Sometimes God delivers you from the fire; sometimes he makes you fireproof. A look at sustaining faith through the story of Daniel 3 - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the blazing furnace.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
- Isaiah 43:2
- Daniel 3:1-12
- Exodus 20:3
- Daniel 3:13-18
- Daniel 3:19-30
I’m about to reveal to some of you that Santa Claus is not real…
It will be hard to accept for many ...
2When 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.
Sometimes God rescues you from the fire; sometimes He makes you fireproof.
Example: when laid off told not to work
- When I knew God was in control I stopped worrying
- My faith wasn't in the fact that God would get me a job
- My faith was in the fact that I'm going to be ok
Delivering Faith vs. Sustaining Faith
There is delivering faith and there is sustaining faith
Sometimes God will deliver you from the fire
- Sometimes God will resolve your issue
- Sometimes God will put an end to your trial
- Sometimes God will rescue you
- Sometimes He will heal you
- Sometimes God gives you delivering faith
Other times God will make you fireproof
- God doesn't remove the problem
- But He will give you the strength, faith and motivation you need to keep on while you have the problem
- God will give you the ability to endure your suffering
- God gives you sustaining faith
Delivering faith is when you're going through a trial
- you pray to God
- God delivers you from the trial
Sustaining Faith is when God gives you the strength to make it through the trial
Delivering faith is:
- By Your Faith You Are Healed
- The blind beggar made to see
- The ten lepers who were cleansed
- The woman with the issue of blood
- The man that couldn't walk
Sustaining faith is:
- Being obedient and keeping God first while we go through our struggle
- The thorn in Peter’s side
- Daniel in the lion’s den
- The 3 Hebrew boys in the fire
Which one would you rather have and why?
Sustaining faith is when God doesn't deliver you but gives you the strength to make it.
Sustaining Faith is fireproof faith
Background (ch 2)
- The Jews were living under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon
- Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a statue with a head of gold
- Daniel interpreted the dream for the king and was given a position in the high court
- His Jewish friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were made administrators
1King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,a and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
- 90 feet by 9 feet
2He 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. 3So 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.
4Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5As 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. 6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7Therefore, 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.
8At this time some astrologersb came forward and denounced the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10Your 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, 11and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12But 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.”
King Nebuchadnezzar made a large gold statue
- Possibly because of the dream
- So his memory wouldn't perish
Everyone had to worship this statue.
"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
- We shouldn't create anything in the likeness of anything else and worship it
Do people pray to statues today?
- Do Christians?
What else do Christians worship?
- Statues of Mary
- The Pope
We’re not supposed to worship anything other than God.
What about the cross?
13Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14and 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? 15Now 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?”
16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver usc from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But 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.”
But Even if He Does Not…
Do they have doubt? Is this fireproof faith if they have a “but even if…”?
I’ve seen preachers skip this verse in sermons. This verse contradicts what we’re currently taught about what it means to have faith.
But when in fact, the “but even if” is what defines fireproof faith.
- They know that God can do anything.
- God can save them
- But that doesn’t mean that God will choose to save them.
- It doesn't mean God has to save them
- God has free will
- He’s not forced to do what we want just because we have faith
- Our faith doesn’t override God’s free will
- We can’t manipulate God with faith
- The 3 boys are not worried about the outcome because they know God is in control
- Fireproof Faith is knowing that God can do what I want, but not presuming that He must do what I:
Fireproof Faith doesn’t mean that unpleasant things will never happen to us.
If God says He'll do something then He's guaranteed to do it
- But God is not obligated to fulfill all of our desires
God is not required to fulfill all of the desires of our heart
- It’s not true that God gave you every good desire
- It depends on how you measure “good”
- Is it good because:
- it’s not a sin?
- you desire it?
- society values it?
- your culture/family values it?
The bible says “ if you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart”
- If you're not delighting yourself in the Lord then He's not putting his desires in your heart
- If you’re desire isn’t the result of delighting in the Lord then it's not from Him
We all crave some type of genie who will grant our every wish
Santa Clause doctrines tells us:
- Word of Faith
- Name it and claim it
- You can have what you say through positive confessions
- Prosperity, health, and wealth from the power of the spoken word
- Poverty and sickness are all from the devil
- If you speak it in faith God is obligated to give it to you
- New Apostolic Reformation
- Sozo - Jesus already died for our:
There were stories of Jesus and the disciples healing and casting out demons
- I couldn’t find the stories of Jesus making people rich!
