Surviving the Fire
A. A Dogmatic Confidence in God’s Power – vs. 17…our God…is able to deliver us
They knew enough about God to know that there is nothing that is impossible.
They’d heard stories about how He created the heavens and earth in 6 days.
B. A Dedicated Compliance to God’s Plan – vs. 18 But if not…we will not…
What they were admitting was very simply; we know what we WISH he would do, but we don’t know for sure what he will actually do. Either way, we are going to do what’s right.
C. A Determined Commitment to God’s Person – we will not serve thy gods…
There’s nothing that will prepare your heart for difficulties like tossing out all other options and back-up plans and just staying with God!!
They were ALL IN!
All this was wonderful, but this is how they were BEFORE they went through the fire. What helped them make it through the fire?
I. Don’t Change – fires have a way of scorching and burning and ruining everything it touches.
- vs. 19 the form of his visage was changed…
- vs. 27…upon whose bodies the fire had no power…
When those around you change, don’t change. Stay the same.
People will change.
They will change the way they act.
They will change the way they treat you.
They will change their opinion of you, of the church, of your family, of people in the church.
They will change their opinion of people that have left the church.
They will change the way they serve the Lord.
They will change the way they do their ministry.
Don’t let the fire change you!!!
Keep loving God.
Keep believing the Bible.
Keep loving church.
Keep loving people.
Keep being nice.
Keep being faithful.
Keep going to the altar.
II. Don’t try to Comprehend It – it will never make sense!
- vs. 19b commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
When those around you become unreasonable, don’t waste your time trying to reason with them.
Things will happen in your fire that defy all human logic and human reasoning.
So called Christians will do the most un-Christlike things.
Friends will do the most hurtful things.
People will act and say and do and think and respond in ways that are completely unreasonable.
Don’t try to comprehend it.
Don’t try to understand it.
Don’t try to make sense out of it, because there is nothing sensible about it.
III. Don’t Compare
Don’t compare the fire you’re going through to everybody else’s fire.
Your fire is unique. Nobody went through that fire but them.
And it was their fire.
And it was seven times hotter than any fire they’d ever been through before.
It was hotter than usual. A lot hotter.
But admit it; fire is fire.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think what you are going through is worse than anything that anybody else has gone through.
Suffering isn’t a competitive sport.
IV. Don’t Combat
Don’t get vengeful toward those that are putting you through the fire; God will take care of them.
- vs. 22b…and the flame of the fire slew those men that took up…
There is no indication that these three men fought this fire in anyway.
Their stand for God predicated this fiery experience.
By standing up for what was right, they signed up for this fire; they walked into it with their eyes open.
Peter said it like this:
- I Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
- 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
NOTE: There are two outcomes of those that put you through the fire:
- OUTCOME 1. They will die. This can be physically, or it can be that they completely disqualify themselves as a valid opponent. In other words, they hang themselves. Give them enough rope…they will.
- OUTCOME 2. They will get right and eventually promote you. Vs. 28
Defending yourself doesn’t help.
Trying to get people to feel sorry for you makes it worse.
God never told his people to defend themselves, or build an army to fight, but to REJOICE.
Jesus told Peter to put his sword up. And he put the soldier’s ear back on.
- Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
NOTE: God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends!
V. Don’t Collapse
Keep walking with God, even in the fire. People are watching.
The ties that bound them to each other and to God was stronger than the ropes that the enemy bound them with.
Don’t let the ropes of the enemy separate you from the church and God’s people!
Jesus was under so much stress that he sweat blood and begged God three times to take this cup from him.
His attitude was – not my will, but thine be done.
God has a purpose for your fire.
You won’t know what it is.
You won’t see it right away.
But trust me – it will purge out the dross and the deadwood and make way for new life.
- Job 23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job said I can’t see him, I can’t hear him, I cannot perceive him, BUT HE KNOWS WHERE I AM!!!