at the Met or something. But he builds a statue that he is now asking all of the people to worship. And so, this morning's account, incredibly epic account is these three Hebrew guys that look at a king and they refuse to bow down as exiles in another culture and let me just say this as point of reference, so many similarities to where we live today. Pay attention to the story. I'm going to read it and I'm not going to read it on like an eighth-grade level we're going for right we're going to head through we got a lot of verses and little bit of time if we want to get lunch today. Here it goes, all right. Verse 1, "King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold 60 cubits high and six cubits wide and set it up on the plane of Dura in the providence of Babylon. Then he summoned the satraps the prefects, governors, advisors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all other providential officials to come to the dedication of this image that he had set up. So, the satraps, prefects, governors, advisors, treasures, judges, magistrates, and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up and they stood before it." Verse 4, if I you lost you already, "Then the herald loudly proclaimed," now pause right there for a minute, you got to realize that most scholars believe there's about a million people here, at this time, a million. This was a loud herald, alright? Here it is. "Then the herald loudly proclaimed, 'Nations and peoples of every language. This is what you are commanded to do. As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, heart and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up." What is he doing? He's describing a worship service, here's what he's doing.

Verse 6, "Whoever does not fall down to worship will immediately be thrown into the blazing furnace. Now, this is not an empty threat. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us when the Babylonian king had actually done this to people, all right, so don't think of this as like, eh it's one of those threats that parents give you don't take the trash out. No, this one's real. All right. Verse 7, "Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and people of every language," now that's important, because the last time everybody gathered together was the Tower of Babel, and it was on this exact same location, little bit of nugget there for you. They "fell down and they worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up." Verse 8, "At this time, some astrologers," your Bible may say, Chaldeans or magi, it's all the same. "They came forward and they denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, May the king live forever! Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold and whoever doesn't fall down, and worship will be thrown into the blazing furnace." Verse 12, "But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the providence of Babylon-Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty, they neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold that you have set up." Verse 13, "Furious with rage, King Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So, these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is its true Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold that I've set up? Now, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kind of music," pause there. Isn't it obvious that we got a lot of instruments going on, right? I mean, do you see this? I got to go. But I got to say this. Do you know why he did that? Musicians are really sensitive, alright? Here we go. I'll pay for that one.

"And all kinds of music, "stay with me “If you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good." He says, I'm giving you another chance to worship the image I made. "But if you do not worship at King said, then you will be thrown into a blazing furnace," then you might want to circle this, "then what God will be able to rescue you from my hand?" I got news, he's about to find out right? Verse 16. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him. 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we're thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us,' that's a good spot for an Amen. 'And he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that the that we will not serve your gods or we will not worship the image of gold that you have set up.'" Lord Jesus, give us this boldness. Lord allow us to stand as exiles in this world. In the Babylon, we live in living with a complete faith, a dependent faith, a 100% trust, knowing that you are with us, it's in your name. Amen.

We should just go home right there. No, we're not doing that. Here's what I need to say. Here's my question and the middle schoolers are like, Yeah, that sounds good to us. Here's my question. Um, what are you willing to stand for? I mean, do you run that through your mind ever? What hardships are you willing to endure for your faith? Because when these moments happen, and I'm saying when because they're going to happen. Are you going to be bold in your faith? Or are you going to be bashful for the Lord? Are you going to bend to culture? Or are you going to stand in the promise and the presence of the faithful King Jesus? You see, these are not only the questions that we ask in our Babylon, but these are literally the questions that Shadrach Meshach and Abednego are answering in this moment. They're answering this idea of, okay, well, maybe just this one time, or this could be work. Or maybe if I say it just right, I can redeem it later. But they had to come up with in this moment, what they were going to do in their faith. You see, they were part of the system. They were not just part of the system, people watch them, people who took their cues from them. People knew the stories of their faith and knew who their king was. Therefore, people watched how they responded in the Babylon that they were living in. And I got news for you. People are watching you. People are learning from you. People are watching when things come into your life to see if we are going to bend or bow or we're going to stand in the presence of a faithful God. That's where this story's going. This image that Kings Nebuchadnezzar built, it's an odd image if you look at it. Now, we don't know a whole lot about cubits in our land today. But if you translate that into our measurements of today, the statue would have stood 90 feet tall by nine feet wide. It was made of gold but not solid gold, it would have been made of wood and covered with gold. And it kind of looked like a column, it kind of looked like a weird like little skinny thing that went to the sky, kind of like the Tower of Babel would have. But I want you to know, we don't really know what the statue was. We don't know. Some people believe that the statue was a form of Nebuchadnezzar that he had built a statue to himself, which the Kings did a lot of times in their pride they would have built a statue that look like themselves and asked people to bow down to it. Other people think that it is a statue of the dream that he had in chapter two, which kind of makes sense, which if I had to pick one of the things, that's probably where I would lean, but we can still be friends, if you're not there.