Were the apostles rich?
- Only Judas :-O
- Was he the only disciple with faith?
- They lived meagerly.
Did the other disciples have faith?
Was Jesus rich?
In “The Way”, the original church, were they rich?
- Some people went from being rich to being poor after they converted to Christianity
- Christianity didn't get them a new house
- Christianity made them sell their houses and give away the money
- Christianity didn't get them more possessions
- They sold all of their possessions
Maybe they weren't taught about sozo...
Paul lived with a thorn in his flesh that he knew God could remove.
- But God didn’t remove it
Did you ever pray for someone who didn’t get healed?
- So it’s either:
- you didn’t have enough faith
- faith doesn’t always heal
There are no other options.
This is the underlying problem with doctrines that teach you that faith always gives you what you want. They leave you with the conclusion that there's either something wrong with you or something wrong with God. When the problem lies in the doctrine itself.
Fireproof faith doesn’t assume that God will do whatever you want Him to do
There is power in the spoken word and in positive thinking
- But our faith isn’t in magic
- Our faith shouldn’t be a belief that we can make whatever we want happen by speaking the right spell
The Santa Clause doctrine is enticing because it puts you in control
- It’s gives you a practical way to change your circumstances
God is in control, not you!
The Santa Clause doctrine makes you selfish and self centered
- It’s about what you want...not God
- It’s worship of yourself
Fireproof Faith is when you can say Lord if you don't do anything else for me...that's good enough.
19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24Then 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.”
25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26Nebuchadnezzar 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, 27and 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.
28Then 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. 29Therefore 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.”
30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
God didn't deliver them from the fire. He made them fireproof.
What We Learn from the 3 Hebrew Boys
- They were willing to die to follow God.
- They weren’t 100% sure that God would save them
- But their faith wasn’t dependent on God delivering them.
- Their faith wasn’t based on God giving them what they wanted
- Their faith wasn’t in being saved; their faith was in the savior
- They believed in God even though the circumstances were against them.
Example: Kareem Abdul Jabbar's jazz collection
- 3,000 rare jazz albums
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were better off after they came out of the fire
- They got promoted
- The King now believed that God was powerful
- Anyone who spoke against Yahweh would be cut into pieces
We should thank God that He doesn’t always give us what we want
- What He gives us is sometimes better
God got the glory
- God didn't perform the miracle just because they had faith
- God performed the miracle because He got the glory from it
- The satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers gained faith in God
- Perhaps the goal of the trial you're going through is that someone who was watching your situation would now believe in your God.
God is more likely to act when you have faith.
- Because you will give God the credit
- God will get the glory
God acting on faith is not about you getting what you want
It’s about God getting what He wants
Will God get the glory if He delivers you?
Will God get the glory if He sustains you?
Will God get the glory if He heals you?
Will God get the glory if He gives you that:
- Winning lottery ticket
We are all in Babylon?
We are all asked to compromise our faith at times.
Some of us have Nebekenezers in our lives that want us to bow to the ways of the world.
- At your work they want you to be inclusive
- They ask how you feel about taking away a woman’s right to choose
- They ask if two people to love each other why can’t they get married
- “Are you saying that if I’m not a Christian and I’m a good person I’ll go to hell?”
- They want you to manipulate some of the numbers
- They want you to only mention the good features of the products
- Maybe everyone else leaves early
<what are your examples?>
Sometimes God rescues you from the fire; sometimes God makes you fireproof.
There is delivering faith and there is sustaining faith.
Fireproof faith is...
- Having complete trust that God can deliver you from the situation
- Having faith that God can use any method needed to accomplish His will
- Also being OK with the fact that God may not see it necessary to change your situation
Faith is not manipulating God to get what I want
Faith is resting in God to get what He wants
Is God the center of your universe... or are you?
We can’t presume that God has to do what we want.
Fireproof faith says that even if I don’t get what I want, I will be faithful to God
- Doesn’t assume to know what the future holds
- It says I know who holds the future
- Doesn’t believe only in a certain outcome (healing, riches, etc.)
