Wednesday, October 14, 2015

31 Days of Brave: Day 14 - in the middle of the fire



As I've been writing about what it means to me to be brave I have come back again and again to the idea of middle spaces. That this is the space in which we really learn about what it means to be brave: in the darkness, in the silence, in the raging storm and in the fire - these are the places where God shines his light into the dark corners of our hearts, this is where we face our fears, this is where our faith is tested.

Isaiah 43:1But now thus says the Lord,he who created you, O Jacob,he who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.3For I am the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.I give Egypt as your ransom,Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you,I give men in return for you,peoples in exchange for your life.5 Fear not, for I am with you;I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

In Isaiah it says "when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame will not consume you" and I was thinking about this the other day, in the context of Daniel's three brave friends.

Daniel 3:24Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”26Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 

They didn't even smell like smoke. They had been thrown into an overheated furnace and they walked out without even smelling like smoke. That is something that I have claimed as a promise from God for my own journey through the fire - that when I come out on the other side I will be unharmed, my hair won't even be singed, or my clothes even smell like smoke because sometimes when you're in the middle of the fire it's easy to be consumed by fear. You think that maybe you are never going to get over how much this hurts. You fear you may walk around with the scars of this season right there on your face for everyone to see, and while I think there are things that happen to us that leave a mark, there are other seasons that we need to have faith that we will walk through this and get to the other side without a burn. 

My pastor preached a sermon on this passage a little while ago and brought out another great point about these seasons of standing in the fire - that the only thing that was burned on these three friends were the chords that bound them. I don't know about you but I would totally be willing to go through a season of fire of it meant that all of the junk that binds me could be burned. 

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The fire is scary, it feels unbearable, but it is fire that refines us, that tests our faith. In the fire Jesus is with us, he walks with us through the fire and brings us out of this season into something new.



2 comments:

  1. I went through a very difficult time in my marriage last spring and this song saved me. Well, you know what I mean. Jesus saved me through this song. I am not alone, He is always with me, he will never leave me. Thanks for sharing.

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