It would have looked a little bit like the dream in chapter 2, but he just made it all gold. Instead of following the literal dream, you can read that later. Other people believed that it was made out of the image of the primary god of the Babylonians, which is named Bel, b, e, l. We don't know what the statue looked like, really. And we really don't even know what the statue was for. I mean, we don't know if it was for this one occasion, or for every day, they were going to have to do this, or this was going to be the rest of the time on this planet. We don't know what it was for. We don't know what really was going on at this occasion. But what we do know is that as soon as the music started in the worship service, you were to be quiet, you were to put your slushie down and you were to worship the king, right? You were to worship this image that was before these people. And we also know that these three guys just said, no, we're not going to do that. Which leads me to ask in my mind, why? I mean, why not just do it? Why not just worship, save yourself the trouble of all of this stuff, and be done with it? Well, here's why. It's the second commandment. Right? Remember, Exodus 20. Exodus 20:4 says this, "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven, or above or on the earth, or beneath or in the waters below." That pretty much covers everywhere, right? Verse 5, "You shall not bow down to them, or worship them. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God." And I got news for you, He can be jealous. He's God, it works. I want you to remember something about these young guys. These guys were 15 years old when they were taken into captivity. They were taken into captivity because they were the best of the best, the best Jews that were out there. So immediately when Nebuchadnezzar said bow, in their minds, they would have absolutely said no, that's not what Moses told us. No, that's not where God has us. No, that's not what the Pentateuch, they wouldn't have called it that, the word of Moses says that we should do. This leads me to an incredibly important point that I want to point out, but I want to be sensitive in it. I have a feeling this is going to become more and more relevant in our society, as time goes by.

And I don't say this, because I think we need to be anarchist, or just be problem people or vigilantes, or anything like that. But as Christ followers, I just want you to know, at any point, at any point, if there is ever a law of man, that contradicts the law of God, we must always obey the higher law, we must always obey the higher law. And catch says, because we'll say amen to obeying the higher law, and we must be willing to face the consequences. We have to. Now I'm not talking about we're going out there looking for a fight. We're not talking about we're going out there just pressing the button. But I'm telling you, as we progress through time, there are going to be things that we have to choose. And we have to say my God says, and it's God that has to be higher honored. It's God that has to be higher worshipped. It's God that has to be supremely obeyed. So here what we are seeing is a king that made a law that is 100% in violation to who God is and what God said. And these three guys stand up just emphatically, it's like no, we're not doing it. We've already seen this once right with Moses last week, Exodus chapter 1, we see where the Hebrew midwives look at the pharaoh that basically said, hey, go abort those babies. You know that whole partial abortion, birth abortion thing? And the Hebrew midwives are like No, those are people. We're not doing that. We also see it again in Acts 5. Listen to what Peter and John did. Acts 5:28, The officials say, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in Jesus's name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood. Peter and John and the other apostles replied, 'We got to obey God rather than humans.'" Now look, hopefully I just want you to hear my heart in this. Hopefully our laws will always remain congruent to where we have the freedom to do what we're doing right now, and worship. But when not, we have to obey God first. That's exactly what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did. That's exactly what we're seeing them do. They did not bow, and they actually got ratted out for it.

