“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 3:18 [NIV]
The beginning of this verse sets the tone. It is a phrase that is sometimes hard to chew on for us. Imagine this—even if God doesn’t do what I am hoping and praying He does—even if God doesn’t show up in the same way I expected—even if I have to face hardship and possibly death—I will not back down. I will stand firm. I will continue to serve God with all that I have and with all that I am.
We should possibly read that paragraph over when we are praying for healing. We should read that over when we just lost our job and are about to foreclose on our mortgage. We should read that again when we are given a moment to defend our faith but it comes with consequences.
That “but” is a hard word to face. These men were facing the possibility of a fiery furnace. What if it didn’t end the way it did? What if they were burned alive, three martyrs burnt alive? We take this historical event and think that it will be the same for our lives. There will be a similarity—God will show up. He always does. However, He might not do what we expect. He could stand with us in the furnace to deliver us and we could come out not even smelling like the fire. But, He could stand with us in the furnace and we might not get out as we planned.
Today, I want to challenge you. Your faith in God should rest on His character, not what He does for you. It is hard; however, we need to face the “but” in life. He is faithful. He will not leave you. He has a plan and purpose for your life—a hope and future. But it might not be what you think. Continue to seek His will for your life, being okay with the “but.”
“Then they answered Joshua, ‘Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.’” – Joshua 1:16
When we say “whatever” and “wherever” to God, we are letting go of the reigns, agreeing that we are not in control. We are saying we will go wherever God points and we will do whatever God commands. Too often, when we agree to go wherever and do whatever, we like to keep it on our terms. We like to make loopholes or exceptions. If we do not make a way out, we still manage to fail again and again. To say “whatever” and “wherever” to God is a daily statement—a daily response with words and action.
When the Israelites said “whatever” and “wherever,” it did not stay that way for long. They messed up. We mess up too. But do not let that get in the way of following God and being in a relationship with Him. His grace is enough to carry us through. Our sin nature will corrupt our whatevers and wherevers from time to time, but He has already forgiven us and simply wants us to continue to grow closer to Him, to spiritually mature. Where are you at in life? Are you saying “whatever”? Are you saying “wherever”? What is holding you back? Today, take steps to get closer to God. Look to see what is holding you back. Pray for Him to open your eyes.