- Believes in God regardless of the outcome
- Doesn’t assume there are no “if nots”
- Accepts that there are “if nots” because we're not God
- Doesn’t rejoice in what I want
- Rejoices in what God wants
- Doesn’t pray my will be done
- Prays “thy will be done”
- Doesn’t believe it’s all about me
- Believes it’s all about God
- Doesn’t expect God or “the universe” to respond to what I want
- Responds to what God wants
Fireproof faith is trusting God’s heart when we can't see His hands
We should pray believing that God can, but not presuming He must do what we want.
Everyone who is saved must believe in Jesus, but it is the power of Christ that saves, not the power of your faith.
Yes our faith saves us from the flames of hell...Fireproof Faith.
But faith is only the conduit, not the source of the power. Faith is our connection to the power it is not the power itself.
The value of our faith doesn’t come from us but from the one in whom our faith lies. At the end of the day, the healing, the deliverance, the results are not contingent on the quality of our faith, but on the Healer, on the deliverer on the resolver. It is through Christ that we get the results.
In John 9, the man who was born blind didn’t ask to be healed. He was healed completely by grace. Not because of his own faith.
Everyone whom Jesus wanted to be healed was healed. Sometimes He healed those who expressed their faith in Him, and He made a point of emphasizing the condition of their heart: “Your faith has made you well.” Other times, out of mercy, He healed those who had no faith and the miracle is what drew them to Him. The signs drew them to having faith in Jesus. For many faith wasn’t the reason for the miracle; but the miracle was the reason for the faith. The reason for each of Jesus’ healings was so that God would get the glory. Jesus only performed miracles that would bring glory to God.
At the end of the day, it is God who decides whether we are healed, or delivered from our trials. Our job is to remain confident that God can deliver us, and that if we ask Him and it is His will that He will deliver us.
But we must at the same time be at peace if it is not God’s will to give us what we desire. Knowing that whatever the future holds is a future with God. And at the end of the day, that is all we really need.
Presenter: Michael Leadon
- Sometimes God rescues you from the fire; other times He makes you fireproof
- Two types of faith are delivering faith, and sustaining faith
- Delivering faith is when you're going through a trial (or about to) and God resolves the issue
- Sustaining faith is when God gives you the strength to make it through the trial
- King Nebuchadnezzar was about to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fire because they refused to worship the idol he had erected.
- They said that they knew God would deliver them, but even if He doesn’t they still wouldn't bow down to the idol.
- This showed that they weren’t 100% sure that God would prevent them from being killed in the fire.
- Fireproof faith is knowing that God can do what I want, but not presuming that He must.
- Fireproof Faith doesn’t mean that unpleasant things will never happen to us.
- Some doctrines teach that you will always get: healing, deliverance, and prosperity if you have faith.
- Faith isn't the source of our power. It's only the connection to the source...which is God
- Fireproof faith doesn’t assume that God will do whatever you want Him to do.
- Fireproof faith doesn't assume that God must want the result that I want.
- Fireproof Faith is when you can say Lord if you don't do anything else for me...that's good enough.
- God performs miracles to bring glory to Himself not to satisfy our desires.
- Faith is not manipulating God to get what I want
- Faith is resting in God to get what He wants
Scholarly Examination of the Book of Daniel
- A Japanese poetic structure
- 5-7-5 syllables
My bible is clean
My cookbook is full of stains
My diet is wrong
- a poetic structure in which the main point or message of a passage is placed in the centre and framed by further repetitions on either side
- This rhetorical style is used by Shakespeare
Daniel chapters 2-7 form a chiasmus:
- A. (2:4b-49) – A dream of four kingdoms replaced by a fifth
- B. (3:1–30) – Daniel's three friends in the fiery furnace
- C. (4:1–37) – Daniel interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar
- C'. (5:1–31) – Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar
- B'. (6:1–28) – Daniel in the lions' den
- A'. (7:1–28) – A vision of four world kingdoms replaced by a fifth
The stories supplement each other to make the point that the God of the Jews will deliver those who are faithful to him.
Daniel 3 Fireproof Faith
How Did the Apostles Die?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
What did Jesus mean when He told people, “Your faith has made you well”?