13 March 2018

Unconditional faith

In the book of Daniel, the Bible introduces the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar's golden image.

"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." (Daniel 3:12)

These men were not just ordinary men – they were appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar himself as royal administrators of the province of Babylon. Their defiance was, therefore, more insulting to the king. But what set them apart were not their royal titles, their Jewish heritage or even their audacity to rebel against a king. What made these three men different was that they were willing to die because of their faith in God.

"King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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. 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: 16-18)

They knew the God they served, but took their faith in Him one step further. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proved that their faith was unconditional – whether God showed His Power in that situation or not – they would believe in Him.

How many Christians today can claim such a faith? How many people only come to church because they want something from God? And how many, sadly, leave God when He hasn’t blessed them the way they wanted? Maybe this is the state of your faith today. You’ve been telling God that you’ll never leave Him, no matter what, but if you don’t quickly see results, you stop coming to church. You even make a threat: God, if you don’t do this for me, I will never take part of a chain of prayer ever again!

Dear reader, we should have the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They did not bow down to their problems – they remained in faith. But even when they were not sure of God’s intervention, they were completely sure about their faith in Him. Just like Jesus when He prayed:

"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)

The word ‘nevertheless’ means Jesus chose to believe in God’s Sovereign will, regardless of the outcome. We cannot have a conditional faith that changes according to our problems or in the face of difficult situations.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

God bless you all,

Marcelo Pires

Universal Church


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