Remember in the story, they got ratted out these Chaldeans, these magi, these guys that we can trace all of the occult practices of today all the way back to ancient Babylon, and we can trace back the magi prior to this account how evil they were, they came to see Jesus, they went into the king's office, and were like, Hey king, remember when you said; Whoever doesn't bow down to you when the Lion King music starts that you are going to like put them in the furnace and the king was like, Yeah I remember that. Well, your boys Rach, Shack and Benny out here in the middle, they did not bow down to you. Look at verse 13, look at the king and what happened to him. "Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So, these men, were brought before the king and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is this true?'" What does he do? He's giving them a second chance. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods, or worship the image of gold that I set up?" Now remember why they're doing this. They're not doing this because they worship the true God. Can I just say this, but this has nothing to do with this, but we got nothing but time? Here we go. Nobody cares if you worship Jesus. Nobody cares if you say, Jesus is my personal Savior and Lord. Nobody's going to ever push back on your students. When if you are standing, hey, listen, I'm a follower of Jesus. And Jesus says is my Lord, nobody ever cares about that. They care when you refuse to bow down to their gods. That's when they care. You see, this is what we're seeing here, right? They never care before this. Now, they only care because they're not bowing down to Babylon at this moment. Look at the response. It's kind of in two ways. Verse 16 says this, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They replied to the king, oh, King Nebuchadnezzar, we don't need to defend ourselves before you in this manner. Let me translate that, hey, we don't owe you any explanation. That's what it means. We don't know you an explanation. What did they say? We're just going to honor God, we're going to honor God, we're going to trust God, we're going to lay before God. And we're going to be unapologetically unwavering, devoted to God. And then they said, hey, and wherever the cards fall so-be-it. Because He's God. You see, we find some things in their reaction that we're about to read the second part, that I think we need to grab on to with our faith. Because I don't think we realize sometimes the levity of how God has called us to live in Babylon.

Look at the rest of the response. We don't owe you a defense, listen, we don't owe the world a defense. What we owe the world is just standing before our king and saying, that's my king. And that's all that I am. And what we find in the rest of their response is five really important things about our faith. But I feel like I need to define faith before we get there. In fact, write this down. Biblical faith is a trust, it is a competence, and is a firm reliance upon who God is. It's a trust on this and God I am trusting you to be who you are. Number two, it is a confidence that I have my full confidence in you. And then it is also just this reliance that God is going to be and going to do what He has told me He's going to do. And throughout Scripture, when you see faith, when you see people's faith, you can kind of put it into one of three buckets. First of all, there's three kinds of faith, there's a saving faith. There's a saving faith, that is the faith that all of us walk into when we give our lives over to the Lordship of Jesus. That is the moment in our life, when we realize that I'm a sinner in need of a Savior, and its only Christ that can cover my sins. And we don't do that through work, we do that through Ephesians 2, right? "For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not of yourself, that is a gift of God, not by works." So, when we believe, when we trust Christ, when we invite him into our lives, that is a saving faith. The second kind of faith is a gift of faith. The gift of faith is what Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. When you become a believer in Jesus, God gives you some gifts. He gives you some abilities. He gives you some talents that are to be used for Him and the church. The Gift of faith is an incredible gift, and it really just looks like this when everybody else's world is exploding, right? And then panic, you're the one that just says, hey, let's just breathe a little bit. And let's just be calm about this because we know who God is, you know, those people, we really don't like those people, those of us that are really out there and really emotional. I mean, my grandparents were these people. I never saw him get upset and never saw anything. I mean, the world would be caving in, they're like, hey, trust God, in this moment. I'm like, no, I mean do you know what I'm saying, that's the gift of faith. The gift of faith is just this moment. And God supernaturally gives it to our friends, right? I mean, He does. The last one is a dependent faith. There's a dependent faith. And this is one that we all are called to strive to. And a dependent faith is when you believe wholeheartedly that God is able to work on your behalf. He's able to move on your behalf, He's able to do things on your behalf. And this is the kind of faith that we're about to see in this response and learn from.

