In Chapter 11 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller references the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). Pastor Keller takes particular note of the three men’s response to King Nebuchadnezzar, stating that their words are a paradoxical balance of confidence and humility (v. 18). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego express confidence that God not only is able to rescue them but actually will rescue them. Yet their next sentence begins “But if not”.
Pastor Keller states that the second part of their response indicates that their confidence was in God rather than in their understanding of what they thought God would do. In other words, their confidence was in God as opposed to promoting their own agenda. As the author puts it, the three men weren’t trusting in “God-plus-my-plan-for-my-life”. They trusted in God period.
Facing imminent death, the three men weren’t at all filled with anxiety and insecurity. Instead of being nervous, they were spiritually fireproofed. Pastor Keller states that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego really believed “all the way down” to God. Their greatest joy was to honor God.
Today’s question: As you journey through your desert, land between time, what has enabled you to focus on God’s plan rather than on your plan? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Seven lessons of the furnace”