So let me read it to you. Verse 17 says this, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us from your Majesty's hand." Verse 18, "But even if he doesn't, we want you to know your majesty that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up." This is true faith. This is probably one of the best examples of faith in all the Bible, because it gives us five reminders. Number one is this, we get this from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Number one, our faith should be in God's ability and not only a desired outcome. Our faith, I know this sounds kind of a little bit choppy. But our faith should be in God's ability and not solely a desired income in our life. Now let me flesh that out a bit. Look at the text. Did these guys Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, presume upon God, that there would never be a moment that they ended up in that furnace? No, look real closely? Did they say the God we serve will shut the furnace? No, they did not. What did they say? Look at it closely, the God we serve is able to save. Now there's a big difference there. There's a big difference because some of us grew up in cultures that said, if you believe it hard enough, if you pray it long enough, if you walk it like this long enough that God will give you the desired result that you keep speaking into His life, like God is some kind of circus animal or some kind of genie in a bottle or something that is misplaced faith. That is having faith in a desired response. That is having faith in an outcome and not the one who provides the outcome. Does that make sense? You see what happens when we have our faith, and an outcome is when that outcome doesn't happen? How us and our what 90 years at best selves think that it should be and not God, when that doesn't happen if our faith isn't an outcome, our faith crumbles because we didn't get what we wanted to get. We sound like a kid that doesn't get a candy bar. But God, come on, right? That's the difference. That's what these guys are teaching us right here. Genuine faith says God, I really don't want to do this. But God, it is you. We've got to have faith in God's ability and not just a desired response from God. Yes, we pray Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, we present our request before God." Yes, God deliver me. Yes, James 1:6, "But when you ask you must believe and not doubt." Yes, God, I know that you can do this. But look at this Ephesians 3:20. “Now to Him who is able to do an immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory?" What does that say? Our faith can't be in a result. If our faith is in a result in a broken world, then we don't have faith because things happen all the time. And you know, God is bringing something to your mind right now. That did not go how you thought it should go. But listen, still trust God. Trust God, not the result. He's able. Jeremiah 32:17. The last five words "Nothing is too hard for God." It's not, which points to number two. God doesn't work according to our wishes, but according to His will. His will. You see, this is where the rubber really hits the road. And our problem. You see we want God to bend to our will and not us then to His will. Look, I'm pretty sure this Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was wishing to not end up in the furnace. All right? I'm pretty sure they didn't wake up that day and go, well, today's the day Hallelujah, put on your good clothes, we're going to fire! No, they didn't want to. But they also knew that God has a will. And his will is perfect. His will is always right. It is always on time, and God's will for them and God's will for you is always best. Listen, sometimes I know sometimes, sometimes our will and God's Will are not in alignment. And can I tell you when that happens, one of them is better. And it isn’t yours. All right? It's just in a mine. It's really not as a Christian. When I surrendered my life, listen real closely, I also surrender my will.

I didn't just make a decision to walk an aisle one day or say I'm a believer to somebody. I gave control. I gave my future to the promises of God and the decisions of God. That's what they're showing me right here. As a Christian, God's will be to be bent to; not bend in our behalf. Look, it's kind of biblical, right? Let's see, who was it? Jesus, right? Remember, in the garden? Remember what He's doing? He's about to take on the sin of mankind. And He's looking at God, He's like, God, if there's any other way, there's any way God I want your will to be done. But God in this moment, the pain that I'm about to take, yes, is it physical, but way more than that, God, if there's any other way, let it be done. But look what he said. Matthew 26:42, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cut to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." Your will, that’s faith. So, listen, deferring to the will of God is not a weak prayer. I know. Some of you grew up in traditions. That said, if you pray it long enough, if you say it long enough, if you do it long enough, then God will. Sometimes God just says, hey, I got you. It's about my will. We pray to surrender. We don't pray to change God. Which leads me to number three, it kind of expands on this. Number three is that our trust in God cannot be based on God. Granting every request that I make. It can't be. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I want you to see something their faith did not rest on this one outcome. But tell me this, because I know you've been there before. How many of us have had seasons of our lives, that we have drifted away from God because He did not do something that we thought He should have done? You see, their relationship with God was not at this point of this ultimatum, God if you don't hear her, if you don't save her, if you don't bring them back, then God I'm done with you. Man, I've heard that so many times, to where the God of the universe says, hey, faith, is you recognizing that I am the Lord. That I am the Lord, that I am sovereign, and you are not. You are to just say, yes, Lord. Yes, Lord, look at verse 18. Look at this foundation, this trust, they looked at the king and they were like, God, we trust you no matter what happens. Verse 18, says, "But even if he does not," know what that means? Even if God doesn't do what they say he's going to do, or what they hope, "we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up." Do you realize that they had a faith that transcended any result that God put in their life or any earthly result? Why? Because they knew what was coming. They knew what was coming. Even if things don't go our way. It should not change my confidence in God. Yes, we should pray, yes, we should hope for the best. We should pray for the best but hear me close. We need to pray for the best and just leave the rest of God. We have to and trust God's timing. We have to trust it. Here, stay with me. Listen, when you trust God's timing, when you bring a request before God in faith, when you've got something going on in your life, and you're like, God, I just need you to hear this. I just need you to know this. Whatever the category that you've got going on right now, if you persistently pray, if you persistently trust, if you persistently put that before God and say God, it is about your will and not my will when you trust that God has your best intentions at heart and then hear me closely, if God doesn't do for you what you are asking Him to do, hear me, it is not your faith problem and it is not God's love problem. Okay? It's not. Sometimes God says yes. Sometimes God says no. Sometimes God says not yet. He just does. You see, we could not wish that God always said yes. If God always said yes, we would know nothing of his faithfulness. We would know nothing of trusting Him we would know nothing of relying on him.

I mean, think about how we sound sometimes to God, we sound like our kids, right? Give me some ice cream. No, no. God's like, really! I'm not giving you ice cream because we're going to dinner. Makes sense, doesn't it? He knows all. Let me say it like this. There's simply some purposes and plans that we will not understand on this side of heaven. So, faith is fully trusting God, no matter the outcome. But watch what happens. I love this. Here's what happened. Here's how the story ends, just in case, you don't know. These guys get thrown into the furnace heated up seven times the guys that actually throw them into the furnace die, which is odd, but hey, it's their story right? And watch how God shows up in verse 24. "Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisors, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?' They replied, 'Certainly, Your Majesty.' He said, 'Look, I see four men walking around in the fire and they're unbound.'" You know what that means? The only thing that burned up in this fire was the binding. That's what God does for you. They were unharmed. "And the fourth looks like the son of the gods." Indeed, it was. It's called a Christophany over 10 times in the Old Testament, it's Jesus. Verse 26. "Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, 'Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most Hight God come out! Come here!' So, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisors crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was the hair on their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there," big miracle, "was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who sent his angel and rescued His servants!" Stay with it. "They trusted him and defiled the king's commandment and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except for their own God." Verse 29, watch Nebuchadnezzar and his heart, "Therefore, I decree that the people of any nation or language, who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they should be cut into pieces, all of this part, they should be cut into pieces, and their houses be turned into a pile of rubble, for no other God can save in this way." Now, look, this is probably not the best evangelistic approach, I get it, right? But it worked in Babylon. Alright? This is amazing, because it points two things out to us. Number one, it points out that God doesn't always prevent you from the fire, but he will always preserve and grow us through it. Man, we need to hear that God's not always in the business of preventing us from being in the fire. I mean, think about it this way, what would have happened if Nebuchadnezzar would have given these guys a pass, brought him into the Kings court, and they're like, hey, boys, listen, go back to your dorm rooms, think about what you did, don't come out for a month or two and just leave this thing alone, who would have gotten the glory? Nebuchadnezzar would have gotten the glory. But because God took them there and walked with them in, who got the glory? God did!

RC Sproul says that like this, "There are times that God will allow us to go through the fire just so He can show us His faithfulness in it. Just so He can. Listen, if we never had to experience the difficulties and trials of life, how would we ever feel the freshness of God's provision in our lives? Can I just get really honest with you? There have been times in my life that I've been shaped, like the times that I've been in the fieriest of fires, I'm just going to be honest with you. The times that God has shaped me the most personally, have come from times in my life that God has really allowed me to walk through some stuff. I mean, hey, my 16-year-old brother died in a car accident when I was a sophomore in college. That moment shaped my life. From that point on, it was an incredible realization who I was going to be in the Lord. Melissa and I lost a baby in between our two kids to miscarriage. I know a lot of you've walked that path. God shaped me in that moment. Melissa has had two, three strokes, life altering stuff from those God has shaped us. He has taught us. He is pressed in us what it looks like in His faithfulness in those times. I had stage three melanoma cancer for a year. I can't tell you every single morning waking up not knowing what the next months are going to look like, God shaped me. It's not, look at this number five, often times the greater miracle is not that God delivers us from the fire, but how He stands with us in it. That's the miracle. And I know that's what somebody needs to hear today. Somebody needs to know that just because you're in the fire, God has not abandoned you. He's unbinding you. He's teaching you. And as a result, you're going to come out with the glory of the Father.

Here's the question as we close today. Where's your faith? Your faith resting in results? Is your faith resting in the one who gives results? Here's the question. Have you based a season of your life over the fact that God did not do something you asked Him to do? Maybe today, you just need to go Hey, Lord, I'm sorry. I can't believe I did that. Maybe, just maybe today, you need the saving faith that we talked about? Say, Lord, I feel like I'm in the fire and I want You to walk with me, come into my life. Give me hope. Give me promises Lord, be mine. Can I tell you something when you do that? Doesn't mean the rest of this world is just going to be filled with roses and easy paths. But it does mean this. He's yours. He's yours. And He walks with you. He talks with you. And he tells us he is ours. Lord today, as we walk into this moment of decision, I pray that we can see that You are with us. God, no matter what the earthly outcome we know the heavenly outcome. The one that matters most, it's You, Jesus. God help us stand in Babylon. Help us place our trust in You. Walk in your promises. Walk with us in this time of decision. It's time. God, I don't know where people are. Maybe there are people here today. Just need to take a few minutes and come down to this altar and just need to reconnect their faith with You. Maybe they just need to grab somebody beside them and go, hey, would you come pray with me? That's right where I've been.

God give them the boldness to do that. God, I pray if there's people here that don't know where they stand in their relationship with You, but God there's something prompting them in their spirit to walk with You today. God that's your Holy Spirit. Pray that as soon as we stand God today, they'll leave their see they'll walk down to this front section. And speak to myself or one of the other people that are hosting this moment and just say, hey, I think I need Jesus today. God you'll do the rest. And I pray if there's people that today just need to say, Lord, here I am, like we talked about last week, that today is their day. Walk with us. In this moment. Jesus it's in your name we pray.

Amen.

Follow Along with the Message


A Dependent Faith

August 8, 2021

Daniel 2:47
The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.
Daniel 3:1–18
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. 4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” 7 Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon — Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” 13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Exodus 20:4–5
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”
Acts 5:28–29
28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Daniel 3:13–14
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?
Exodus 3:16
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, ”King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.“

PRINCIPLE: Biblical faith is , confidence, and a firm reliance upon God.


3 Kinds of Faith Mentioned in the Bible

1. faith

Ephesians 2:8–9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — 9 not by works.

2. of faith

3. faith

Daniel 3:17–18
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.

5 Reminders about Biblical Faith

1. Our faith should be in God’s , not only in a desired result.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
James 1:6
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt...
Ephesians 3:20–21
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory.
Jeremiah 32:17
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

2. God does not work according to our , but according to his will.

Matthew 26:42
“…My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Matthew 6:10
“…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
1 John 5:14
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

3. Our trust in God cannot be based on God every request I make.

Daniel 3:18
But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Daniel 3:24–25
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Daniel 3:26–29
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. 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. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

4. God does not always us from the fire, but he will preserve us as we go through it.

“There are times God will allow us to go through the fire just so he can show His faithfulness in it.”
— R. C. Sproul

5. Often the greater miracle is not that God delivers us from the fire, but how he with us in it.

Isaiah 43:2–3
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

Additional Notes

 

Email (To Send Copy of Notes)